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That’s Amarone

Generally, if you enter almost any drinkable wine into enough competitions you'll trawl up some sort of sticker-on-the-bottle-worthy status eventually, so I certainly don't propose to acknowledge every 'slightly commended' dished out by the Frinton-on-Sea Basketweavers' Guild or whoever.

Sometimes, though, the considered opinion of a great gathering of wine experts is interesting to acknowledge. It's not as good as tasting the stuff yourself, but it can give you some idea as to where to start when you're making your next purchase.

Forums such as this blog could usefully largely displace the medal ceremonies as a means of allowing you and me to find out which wine we might like, but until then, from time to time, I will do a leetle bit of bragging about wine awards and so on.

In conjunction :) with Ampersand in Dublin, we are proud to represent the Veronese wines of Gerardo Cesari. If you met Willie Dardis, wine manager and buyer at Ampersand, at our recent Cork tasting, you'll have some idea of how pleased we are to have a contact there whose enthusiasm matches our own.

Anyway, Cesari have just won the International Wine and Spirit Competition Trophy for Italian Wine Producer of the Year, and two of the wines we buy from them have picked up medals in the rigorous blind tastings there.

One is the Mara Valpolicella DOC Superiore Vino Ripasso 2003, which collected a bronze medal, and the other is Il Bosco Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC 2001, which was awarded gold, ie best in its class (our current stock is the equally mighty preceding vintage, 2000, for the time being) . Here's the judges' analysis:

Wonderful glossy black crimson with a pink glint. The nose of this wine absolutely sings with complexity. Plum, prune, fig, cherry kirsch interlaced with leather, tar, incense, woodsmoke. In the mouth there is layered complexity, lovely fruit weight held with firm yet supple dusty tannins. The finish is very long, holding wonderful freshness of fruit. An absolute classic with a superb future.

So we're pleased enough about that.

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