Amarone della Valpolicella Classico “Sant’Urbano” DOCG
The Speri family has been making wine in the Valpolicella Classico appellation since the early nineteenth century, deeply focusing on preserving the local heritage and highlighting the unique terroir, cultivating only native Valpolicella clones and epitomizing the most authentic expression of the appellation. Every one of the Speri vineyards is in the Classico area and total 60 hectares (148 acres), in the finest districts: Fumane, Negrar, and San Pietro in Cariano. And the estate-owned vineyards themselves are divided into distinct crus: La Roverina, Sant’Urbano and La Roggia.
The name Valpolicella contains the Italian word for “valley” for a reason. But the entire Valpolicella appellation is not so much a single valley as a number of small valleys fanning out towards the hills behind Verona. Its wonderful climate, abundant sources of water and gently rolling landscape have made this a densely inhabited territory throughout the centuries. The Classico area of the Valpolicella appellation’s historic core covers a mere fifth of the DOC’s total territory. It enjoys excellent, elevated terrain in the Alpine foothills and a mild climate you would not expect at this northerly latitude.
The Speri family is now seven generations in, and deeply proud of being a family-owned and sustained operation, with three generations currently involved. Pioneers in their own right, the family is even responsible for creating the “Pergoletta Speri” training system that is considered the most effective training system there is for Amarone in the area, designed to give the grapes more sun exposure and essential ventilation.
The hillside vineyards are also cultivated using traditional marogne, which are stone walls that create terracing on the slope. Not only do they protect against washout, but they also retain heat well. They also provide shelter to a vast array of insects thus helping maintain balance in the ecosystem.
After already many years of sustainable agriculture, the Speri vineyards have been certified organic since 2015. Their ultimate goal is to get as close as possible to a naturally balanced agricultural ecosystem by implementing practices that combine a knowledge of ecology, plant physiology, biochemistry and the study of insect behavior.
Amarone is the king of Veronese wines, not to mention Italian wines. It combines power and softness, evolving to Port-like lusciousness over three decades or more, showing grandeur and depth. It starts off like Valpolicella, but select bunches of the perfect grapes are lengthily dried on traditional arele racks in special fruit drying lofts after harvest, to achieve greater concentration.
Speri Amarone is made from Corvina, Rondinella, and Corvinone, grown in the estate’s most prestigious cru, a single hillside vineyard called Sant’Urbano. This vineyard features calcareous-cretaceous soil of volcanic origin that retains humidity, protecting it from drought. The whole vineyard extends 19 hectares.
The grapes are hand-picked and then re-sorted to find only the best bunches in late September. They then dry for about 100-120 days under ideal conditions in terms of temperature, humidity and ventilation. They lose about 41% of their initial weight, enhancing concentration and sugar levels. In mid-January, the grapes are soft-pressed and de-stemmed. This is followed by about thirty-six days of maceration on the skins with periodic pumping over and délestage. The wine completes fermentation in large oak barrels and then ages twenty-four months in oak, eighteen months in Slavonian oak barrels and twelve months in bottle.
Very deep and intense bouquet with spicy, aromatic and jammy notes combining power and finesse; a prelude to a palate that is rich, sensuous, highly structured and complex, lingering on and on. Especially cellar-worthy.
Wine exported to
Bermuda, USA, Japan, Puerto Rico, Australia
Most recent awards
- 2016 | Vinous95
- 2016 | Gambero RossoTre bicchieri
- 2016 | James Suckling95
- 2013 | Wine Enthusiast94
- 2013 | Wine Spectator92
- 2010 | Wine Advocate93
- 2009 | Decanter96
70% Corvina veronese and Corvinone, 25% Rondinella, 5% Molinara
Length of alcoholic fermentation:
Type of yeast:
Selected Organic Certified
16-18 °C (60.8-64.4 °F)
Periodic pumpovers and délestage
Length of maceration:
500L and 20-25-40-50hL
tonneaux are new or maximum 5 years old. Big barrels are 10 years old
Type of oak:
Allier for tonneaux, Slavonian for big barrels
Aging before bottling:
Aging in bottle:
Vigneto Monte Sant'Urbano
Fumane, Valpolicella Classica, Veneto
20 hectares (49 acres)
Calcareous, clay and sand with volcanic origins
inclined open pergoletta
280-350 meters (918-1,148 feet) above sea level
98 hl per ha
Age of vines:
Time of harvest:
September 19 to October 4
First vintage of this wine:
Total yearly production (in bottles):
A deep color and a very intense bouquet with spicy, aromatic and jammy notes combining power and finesse; a prelude to a palate that is rich, sensuous, highly structured, complex and persistent. Especially cellar-worthy.
Best served at 16-18 °C (60.8-64.4 °F).
Red meat, game, and aged cheeses. An excellent meditation wine
more than 20 years
Alc. cont.: 15% by vol.