After pressing and fermentation of the grapes, the subsequent step is to age the wine.
Ageing refers to the time between the end of fermentations and bottling, which varies according to a series of wine factors and which paves the way for a harmonious evolution of the components that make up the colour, the aroma and the flavour. Wines mature in wooden containers of various sizes and woods.
Santi uses barrels in the 25–80 hectolitre range for Amarone, with an average capacity of 40 hectolitres.
The decision to use large wood is based on the low ratio between the wine and the contact with the surface of the barrel.This means there is less risk of oxygenation and fewer aromas passing into the wine from the wood.Certainly, there is an ideal relationship, differing from one wine to another, dictated both by the style sought and experience gained.
In this way, a slow polymerization of phenolic substances occurs during ageing and the maturing time for the wine extends; there is also a greater palate balance because of the bonds established among the hundreds of different molecules present in the wine.Only the allowing plenty of time in a micro-oxygenating environment will bring about the ideal conditions to develop new complex aromatic molecules that are fragrant and stable.
Over several years the wine is racked from one barrel to another, allowing elimination of substances that fail to find a balance and that drop to the bottom of the barrel.
The advantage of “traditional” ageing is that it makes the varietal fragrances of Amarone more recognizable and stabilizes a wine in four years from chemo-physical and – above all – organoleptic perspectives.
A wine that will highlight pleasing nose–palate complexity and have a long bottle life.