When scanning through the list of wines I have in my Liebherrs looking for a match for confit duck, I really had in mind a Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or Riesling. I also fancied that a top Alsace Pinot Gris with good acidity might fit the bill, but I knew I had no such thing. However, I stopped when I found this Amarone as I thought it would be worth a punt. I was pleased with myself for being so imaginative – then a bit miffed to find Google telling me that Amarone is quite commonly paired with duck. I had no idea.
What a match I thought I had discovered! It is quite rare these days that I am so wowed by a particular wine-food combination. The hefty body of the wine matched the weight of the duck pound for pound, the intense fruit aromas worked as a cherry sauce for the simply reheated confit duck, and the marked acidity and astringency refreshed the palate admirably. Here’s my tasting note:
Vigne Alte, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Zeni, Museo del Vino, 2004: Medium garnet. Intense deep cherries and spice, with a touch of maturity on the nose that came out even stronger on the palate. There was also an edginess to the nose – it was not soft and round. On the palate, medium high acidity, and sweet fruit. More astringent than most wines I drink, but not harsh. Excellent length, with fruity spicy finish. The wine carries the 15% alcohol well. Good now, but I think this might continue to improve for several years. In all aspects this goes well with confit duck. The Euro equivalent of £14.00 direct from the producer in 2008, and I see Tanner’s are now selling the 2007 for around £30. *****
I am not sure why it says “Museo del Vino” on the label, but sure enough Zeni do have a museum at their premises just outside Bardolino on Lake Garda. Here is an exciting grape drying rack in the museum.
Seriously though, I remember it as being more informative than most wine museums and it is well worth a visit if you are in the area. They also have a large tasting area in the same building. A prior appointment is certainly not necessary, and when we were there I seem to remember the cheaper wines were free and self-service from a machine, whilst there was a modest fee for the better wines like this Amorone.
Hmm… maybe they put “Museo del Vino” on the label to get some free publicity.