Vintage Edition Secco 2019, Bertani
This fascinating limited edition wine deliberately goes back to the way that the top wines of Valpolicella were crafted historically between the 1860s and 1930s, before the invention of Amarone. Intriguingly, this is aged 100% in barrels, but there is 0% oak, as the barrels are made entirely of chestnut and cherry wood – a tradition going back centuries in this part of Italy. What does it taste like? In short, amazingly complex, without being overbearingly heavy. Cocoa, espresso, dried cherry, tobacco, truffle and antique wood greet the nose, while on the palate there is liquorice, spice, roasted chestnuts, cranberries and more than a hint of forest floor. All this is knit together by spritely acidity, and there is an overlay of gentle tannin, giving it beautiful old-school elegance. A must-try wine!