Understanding Amarone

Exploring Italy’s misunderstood masterpiece.

Meaty, leathery, and  spicy on the nose with big dried cherry fruit. while showing some wood in the mouth this remains smooth and polished, and attractively a little light bodied, if rich with alcohol. Attractive flavors of candied bitter cherry fruit are rather refined with a dusty mineral note and good length. Large scaled and elegant is ultimately a touch simple. 88pts
Super meaty on the nose with a spicy note that recalls freshly  grated ginger along with notes of leather and a vegemite earthiness. In the mouth this is richer than the 08, smooth and more pliant and obviously fruity with spicy dried fruit character and less minerality. A bit more drying tannin is wrapped in the dark dried fruits that feature an accent of bright red berry acid, through the  fantastic finish, which is long with great freshness. This is complex and quite complete. 93pts
A selection of the best grapes, aged in new botte, 5hl tonneaux  French, then a selection of the best tonneaux
Big and spicy on the nose with intense aromas that are earthy, deep and savory with macerated herb stems, and an almost stock like meaty richness.  Seamless on the palate with impressive richness and full bing cherry fruit,  dried berries and wood spice. Simply a superb texture and depth of flavor wraps around the palate finishing with very complex mineral accent and contrasting bitterness, and savory earthy flavors match the persistence of fruit right through the exceptionally long finish. 95pts
Less fruit, and more of a floral character on the nose than one finds with the 2007, though this grows in the glass revealing intense savoriness and  super complex, spicy, subtle dried fruit , and melted licorice aromas, picking up Iittle coffee candy and black pepper nuances with additional time in the glass. Seamless and really quite elegant on the palate with transparent and fresh red cherry fruit framed with gentle spice notes and an earthy cast, then fine mineral notes, white and rusty, emerge on the backend and over the creamy palate through the moderately long, very pure finish. 94pts
Bottled August 2012 to be released in  January 2014
Raw beef, fresh wild herbs, chocolate, malt, and a low spice character all come together on the explosive nose. In the mouth this is elegant and rich, really handling its weight quite well. there’s gorgeous fruit here. Bright and a bit chewy with black cherry almost blackcurranty flavors that pick up a little cured black olive with air. The backend shows a hint of drying tannin adding weight through the nearly endless finish. Defines iron fist in a velvet glove. A powerhouse. 97pts
Bottled in 2013
Huge on the nose with lots of black spice with toasted coriander, sassafras, a bit of honey comb, and lots of marzipan layered over rich, warm dried berry fruits. one is immediately struck by the lack of an aggressiveness on entry. This gently floods the palate with lightly spiced fresh red berry fruit, strawberry preserves, small wild amarena cherry, all showing near perfect integration through the long elegant finish. Totally refined and gorgeous, the tannins have great polish but haven't lost their texture, and the the fruit is remarkably fresh. the wine of the vintage in Italy? 94pts

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Top 10 Amarone tasted 11/13

Tommaso Bussola Amarone Vigneto Alto (2007)
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Tommaso Bussola Amarone Tb (2007)
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Speri Amarone (2009)
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Tedeschi 'Amarone' Classico (2008)
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Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico DOC 6 Flaschen In Original-Holzkiste Bertani Grezzana Venetien (2001)
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Tommaso Bussola Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico Vigneto Alto Tb (2007)
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Masi Vaio Amaron (2007)
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Tommasi Amarone Ca Florian (2007)
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Le Ragose Amarone (2006)
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Tedeschi Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico (2009)
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Mentioned in this article


  • Where could I find some of these Amarone in Madrid?

    Feb 05, 2014 at 4:48 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 201,875

    It may be a challenge but places like

    16 Calle Jose Ortega y Gasset, Madrid 28006

    Bodega Santa ecilia
    74 Blasco Garay, Primera planta, Madrid 28015


    Enoteca barlo
    211 Calle del Principe de Vergara, Madrid 28002

    Are all good places to start!

    Feb 05, 2014 at 2:37 PM

  • Snooth User: Barrique
    192331 1

    This is great article and well written, which is very informative. Thanks!

    Feb 05, 2014 at 4:52 PM

  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 995

    Excellent Article. Great information. I learned a lot.

    Feb 06, 2014 at 12:28 PM

  • The article is really good. But the taste is subject to this critic: to compare the different Amarone yuo have to taste bottles of the same age, for example there is non mention of Allegrini Amarone classico 2007 while this havest in considered for other brands. I've choosen this brand because it has usually a great quality/price rate (in Italy). The comparison, e.g., between Amarone Allegrini 2008 and Amarone Masi 2001, putting them in the same classification, in my thought is uncorrect

    Feb 07, 2014 at 10:36 AM

  • Makes one wonder if other varietals like merlot or zin could be dried out like the amarone process to see what happens in intensity. It's probably been done somewhere

    Feb 13, 2014 at 5:29 PM

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