As much as the Amarone della Valpolicella and Valpolicella Superiore are the ‘famous’ bottlings from this estate I have no shame in saying this wine is always the first I open when a shipment arrives from Marion and perhaps my favourite affordable imported red to share with friends and professionals alike. Chatting with the owner Stefano this year it seems we are kindred spirits in our passion for this wonderful ‘essence of the region’ wine.
If you are looking for a wine to add to your wine list, shelf or cellar that fit’s perfectly into the ‘Euro light bodied yet soulful red’ category yet doesn’t demand the higher price that appellations such as Bourgogne Rouge, Cru Beaujolais & Jura Poulsard can then this is for you.
The wine is exclusively made up of native varietals. Corvina (Elegance), Corvinone (Muscle), Rondinella (Perfume) and ancient native varietal Oseleta vinified in stainless steel tanks, all four varietals co-fermented together. Then pressed off, 80% remains in tank with the remaining wine moved into large format seasoned oak (3000ltr) for a total 12 months before bottling.
There is no Appassimento (dried grapes) in this wine. A pure expression of Stephano & Nicoletta’s vineyards with little to no winemaker intervention.
In keeping with Marion’s philosophy this wine is 100% made from indigenous varieties from the region, something Stefano is staunchly passionate about. The other key note on this wine is they never use the term ‘Mini Amarone’, a catch phrase often used by producers to promote their second wines of the estate, often using the Ripasso method to boost the concentration of the wine. The Superiore only has a small % of the dried grapes in the blend, see later notes.
Stefano only uses the Appassimento method at Marion and it’s important to know the portion of this wine made from these dried grapes are strictly fermented and aged separately from the ‘normal’ fermented grapes. Approx 40 days drying the grapes for the apassimento. These grapes singled out for drying are picked easier than the rest of the harvest to retain a higher acidity.
Composed primarily of Corvina & Corvinone with small amounts of Rondinella. These components are fermented together in stainless steel then transferred into barrel for 36 months or so. Only 10% now sees small barrel (500ltr) with the rest in 3000ltr, all Slavonian oak.
The final blend is assembled on the blending bench starting at 30% appasimento as a general rule then tweaking the blend depending on the vintage. To be honest each time I visit these past years it seems the dried grape component is getting smaller, more bordering between 10% and 15% now due to the balance between Marion’s vision of elegance in their wines vs global warming. There is Zero residual sugar left in this wine.
“The 2017 Valpolicella Superiore is dark and woodsy in character, with wild herbs, crushed rocks and soil tones giving way to shaved cedar and dried strawberries. It’s silky and finessed with a purity of fruit that captivates, as red berries and spice are complemented by sweet mineral tones. This finishes with a staining of red currant and rosy inner florals. The 2017 is such a pretty yet characterful Valpolicella.” – Vinous
Marion’s Teroldego vineyards were originally propagated with cuttings obtained from the mother of Teroldego: Elizebetha Foradori and planted at Marion in 1994.
The result is a unique expression of what is usually a light bodied, dark coloured and intensely perfumed varietal that has the additional concentration of flavour and aromatics that the dried grape portion offers.
Composed 100% from Teroldego. Appessimento (dried) grapes make up 10 to 15% of the overall blend. The portion of this wine made from these dried grapes are strictly fermented and aged separately from the ‘normal’ fermented grapes, then blended in before aging. Fermented in stainless steel then transferred into barrel for 36 months or so. Only 10% now sees small barrel (500ltr) with the rest in 3000ltr, all Slavonian oak.
Single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon made using part appessimento (dried) grapes from Veneto? I know, it took me by surprise when he first showed me the wines back in 2012. But against all the norms it’s not only a beautiful wine it’s very, very popular. A soupcon of that appessimento style amongst the typicity you expect from Cabernet Sauvignon.
Composed 100% from Cabernet Sauvignon. Appessimento (dried) grapes make up 10 to 15% of the overall blend. The portion of this wine made from these dried grapes are strictly fermented and aged separately from the ‘normal’ fermented grapes, then blended in before aging. Fermented in stainless steel then transferred into barrel for 36 months or so. Only 10% now sees small barrel (500ltr) with the rest in 3000ltr, all Slavonian oak.
“The 2017 is an Amarone that dreams of being a Pinot Noir.” – Vinous
The quote above captures nicely the vision of Stefano Camperdelli for his wines. Marion doesn’t sit inside the Classico zone and is very lucky to be sat right on top of some wonderful calcareous soils. Photos of these can be found on our website. Elegance, not something that is often associated with red wines from this style and region is a common word used by many critics and trade professionals over the years, all in context of course considering the winemaking process of these wines.
This wine is constructed of predominately Corvina and Corvinone with Rondinella however 100% of the wine is made using the apppassimento method. The bunches are and sorted into small bespoke trays and dried for 4 to 8 weeks. These components are fermented together in stainless steel then transferred into barrel for 36 months or so. Only 10% now sees small barrel (500ltr) with the rest in 3000ltr, all Slavonian oak.
“Masses of black cherry, woodland herbs, crushed rocks, mocha and hints of ground ginger create an enthralling bouquet as the 2017 Amarone della Valpolicella opens in the glass. There are depths of dark textural fruits and spices, yet what is most impressive are the vibrant acids and saline-mineral tones that create seductive contrast, as this comes across as amazingly juicy and fresh. There’s not a hard edge in sight, as it tapers off long and lightly structured, yet impossibly finessed. Wow. The 2017 is an Amarone that dreams of being a Pinot Noir.” Eric Guido, Vinous – 94 points
The vintage is not a typo. Current release is 2012, a passion project for Marion and one I am so grateful they pursue. Trebbiano and Garganega. 100% Appassimento (dried) grapes. Pressed, fermented in steel then aging in old barrel. 7 years in barrel before bottling, such a delicious wine.
“The 2012 Passito Bianco is exotic and floral, but also incredibly fresh, showing tropical florals, dried apricots, cinnamon and hints of tangerine. Its oily textures are nicely cut by bright acids, as this coats along the palate with sweet citrus tones, hints of mango, banana and vanilla custard that soothes. This is wonderfully balanced, leaving almond paste and vanilla custards. The 2012 is packed full of opulence, yet supremely balanced as well. It’s a blend of Garganega and Trebbiano Toscano.” – Vinous