Production area: The Valpolicella classica region. Specifically, the best vineyards on the hills surrounding the towns of Marano di Valpolicella, Fumane and San Pietro in Cariano.
Grape varieties: Corvina and Corvinone (80%), Rondinella (20%).
The grapes are left to dry for about 100 days before pressing.
Yield: 48 quintals per hectare.
Ageing: 24 months in large Slavonian oak barrels, 18 months in 225-litre-size, medium toasted French oak barrels and not less than 2 years in bottles.
Alcohol 15.5% vol.
Total acidity 5.5-6‰.
Sensory impressions: A dark, ruby red colour with garnet hues, it has a wide, complex and refined nose, with intriguingly soft and sensual notes of sour cherry jam, maraschino cherries, prunes and dried figs, forest floor, an infusion of red flowers and a strong touch of dark chocolate. A rich, powerful palate with lively tannins; its high alcohol is well balanced by an acid note, reminiscent of crunchy raspberries.
Serving temperature: 16-18° C.
Recommended food pairings: A few years of cellaring make it the ideal complement for the most luscious dishes of international cuisine, such as hare “à la Royale” and roast snipe, as well as recipes featuring white truffle. At a riper age, it becomes a more brooding, “meditation” wine, best savoured alone or with some ripe Castelmagnocheese.
Longevity: If well stored, it continues to evolve and improve for many years.
Curiosities: “In 1964 I decided to produce a truly superior wine that would combine a powerful texture with the most elegant aromas and pleasing roundness. Since then however, the perfect microclimate and seasonal conditions needed to produce our “Gioè” have only occurred seventeen times.” [Giancarlo Begnoni]
Santa Sofia, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 'Gioè' DOCG, 2011