Last night I attended the opening of a new wine shop called Barolo and the adjacent associated restaurant called Balducci. Good food - the various roasts and grilled meats were most excellent. Unfortunately and oddly enough, we had to make do with some blah South African wine to go with the food.
I was just about ready to leave when Luciano, the owner of the wine shop struck up a conversation with our group and promised to open something interesting. I stuck around and a few minutes later he produced a bottle of Giuseppe Campagnola Amarone della Valpolicella 2003. The wine was surpsingly pale-just a shade darker than a Burgundy. Good nose with chocolate and dried fruit mostly. Medium-bodied. Already quite approachable although the tannins are still prominent on the finish. Sweet, bittersweet chocolate on the palate. A friend of mine suggested figs as well. Maybe it was the power of suggestion but yes, there were figs in there as well. Some smoke and leather character was there, too. The finish was quite long with a Campari-like bitterness to it. Campari is an acquired taste but I like it so the finish was not a problem for me. A very good wine that will probably still have room to develop although it is drinking quite well now.