What could be better for Valentine’s Day than a wine named “to fall in love with”? In the spirit of celebrating Saint Valentine, I opened one of my favorite wines: Bodega Renacer’s Enamore. Despite the translation from the Spanish, the wine’s name is actually a nearly perfect anagram for Amarone, a type of wine produced in Italy’s Veneto region. And there is a lot to fall in love with here.
Enamore is a collaboration between Mendoza’s Bodega Renacer and Allegrini of Italy, one of the leading producers of Amarone. Amarone is made from grapes that have been partially dried to the point where they have lost about one-third of their weight. Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes are hand-harvested and laid out on straw trays and allowed to dry naturally over about four months. In the case of Enamore, the grapes are dried on the vine; Mendoza’s long fall and dry climate make this an ideal environment for doing so.
The blend here is 60% Malbec, 23% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Syrah, and 3% Bonarda. Alberto Antonini, international wine consultant, teamed up with Allegrini’s Paolo Mascanzoni, and Renacer’s winemaker Pablo Profili.
Drying the grapes concentrates not only the flavors, but also the sugar in the grapes. The result is a complex wine with layers of flavors backed by 14.5% alcohol and 8 grams/liter of residual sugar. The residual sugar is evident on the palate, but, as is the case with all the great wines that have residual sugar, the sweetness is balanced by a juicy acidity.
In the glass, the Enamore is a medium to dark ruby-purple. The nose is an incredibly intense mix of dried fruits, predominantly raisins and dates, cedar, and black cherry. The palate has the fruits found on the nose, plus chocolate, almonds, and a Port-like quality. Despite having been aged in new French oak for 12 months, this is not an “oaky” wine. The finish is long and luscious, with chocolate and a slight nuttiness. Perfect for sharing with your loved one today.