“The 1981 Amarone Classico is flat-out beautiful. At 30+ years of age it boasts tremendous richness and depth, especially for a wine of its era. Chocolate, Earl Grey tea, dried cherries, crushed flowers and cedar are some of the notes that add a measure of nuance to this powerful, muscular Amarone. The growing season was marked by warm summertime temperatures that led to an early harvest. Today, the 1981 is an eloquent reminder of just how well Amarone can age.”
The 1981 I Sodi di San Niccolò comes across as a bit of a brute in this tasting. It shows some of the wilder elements of Sangiovese in its dark red fruit, savory herbs, game, mocha, licorice and smoke. This is a bit unrestrained and even rustic, yet I find it hard to be too critical when a wine has aged this well after 30 years. With time in the glass, many of the more rustic notes dissipate. This is an outstanding effort.