2003 Amarones Deliver Greatness
Fans can expect greatness from the 2003 vintage.
Agronomist Paolo Fiorini detailed climatic conditions for 2003: "The hot, African air in the spring destroyed many flowers resulting in lower yields. In September, wide differences between nighttime and daytime temperatures helped achieve a beautiful evolution of color and concentration." He said vineyards in flatland areas experienced heat stress but, overall, producers who dropped fruit had excellent results. "In Amarone, drought equals health and the hot conditions assured that no mold formed and that the grapes were healthy during appassimento."
Amarone is expected to receive a DOCG (it is currently a DOC) classification and Mr. Pedron said that several measures were being implemented to ease the transition. For one, all Amarone must be bottled within the appellation zone. In addition, Ripasso is now an official category of Valpolicella: It can't be released before one year after the harvest and the word "Ripasso" cannot appear bigger than the word "Valpolicella" on the label. Many produced did not make Amarone in 2002 because of rain and hail and the 2003 wines are being released now until September in the U.S.
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