Eric Asimov Features Le Ragose Amarone in “The Pour”
The following is an excerpt from Wine Director Charles Scicolone’s recent “Wine Opinion” about Amarone (“An Amarone Is an Amarone Is an Amarone…”):
One year at the [Vinitaly wine fair in Verona], we were very pleased with the wines from Le Ragose, a winery that makes excellent Amarone and Valpolicella Classico. Unfortunately, they were being brought into the United States by another company. After some negotiations, they agreed to make our own private label using their family name, Galli. All went well and the wines were on our shelves and selling. Then one day, out of the blue, Nicola received a letter from an attorney representing the Gallo winery of California. The letter stated that the name Galli was “too close” to the name Gallo and, therefore, it stated, that Nicola had to “cease and desist” selling the wine. Not wanting to endure the wrath of the great wine company of the west, Nicola decided to contact the Galli family and tell them the problem. They responded by making a new label and now the wine is called Capitel Sant’Eugenio. It’s named after a lovely small chapel, devoted to Sant’Eugenio (St. Eugene), which lies on the Galli family estate.
Even though the wines have gone through three different labels, they are great wines, having all the characteristics of Amarone and Valpolicella Classico. These are traditional-style aged in large botti, the old oak casks that we at Vino prefer over new barrique. The botti give you all the big luscious flavor or Amarone but at the same time you still have the good acidity and a wine that can go with food. Last year, we drank Capitel Sant’Eugenio Amarone by the Galli family for Thanksgiving.
In the immortal words of the great bard Shakespeare, who, although he never traveled to Italy, knew it well and loved the country: “an Amarone by any other name…” But don’t tell the Gallo family.