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TONY

WOOD

ITALIAN

WINE

Amarone Opera Prima 2024

This year‘s event in Verona was brought forward to the beginning of February. Unfortunately, I was committed to another event therefore could not attend one of my favourite gatherings in the wine calendar.




As well as missing the tastings of new vintage of Amarone della Valpolicella, I could not participate to the masterclass given by J.C.Viens and Filippo Bartolotta, which is always a highlight of the two day event in Verona.


Thankfully, the Consorzio Valpollicella through their international relations and events, director Nicola Padovano, arranged with the members to send their wines to my office in Umbria. So a delivery of 70 wines arrived to be appraised.


I hereby acknowledge their kind gesture and express my gratitude to all parties involved in making this possible.


I have written extensively describing the four primary styles of wines from Valpolicella in the past. Please check my Amarone Opera Prima Reviews (dated June 24th 2022 and March 24th 2023):



Reference to these styles and the winemaking methods from this area, will assist readers who might not be totally familiar with this denomination to fully engage and appreciate its glorious wines.


The existing preconception of Amarone being:  “Those heavy fruit bombs with huge alcohol content from Verona” does not actually reflect these wines, and it is a huge misnomer or a ‘frozen in time’ concept. My question is: When did you last taste Amarone or wines from Valpollicella?…10 years ago or more?

Styles and quality are constantly changing, whether we are talking about Brunello di Montalcino or Chianti Classico, Barolo, Barbaresco any of the other famous wines of Italy.


The wines from this denomination are actually not the massive fruit bombs, as unjustly labelled yesteryear. Today, they are indeed fruit lead but they have evolved in so many other ways, showing an elegant, lighter style, delivering layered, complex, fresh compelling wines, which given bottle age will develop a rich list of nuances that would impress the most fastidious of us.


Whilst on the subject, another great injustice attributed to Valpollicella wines is the high ABV (alcohol by volume): I have tasted many Valpolicella wines with 15°+ ABV and yet cannot taste the alcohol due to these wines’ exceptional balance.


Finally, at present, this region might not command the international interest of Piedmont, or Tuscany but I recall some 15 to 20 years ago, you couldn’t give burgundy wines away…and now you practically need a bank loan to purchase a case! My point being this region offers exceptional “quality to value” wines giving the imbiber the upper hand…probably just for the moment!


Wishing to wholeheartedly agree with J.C.Viens and other experts: the new dawn of Valpolicella wine appreciation on the international stage is imminent.





Tasting Notes





Benedetti

Croce del Gal

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2012

Dark ruby red in colour with amber reflections. Heady bouquet of dark blue florals, black berry fruits and amarena cherries in alcohol. Blackcurrant, damson, dried fig, sweet tobacco and dark spice. Warm and elegant upon entry. Plush and silky. Tannins and acidity fully engaged. Superb intensity. Epic and memorable. A wine with wide shoulders. Secondary notes of dark chocolate and distant liquorice. A beguiling act of balance.

Points 95 TW


N.B. This wine comes from the Gargagnago area, also referred to as Borgo dell’ Amarone, one of the five historical districts in the Valpolicella Classico region.




Bertani

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2015

Intense ruby red in colour with deep garnet undertones. A cornucopia of blue florals, morello cherry, dark plum, black tea, liquorice, orange peel and dark Eastern spice.

Secondary distant notes of dried Mediterranean herbs, fig and redcurrant berry. Crunchy, fresh rounded tannins vie with poignant acidity. Balanced like a high wire act. Just starting a long, glorious life. Make no mistake: this is one of the great wines of Bertani. A total joy to taste in its infancy.

Points 98+ TW



Biscardo

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2018

Medium ruby red in colour with purple undertones. Aromas of red florals, cherry, Kirsch, cedar and distant clove. Blueberry, blackcurrant, dark plum, Bing cherry with liquorice and dark bitter chocolate. Warm on entry. Agile and juicy. Sweet spicy notes coming off mid palate. Great weight and length. Loiters on the close.

Points 92 TW


NB This is the 50th year of the creation of this distinctive bottle shape.



Boscaini Carlo

San Giorgio

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2017

Medium garnet red in colour. Distinct aromatic profile: cherry in liqueur, thyme, salty liquorice, sweet tobacco and distant vanilla. Rainier cherry, pomegranate, boysenberry and praline. Silky smooth entry, showing warmth around the edges. Crisp, integrated and linear. Tingling spice on the finish.

Points 91 TW


Boscaini Carlo

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2015

Medium garnet red in colour. Aromas of rose petal, blackberry, crushed wild cherry, exotic spice and citrus essence. Plum, pomegranate, salty liquorice, clove and orange peel. Cool entry, simply glides over the palate. Delicate texture with depth and volume. So expressive. Fresh and supple. Vibrating acidity vies with mature rounded tannins. The finish is broad and articulated. Terrific!

Points 95 TW



Bussola

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2018

Intense ruby red in colour with garnet highlights. Aromas of soft warm dark berry fruits, mint and fennel pollen. Rich palate, harmonious, full bodied yet graceful. Finely grained tannins interplay with mild acidity. Distant clove and cinnamon appear, then disappear on the finish. Agile with great length.

Points 93+ TW


N.B. Bussola is one of the great wineries of this denomination, although relatively new: started in 1977.



Ca’ La Bionda

Ravazzol

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2013

Deep ruby red in colour with purple reflections. Heady aromatics of dried dark berry fruits, sweet tobacco, salty liquorice and cherry syrup. Silky entry showing breadth of flavour. Plump and juicy but with exceptional finesse. Striking character. Fresh and agile intensity. Poised and polished. Secondary notes of exotic sweet spice. Savoury and earthy. Distant coffee bean aromas. Velvety tannins with a hint of steel vie with playful acidity. Long articulated close.

Points 95 TW


N.B. These vines are between 50 and 70 years old. The soil structure is mainly limestone, clay and rocks, which greatly assist the fresh character of this wine.



Ca’ Rugate

Punta 470

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2019

Medium garnet red in colour. Aromas of pale pink rose petal, violet, clove and chocolate. Red cherry, raspberry, plum, pomegranate, salty liquorice, mint and pipe tobacco. Smooth silky entry. Lightly textured. Rpe fruit commands all before it. Savoury. Saline infused energy. Juicy. Tannins are compact and slightly dusty. Poignant acidity. Medium length on the finish.

Points 91 TW



Cantina Valpantena

Torre del Falasco

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2019

Medium garnet red in colour. Needs plenty of aeration. Heady aromatics of red rose petal, hyacinth, dark cherry, spice and sweet tobacco. Rainier cherry, boysenberry, salty liquorice, cedar shavings, asphalt and Kirsch. Floats on the mid palate. Has a citrusy edge, which brings a lifted freshness. Linear. Juicy. Warm spicy notes on the close.

Points 90 TW


NB This bottle is named after the brigand Falasco, who used to take refuge in a small tower in the hamlet of Stallavena.



Giuseppe Campagola

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2020

Deep purple in colour. Aromas of damp forest floor, black berry fruits, balsam and rosemary. Blackcurrant, blueberry, distant eucalyptus, cedar notes, sweet toasted tobacco and white smoke. Smooth upon entry. Agile and juicy. Light in texture. Fine tannins balance up with fresh acidity. Tapers slightly from mid palate, then expands to give a broad long finish.

Points 90 TW



Cesari

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2019

Medium ruby red in colour. Intriguing bouquet of pale rose petal, violet and bluebell florals, mint and vanilla. Bing cherry, blonde tobacco, sweet spice and cedar notes. Caressing tannins and mellow acidity welcome the imbiber. Wild and savoury. Focused and youthful. Medium length on the close.

Points 90 TW


Cesari

Bosan Riserva

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva 2015

Deep ruby red in colour. Bouquet of red cherry in spirit, liquorice, dried Mediterranean herbs, bitter chocolate, blue florals and warm leather. Showing ripeness, structure and primary flavours. Superb transparency. Silky textures wrapped around solid core fruit. Layered minerality. Elegant and balanced. Lingers on the close.

Points 94 TW



Colle Cerė

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2018

Pale ruby red in colour. On the nose: mix of chocolate, mint, cherry in spirit and dark sweet spice. Dark cherry, humus, oaky vanilla and almond paste. Appears slightly over extracted on the palate with sweet notes and more than a hint of alcohol warmth.

Points 86 TW



Corte Adami

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2019

Medium garnet red in colour. Concentrated aromas of dark cherry, liquorice, Mediterranean herbs and distant clove. Bing cherry, dewberry, redcurrant, salty liquorice, toasted sweet tobacco. Complex layered minerality. Distinctive spice profile. Muscular yet agile. Sweet entry, full of energy has a tingling effect on the mid palate, slight tension on the back end due to youthful nature. Tannins and acidity in harmony. Medium length on the finish.

Points 93 TW


Corte Adami

Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva DOCG 2015

Intense ruby red in colour. Aromatics of cherry syrup, dark chocolate, cedar notes and clove. Very rich palate. Dark fruits, prune and plum. Distant liquorice notes with a puff of toasted coffee beans. Brooding and super expressive. Saturates the palate with textual depth and volume. Broad and extended on the finish.

Points 94 TW


N.B. Only 1410 bottles of this wine made.



Corte Figaretto

Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena DOCG 2019

Medium ruby red in colour with pink highlights. Aromas of cherry in spirit, bitter orange peel and grilled Mediterranean herbs. Rainier cherry, plum, pomegranate, blood orange, menthol notes, star anise and a dusting of cinnamon. Cool entry, light in texture. Agile and juicy. Fresh. Line of core minerality. Crunchy tannins and spiky acidity. Medium length on the close.

Points 90 TW



Corte Martini

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2017

Deep ruby red in colour with pink translucent rim. Subdued aromatics of cherry, clove, orange peel and blonde tobacco. Dark cherry, plum, blood orange, dried Mediterranean herbs and warm earth. Agile and juicy on entry, noticeable line of core minerality. Pleasant progression with rounded tannins and zingy acidity. Broad and persistent on the finish.

Points 91 TW



Cottini Marco

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2016

Deep garnet red in colour. Bouquet of wild strawberry, blood orange, new leather, sage and distant mint. Bing cherry, eucalyptus, dewberry, liquorice, forest floor and saline infused minerality. Tannins almost dissolved into the wine, leaving behind brisk acidity. Fresh citrusy mouthfeel. Well extracted. Very appealing, articulated long finish.

Points 93 TW



Paolo Cottini

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2018

Deep ruby red in colour. Aromatics of dark blue florals, blackcurrant jam, mint and Kirsch. Black cherry, blackberry, plum, sweet tobacco, exotic spice, dry forest floor, distant cedar notes and vanilla. Smooth entry, line of nervous acidity, sour berries vie with candied citrus peel. Needs time. A little tight on the backend.

Points 88-90 TW



Dal Cero

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2017

Medium ruby red in colour with a pink translucent rim. Beguiling aromas of crushed blackberry fruit, clove, star anise and eucalyptus. Blackcurrant, blackberry, liquorice, dark cherry with a dusting of cinnamon, sweet tobacco and distant balsam notes. Silky entry, showing ultra fine tannins and playful acidity. Juicy and supple. Elegant body. Metallic earthy notes on the back end. Great weight and energy. Graceful and refined.

Points 95 TW



Degani

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2019

Deep garnet red in colour. Aromas of cherries soaked in alcohol, distant clove and orange zest with red rose petal florals. Blueberry, plum, pomegranate, blood orange, dark chocolate, sweet tobacco and floral underbrush. Cool entry, lightly textured. Agile and juicy. Compact tannins and fresh acidity are in harmony. Balanced and focused. Broadens after mid palate showing saline minerality and energy. Bright and translucent on the long finish.

Points 93 TW


Degani

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2019

Medium garnet red in colour. Aromatics of red florals, dried cherry, cedar, mint and white smoke. Bing cherry, plum, salty liquorice, dark bitter chocolate, blood orange with redcurrant jam. On entry: silky tannins abound, mid weight, soft contours and juicy. All together a light feminine style, Burgundian if you like, elegant and compelling.

Points 93-95 TW



Falezze

Luca Anselmi

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2017

Bright ruby red in colour with purple undertones. Beguiling bouquet of cherries in spirit, exotic spice, cedar shavings and red berry fruits. Rainier cherry, loganberry, plum, redcurrant, wild strawberry, distant liquorice and blonde tobacco.Terrific textural depth. Slky tannin structure well integrated with fresh acidity. Poised and polished. Articulated long juicy close.

Points 94 TW



Gini

Tenuta Scajari

Monte Serea

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2015

Aromas of red florals, red berries and sweet scented spice dominate the bouquet. Loganberry, dried herb notes with fennel pollen, salty liquorice, cranberry, dried prune and blood orange with metallic earth notes, alongside mineral notes that give vigour to the mix. Fresh acidity, still in play, lifts the mid palate bringing further energy. Ample and generous. Terrific persistence. Sophisticated. The palate reflects the bouquet. Long articulated finish.

Points 96 TW


Gini

Tenuta Scajari

Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva 2011

Deep ruby red in colour with an amber hue. Aromas of red florals, including peony and rose petal. Dried berry fruits, cedar shavings and eucalyptus nuances. Showing towering structural texture built upon crunchy ripe tannins, poignant acidity and mineral integrity. Inward and intense. Built for a long cellar life. A beguiling act of balance. Broad, juicy and persistent on the finish.

Points 94-96+ TW


N.B. One of the oldest families of winemakers in Monteforte d’ Alpone active since C1500.



La Dama

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2019

Medium ruby red in colour. Heady bouquet of red rose petal, dried cherry, star anise and sweet tobacco. Rainier cherry, plum, pomegranate, balsam, distant violet floral notes, old leather and grilled herbs. On entry, sour cherry notes with zesty acidity and rounded tannins. Plenty of verve. Linear. Savoury. Silky rounded texture. Saline infused minerality on the finish.

Points 92 TW



Le Guaite di Noemi

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2012

Bright ruby red with garnet undertones. Aromatics of blue and white florals. Crushed red berry fruit, sweet tobacco and exotic scented spice. Bing cherry, dark plum, cranberry and black pepper. Silky upon entry. A touch below full bodied. Agile. Great length. Balanced to a micron measure. Secondary nuances of distant Mocha, oaky vanilla with dark chocolate. Shows a natural richness. Juicy long finish.

Points 95 TW



Le Marognole

Campo Rocco

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2018

Medium ruby red with purple highlights in colour. Intense aromatics of black berry fruits in alcohol, toasted pipe tobacco, dried fig and candied orange peel. Blackcurrant, plum, blood orange, cedar notes, fruit cake and balsamic nuances. Compact upon entry, showing core fruit wrapped in vibrating acidity and steel tannins. Muscular and agile. Tons of energy. Broad, long juicy close.

Points 91 TW


Le Marognole

Campo Rocco

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2015

Intense purple with ruby red reflections in colour. A complex display of aromas covering blackcurrant jam, damson, dark cherry, dewberry and blonde tobacco all underpinned by grilled Mediterranean herbs and dark cocoa. Fresh acidity sustains the rich body. Linear intensity. Racy, juicy and agile. Loiters on the close.

Points 92 TW



Luciano Arduini

Simison

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2017

Deep ruby red in colour. Delicate aromatics of red rose petal, violet and bluebell florals. Dark cherry marinated in spirit, boysenberry, plum, salty liquorice, grilled Mediterranean herbs and orange peel. Warm entry, just coats the palate in ripe fresh fruit. Broad line of minerality. Crunchy tannins vie with zesty acidity. Super attractive wine. Creamy and voluptuous. Slightly exotic. Lingers on the close.

Points 94 TW



Marion

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2019

Medium ruby red in colour with dark purple undertones. A medley of cherry nuances, black berry fruits, candied orange peel, black pepper, liquorice, distant clove and cinnamon. Followed by nuances of cocoa and new leather. Great textural integrity. Ultra fine tannins harmonise with playful acidity. Well balanced with great length. Impressive.

Points 94 TW



Massimago

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2018

Medium ruby red in colour. Aromas of red and black berry fruits in spirit, star anise, clove and orange peel. Dark cherry, blackcurrant, damson, sweet tobacco, liquorice, white smoke and distant balsamic notes. Warm entry. Silky texture. Just float across the palate. Such poise. Beautifully extracted. Gives layers of pleasure. A line of minerality and acidity keeps the energy pumping. Rich and seamless. Loiters on the articulated finish.

Points 95 TW




Montecariano

Camini Monca

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2018

Purple in colour with bright pink reflections. Aromatics of pink rose petal, gardenia florals, cherries in syrup and floral underbrush. Bing cherry, pomegranate, cranberry, raspberry jam, sweet toasted tobacco, salty liquorice and clove. Warm entry. Agile and juicy. Savoury. Dense and sumptuous. Great textural richness. Very elegant body. Hauntingly long finish.

Points 94 TW



Monte Castelon

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2018

Pale ruby red in colour. Aromas of spring meadow flowers, mint and floral underbrush. Red cherry, pomegranate, blood orange, sweet tobacco, clove and dried Mediterranean herbs. Delicate and lightly textured upon entry. Fresh and supple. Juicy. Mid weight with youthful intensity. A touch of dryness on the finish.

Points 91 TW



Monte Dall’Ora

Stropa

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2013

Intense ruby red in colour. Aromatics of dried fruits, raisin, prune, fig with wild forest berries. Red cherry, plum, green pepper, balsamic nuances and dark chocolate. On the palate it is intense, complex with pinpoint balance. Fruity core surrounded by integrated tannins and acidic profile. Spicy notes appear on the finish.Very quaffable. Persistent with a broad close.

Points 95 TW


N.B. The name Stropa comes from the willow suckers, called Stroppa, used for centuries in Valpolicella to tie the vine shoots. The vines from this estate are over 50 years of age and are cultivated with the ancient ‘married vine’ system arranged in rows, supported and interrupted by tall trees such as Mulberry and Almond.



Monte Del Frà

Tenuta Lena di Mezzo

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2019

Deep garnet in colour. Bouquet led by purple florals, rose petal, cherries in spirit, mint and sweet tobacco. Ripe red cherry, new leather, floral underbrush, star anise, orange peel and distant strawberry with green top. Warm entry, agile and juicy. Pepper infused chocolate and balsam are some of the nuances following on from mid palate. Stringent acidity sustains the rich body. Tapers slightly before medium length finish.

Points 90-92 TW


Monte Del Frà

Scarnocchio

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico riserva DOCG 2017

Deep ruby red in colour with garnet rim. Heady aromatics include red and blue florals alongside cherries marinated in spirit, clove, cinnamon and black pepper. Rainier cherry, loganberry, plum, leather, exotic spice and underbrush. Elegant body. Boisterous and super expressive. Complex and layered. Shadows of fine tannins and fresh acidity. Built for a long road.

Points 94 TW



Monte Santoccio

Nicola Ferrari

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico riserva DOCG 2015

Deep and intense ruby red in colour with garnet undertones. Heady aromatics of dark blue florals, exotic spice infused red and black fruits. Dark cherry, blackcurrant, damson, plum, mint, distant puff of roasted coffee beans. On entry: a silky, spicy, juicy imbibe. Agile with great weight and complexity. Stunning textual richness. So much on offer. Standout wine. Fruit flavours in bold print. A glorious indulgence.

Points 97 TW



Monteci

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2018

Intense ruby red in colour with garnet reflections. Aromas of dark spice scent, cherry in spirit, redcurrant, clove and menthol infused herbs. Dark cherry, plum, salty liquorice, sweet tobacco, orange peel and almond. Warm, agile and juicy upon entry. Expressive. Great volume and density in texture. Vanilla nuances come and go on the back end along with cedar notes. Very concentrated and linear.

Points 92 TW



Montezovo

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2019

On the nose, crushed red rose petal, dried prune, fig, currants all macerated in alcohol and essence of clove. Blackcurrant, dark cherry, plum, salty liquorice, dried Mediterranean herbs, white smoke and candied orange peel. Silky warm entry, just tiptoes across the palate, giving layers of pleasure. Rich, broad and juicy. Beautifully put together. Glorious mouthfeel on the close.

Points 95+ TW



Montresor

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2020

Medium ruby red in colour. Fresh aromas of orange blossom, star anise and grapefruit zest appear first on the nose. Red cherry, loganberry, orange peel, liquorice and dried Mediterranean herbs. Rich and inviting, Juicy. Lightly textured. Mid weight with terrific length. Fine tannins vie with fresh acidity.

Points 90 TW


Montresor

Capitel della Crosara

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2016

Intense ruby red in colour. Aromas of baked plum, dark spice and fig all under a dusting of cocoa. Black cherry, dried Mediterranean herbs, Mocha. Rich and firmly structured. Enveloping wine with a distinctive spice and aromatic profile. Racy personality. Tannins blending with playful acidity. Long, articulated finish.

Points 94 TW



Nicolis

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2019

Deep ruby red in colour. Aromas of red rose petal, violet and distant lavender. Warm, ripe red cherry, boysenberry, salty liquorice and underbrush. Silky entry, layered and complex,. Broadens from mid palate showing medium depth textual volume. Balanced. Sharp acidic edge brings freshness and direction. Loiters on the close.

Points 93 TW


Nicolis

Ambrosan

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2015

Deep garnet red in colour with ruby red undertones. Aromas of dried berry fruits, cedar notes and distant clove. Rainier cherry, plum, orange peel, raspberry, blonde tobacco, powdered bitter chocolate and saddle leather. Warm, rich and inviting upon entry. Massive textual depth and volume. Luscious soft curves. Elegant and poised. Iron fist in a velvet glove. Finish that goes on for minutes.

Points 96 TW



Novaia

Corte Vaona

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2018

Medium garnet red in colour. Needs plenty of aeration. Dark cherries in spirit, blackcurrant and crushed herbs make up the bouquet profile. Bing cherry, dewberry, salty liquorice, clove, cocoa, sweet tobacco and distant eucalyptus. Elegant upon entry coats the palate with rich juicy fruit. Medium textual density. Fresh acidity that drives energy. Orange zest nuances come and go on the backend. Compellingly wine with tremendous resonance. Lingers on the broad close.

Points 93+ TW


N.B. Called Corte Vaona because of the ancient paved courtyard in front of the estate winerey.


Novaia

Le Balze

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2017

Aromas of blue florals and red berry fruits, alongside a whiff of fresh espresso. Amarena cherry, black berry fruit, dark spice, bitter chocolate, sweet toasted tobacco and dry leather. Well extracted. Dense and sumptuous. Juicy. Shadow of residual tannin tension. Interesting line of core minerality. Broad on the finish.

Points 91 TW



Piccoli

La Parte

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2016

Intense ruby red in colour with garnet undertones. Distinctive aromatic profile of ripe red berry fruit, blackcurrant, blueberry and violet florals with oaky vanilla. Bing cherry, dewberry, plum, salty liquorice, black pepper and distant saddle leather. Silky smooth entry. Rounded tannins vie with fresh mellow acidity. Intensity of broad fruit flavour. Tight and polished. Super attractive wine. Built for a long cellar life.

Points 93-95 TW


N.B. Very small production, 1000 bottles or less in the very best vintages. A winery that values contemporaneity in its winemaking.




Pieropan

Vigna Monte Garzon

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2017

Deep garnet red in colour with ruby undertones. Aromas of warm, wild berry fruits of the forest, floating in a liquorice infused balsamic pool. Dried red cherry, blackcurrant, damson, dark plum with blonde tobacco. Showing broad shoulders on entry. Crunchy tannins and zesty acidic profile: the latter, giving the mid palate a lift. Showing freshness and rich textual depth. Long articulated finish.

Points 94 TW



Roccolo Callisto

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2016

Intense ruby red in colour. A generous evocative nose of crushed red cherry, orange peel and dried berries with sweet scented spice. Bing cherry, fruits of the forest, distant liquorice, leather and dark chocolate. On entry, a rich complex elegant body. Well extracted and in total harmony. Broad and juicy on the close.

Points 95 TW


Roccolo Callisto

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2017

Medium ruby red in colour. Subdued bouquet of cherry in spirit, dried Mediterranean herbs, pepper and white smoke. Dark cherry, plum, dark wild berries, distant eucalyptus and salty liquorice. Silky and rich upon entry. Layered complexity. Poised and polished. Integrated tannins and acidic structure. Fresh citrus peel nuances on the back end. Lingers on the close.

Points 93+ TW



Rubinelli Vajol

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2016

Intense ruby red in colour with purple undertones. Distinctive aromatic profile of a medley of cherries, floral underbrush and dark scented spice with grilled Mediterranean herbs. Rainier cherry, loganberry, plum, orange peel, blonde tobacco and a whiff of roasted coffee bean alongside liquorice. Upon warm entry, ultra fine tannins vie with playful acidity. Textual depth and volume is unmissable. Edgy and primary. A wonderful indulgence.

Points 95 TW



Sabaini

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2019

Deep ruby red in colour. An olfactory complexity of note: red rose petal, cedar shavings, oaky vanilla, orange peel and mellow spice. Blueberry, damson, plum, wild cherry and almond paste. A cool entry slowly unfolds, showing a rich velvety texture with a clean line of minerality that gives vigour. Chalky tannins and mellow acidity. Body sculptured by the School of Michelangelo. Saline infused energy. Medium length on agile, juicy finish. Wow!

Points 96 TW



San Rustico

Gaso

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2015

Deep garnet red in colour. Elegant aromas of baked plum, cherry in spirit, green almond and clove. Red cherry, pomegranate, blood orange, liquorice, sweet tobacco with further aromas of violet florals. Silky warm entry. Solid core of ripe fruits encircled by fine tannins and minty acidity. Totally seamless. Full bodied and yet showing great finesse. Natural breadth. Finish last for minutes. Long cellar life ahead. Impressive.

Points 95-97 TW



Santa Sofia

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2019

Deep ruby red in colour with garnet undertones. Aromas of red cherry, dried berries, star anise and a dusting of chocolate. Bing cherry, plum, loganberry, almond, sweet tobacco and essence of citrus. Agile and juicy upon entry with notes of distant liquorice, wild strawberry and cedar. Medium bodied. Freshness that gives suppleness. Ultra fine tannins engage with zingy acidity. Balanced. Articulated close.

Points 92+ TW



Sartoni di Verona

Reius

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2018

Medium to deep ruby red in colour. Aromatics of dark cherry, floral underbrush and mellow cake spice. Dark cherry, dewberry, plum, blackcurrant, walnut, oaky vanilla, dark chocolate and distant eucalyptus. Warm and rich upon entry. Complex and layered. Tangy acidity vies with chalky but compact tannins. Freshness frames the wine. Suave and delicate. Leaves a fresh fruity mouthfeel.

Points 94 TW


Sartori di Verona

Corte Brà

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2016

Heady aromatics of cherries in syrup, red forest berries, cedar, almond, oaky vanilla and cocoa. Medley of warm soft cherries, liquorice, sweet scented spice and toasted blonde tobacco. Velvety entry. Notes of morello cherry and citrus zest follow on from mid palate. Metallic earth notes make a short appearance. The wine is so expressive the finish is both juicy and lingering.

Points 93 TW



Secondo Marco

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2015

Deep ruby red in colour. Aromatics of blackberry fruits, cherry, dried raisin with blue florals. Blackcurrant, plum, dark scented spice, a whiff of roasted coffee beans, followed by floral underbrush and distant menthol notes. Compact tannins vie with playful acidity. Dense textural volume. Tight and polished. Very persistent finish.

Points 95 TW



Seiterre

Orizzonti

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2018

Medium ruby red in colour. Bouquet of crushed red rose petal, peony, dried cherry, raspberry coulis and dark spice. Needs plenty of aeration. Red cherry, plum, candied orange peel, salty liquorice, mint and dried Mediterranean herbs. Cool entry, expands rapidly across the mid palate showing textual depth and a line of saline infused energy. Tannins in the process of relaxing fully engaged with spiky acidity. Fresh juicy and agile. Medium to long finish.

Points 92+ TW



Salvaterra

Save the Land

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2018 (second tasting) first tasting posted: March 24th 2023

Medium to pale garnet red in colour. Subdued aromas of humus and red fruit. On entry rich palate. Acidic heat that simmers is deep. Taut and non-expressive.

Points 84 TW


Salvaterra

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2018

Deep garnet red in colour. Aromatics of cherry, Kirsch, vanilla, spring florals with cut stems. Red cherry, tobacco, tree bark notes and salty liquorice. Warm entry, lightly textured, slightly citrusy character. Alcohol warmth after mid palate. Freshness due to stringent acidity. Broad and long on the close.

Points 87 TW



Terre di Leone

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2012

Deep garnet red in colour. Aromatics of dried red and black berry fruit, violet florals, sweet scented spice, leather and white smoke. Blueberry, loganberry, plum, oaky vanilla, blonde tobacco, orange peel and a dusting of dark chocolate. The palate reflects the bouquet. On entry, the wine saturates the palate with great depth and volume. Fresh and vibrant with plush tannins and mellow acidity. Full of character. Broad intense finish.

Points 94 TW



Terre di Terzolan

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2017

Bright ruby red in colour. Aromas of fresh red cherry in alcohol, sweet toasted tobacco, liquorice, baked plum and dark exotic spice. Morello cherry, candied orange peel, floral underbrush, dry leather, distant eucalyptus, lead pencil, vanilla and white smoke.

Cool entry. Light in textual depth but broad and juicy. Opens up after mid palate to show complexity and volume. Great energy. Balanced and linear. Savoury. Leaves fresh mouthfeel.

Points 93 TW



Tenuta Santa Maria

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico riserva DOCG 2017

Intense ruby red in colour. Aromatics of blue and purple florals with dark berry fruits, crushed red rose and dark spice. Bing cherry, blueberry, blackberry, dark plum, orange peel and bitter dark chocolate. Agile and complex on the palate. Compact tannins vie with fresh acidity. Has clarity and precision. Makes the deepest impression. A cool wine from a hot year.

Points 94+ TW



Valentina Cubi

Morar

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2015 (Second tasting)

Intense ruby red in colour. Heady and lifted bouquet of dried fruit, bitter chocolate, oaky vanilla notes and dark berry fruit with distant nuances of blue florals. Bing cherry, liquorice, prune, worn leather and white smoke. Crunchy tannins and stringent acidity are a mere shadow of the former selves. Harmony rules the day. Still showing drive and power.

Points 94 TW



Tenuta Villa Bellini

Centenarie

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2016

Bright, intense ruby red in colour. On the nose, fresh spring florals and pale rose petal, mildly spiced red cherry, raspberry and dried raisin. Dark cherry, wild strawberry, plum, liquorice and vanilla. On entry, silky with a rich body, ultra fine tannins interplay with citrus peel. Distant mineral notes give vigour. A unique imprint on the middle palate. Such poise and class. Finish goes on a marathon. Wow!

Points 97 TW



Villa Canestrari

Phanos

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2021

Medium garnet red in colour. Subtle aromas of pale pink rose petal, gardenia, dried cherry and dark plum. Red cherry, raspberry, liquorice, mellow spice, citrus zest and blonde tobacco. Warm and attractive on entry. Agile and juicy. Lightly textured with rounded tannins and fresh engaging acidity. Peppery nuances on the back end. Broad, fresh articulated finish.

Points 90-92 TW


Villa Canestrari

Plenum

Amarone  della Valpolicella Riserva DOCG 2017

Medium to deep garnet red in colour. Lifted floral aromatics of rose petal, violet, hyacinth and lavender florals. Red cherry, redcurrant, pomegranate, raspberry, liquorice, mellow spiced tobacco and orange peel. Warm and velvety on entry, coats the palate with complex layers of liquid joy. The breath of flavour is so expressive it pushes the palate to the extreme. Wave after wave of ripe fruit. So juicy and agile, yet linear and persistent. Impressive.

Points 96+ TW




Villabella

Fracastoro Riserva

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva 2013

Intense ruby red in colour. Aromas of cherry compote, dark scented sweet spice and a whiff of cocoa. Chelan and Durone cherry. Distant clove and cinnamon. Blonde tobacco and dark plum. On entry the balance leads towards dry. Linear. Savoury. Persistent. Refined. Muscular and classy.

Points 95+ TW




Vigneti di Ettore

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2013

Bright, intense ruby red in colour. Heady and lifted aromatics of cherries marinated in spirit, star anise, fennel pollen, dried fruit and a muted rose and lavender floral scent. Bing cherry, sweet scented dark spice, blonde pipe tobacco, liquorice, orange peel and worn leather. Very elegant body. Tannins almost dissolved into the wine. Seamless. Creamy. Voluptuous. Stunning textural richness. Balanced. Considerable appeal. A liquid pleasure bomb!

Points 98 TW




© Tony Wood Italian Wine 2024

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