(RP=96) The 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico was bottled seven months before I tasted it. Grapes undergo a four-month appassimento for extra concentration and intensity. Despite this heavy-handed winemaking technique (in which the clusters lose up to 30% of their water mass in the air-drying process), this is a surprisingly delicate and nuanced wine. The aging process has definitely broken down and assimilated any of the hard edges that come from dried grapes. In its wake, the wine is polished and tight with a long, silky texture. (AG=96) The 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella is a real stunner. Rich, seductive and generous, the 2007 captures all of the intensity of the year. Wild red cherry, licorice, menthol, spice, vanillin seem to envelop every corner of the palate. Sumptuous and yet very much classic in its weight and feel, 2007 Amarone is a winner. The 2007 can be enjoyed now, but it also has enough stuffing to drink well for many years to come, although it will likely not be as long-lived as some other recent vintages. I doubt that will be a concern for most readers. This is a fabulous wine by any measure. A 2007 Riserva, as well as Alzero, will follow. (WS=95) This finely tuned version hits a sweet spot, offering an integration of creamy tannins, lightly juicy acidity and an ample range of flavor, with baked currant, rich, smoky mineral and wild herb notes accented by hints of orange peel, leather and cacao. Displays density and power through to the lasting, spiced finish, but this remains graceful, caressing the palate throughout. Drink now through 2032.