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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > ITALY: North-East Reds, including Valpolicella & Amarone

Winner Details

Italy: North-East Reds, including Amarone & Valpolicella


2015: Gold 3 Silver 10 Bronze 3 Commended 8
2014: Gold 2 Silver 6 Bronze 2 Commended 2


Would you ask a mechanic for advice on your pension? Or a financial adviser about a clunky clutch? No. And our tasters were looking for two very different, and specific functions from the various wine flights here: lighter, food-friendly reds from Valpolicella and the Veneto, and gutsy, gold-plated, raw-meat offerings from Amarone.

The feedback was mixed throughout, with many wines falling by the wayside early on, but plenty of positive feedback for the medal winners. On this evidence, Valpols are getting slightly bigger, and Amarones perhaps need to lose a bit of their ‘bring it big boy’ attitude.

Star Performer

Congratulations to Zenato for an impressive performance. A Gold, two Silvers and a Bronze to go with a couple of medals in the North-East Whites.

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines from Trentino-Alto-Adige, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia & Veneto


From the Tasting Teams


‘The Veneto reds are good alternatives to Bordeaux, with spicier, greener notes. They also give a bit more vibrancy and freshness than you get from Bordeaux.’ Seamus Sharkey, Restaurant Story

‘In the Amarones there was too much alcohol, too much baked fruit and nasty, grippy tannins. It’s typicity, I guess, but should we be rewarding it?’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘I think the modern style Valpolicellas were better than the more traditional ones: less extracted and leaner.’ Yves Desmaris MS, Lutyens

‘Customers look for Amarone. Price isn’t an issue so long as the quality is good. And for over £100 a bottle on the list, it has to be.’ Riccardo Guzzardi, The Gilbert Scott

‘The sheer variety suggests that Amarone is going through an interesting change – it is very unpredictable.’
Rebecca Coates, Hakkasan London

Award winners

Found 24 wines

Italy: North-East - Red, including Amarone & Valpolicella

Botter, Gran Verossa Rosso 2013, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

With its ripe, forward style, persistence and length, this was popular from the start, with judges feeling it would work well both with food and by the glass. ‘Love it,’ declared Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, adding: ‘With an appealing nose of cherries and plums, a very attractive palate and big warmth at the heart.’ ‘Blueberry, juicy fruitiness with some dry spices, good tannins and acidity,’ agreed Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel.

£6.09 Copestick Murray, Greene King

Zenato, Amarone Classico della Valpolicella 2010, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Rich cherry tart aromas with some chocolate and tobacco notes, dark cherry fruit on the palate with a nice concentration of medicinal herbs,’ said team leader Tom Forrest. ‘Complex nose, fruity, spicy, fragrant and ripe,’ added Enikő Heidenwolf of Bread Street Kitchen. A big wine for big flavours. Match with game.

£29.34 Eurowines

Montresor, Capitel della Crosara, Valpolicella Classico Ripasso 2013, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

With its depth and complexity of flavour and its vivacious, bright palate adding up to a wine with strong food-matching potential, Montresor scored a place on the Gold List. Team leader Laura Rhys MS noted: ‘Ripe red cherries, strawberry, juicy berry and bramble fruit with some meaty notes and spicy complexity,’ while Riccardo Guzzardo of The Gilbert Scott enjoyed its ‘spicy, cheery sensation’ and Studio Alto’s Neil Bruce found a ‘Carmenère-like, leafy, herbal’ character.

£10.50 Boutinot

Zenato, Ripassa, Valpolicella Superiore 2011, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Beautiful fruit-driven, soft vanilla oak style, jammy with soft tannin,’ said consultant sommelier Eike Bosche of this expressive wine, with its elegant fruit flavours. Team leader Tom Forrest added: ‘Nice herbaceous and spiced cherry style, rich cherry and tobacco, with cedar spice complexity.’

£13.76 Eurowines

Torre del Falasco, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2013, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Neil Bruce of Studio Alto enjoyed this wine’s ‘bramble fruit and black cherries on the nose, dry, grippy tannins and lovely spicy black hints and racy finish’, with Rebecca Coates of Hakkasan London finding it ‘good drinking, touch of sweetness with ripe red cherry fruits’.

£9.40 Liberty Wines

Corte del Sole, Amarone della Valpolicella 2010, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Ripe, almost jammy red berry and blackcurrant fruit, this is herbaceous with nice acidity on the palate, savoury spices and bold, grippy tannins,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, with Riccardo Guzzardo of The Gilbert Scott also noting: ‘Complex, coffee-mocha and brown sugar notes.’

£29.50 Jascots Wine Merchants

Pieropan, Ruberpan, Valpolicella Superiore 2012, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Rebecca Coates of Hakkasan London found ‘raspberry chocolate with clove spice on the nose, fresh, delicate body and great structure’, with Riccardo Guzzardo of The Gilbert Scott appreciating its ‘incense smoke and tobacco', and Maxwell Allwood of Alimentum liking the 'lovely freshness' and 'pleasant notes of strawberry and cranberry'.

£14.00 Liberty Wines

Zenato, Cresasso, Rosso Veronese 2008, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Scented wood, dates and wild ripe berries on the nose, a juicy palate, well balanced, with chocolate and liquorice notes and a good finish,’ said a satisfied Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel. Team leader Martin Lam noted: ‘Meaty, perfumed nose with herbs, black olive, spices and a hint of bitterness on the finish.’

£25.30 Eurowines

Zenato, Riserva Sergio Zenato, Amarone Classico della Valpolicella 2008, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Quite sweet and full bodied, needing time, though a modern style with lovely fruits. Elegant and delicious,’ said Yves Desmaris MS of Lutyens, with team leader Tom Forrest adding: ‘Dusty, dried cherry, cedar spice with soft tobacco and a dash of chocolate.’

£50.05 Eurowines

Nicolis, Seccal, Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2011, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Rich red fruits and spicy on the nose, cherries and good tannin on a long palate,’ said Riccardo Guzzardo of The Gilbert Scott of this generous wine, with its pleasant earthiness. Team leader Laura Rhys MS noted: ‘Dark berries, earthy mushroom and herbaceous notes.’

£13.18 Bibendum

Nicolis, Ambrosan, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2007, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Tobacco, spice and cedar wood with cherry on the nose. Ripe cherry, concentrated palate with chocolate notes and moderate acidity,’ said team leader Tom Forrest, with Enikő Heidenwolf of Bread Street Kitchen adding: ‘Baked fruits with smooth tannins.’ Match with sashimi and dishes with sweeter sauces.

£35.65 Bibendum

Bertani, Vintage Edition, Secco 2011, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Inviting, ripe fruit nose; palate is balanced, sweet and savoury, with good acidity on the finish,’ began team leader Martin Lam, with Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel adding: ‘Strawberry, vanilla and warm woody notes and some hints of chocolate.’

£15.63 Enotria&Coe

Alpha Zeta, R, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2013, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Sweet red cherry notes and hints of chocolate confectionery, soft red cherry flavours on the palate with drying tannins on the finish,’ said team leader Tom Forrest, with consultant sommelier Eike Bosche noting its ‘good fruit and length’.

£9.40 Liberty Wines

Almadi, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2013, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

With consultant sommelier Eike Bosche noting its ‘dark fruit and good tannins’, team leader Tom Forrest said: ‘Ripe cherry aromas with some richness, soft tannins, ripe red cherry and hints of chocolate. Dry on the finish.’

£9.59 The Flying Corkscrew

Accordini, Valpolicella Classico 2013, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Dark fruit, black cherry, fruit-driven aromas with lovely acidity and good structure on the palate,’ began team leader Laura Rhys MS, with Neil Bruce of Studio Alto adding: ‘Cherry and red plum, sweet/sour style, grippy with a fresh finish.’

£8.68 Enotria&Coe

Masi, Campolongo di Torbe, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2007, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Deep, inky ruby colour with silky, chocolatey richness and cherry fruit,’ began Rebecca Coates of Hakkasan London, with Studio Alto’s Neil Bruce adding: ‘Fleshy, meaty with some development on the nose, with deep, dark, fleshy fruit on the palate too.’

£49.21 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Botter, Passori 2014, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.45 Matthew Clark

Almadi, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, Veneto , Italy

Commended medal winner

Santa Margherita, Malbech, Lison Pramaggiore 2012, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.98 Alivini

Prà, Morandina, Valpolicella 2013, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.00 Boutinot

Zenato, Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2012, Veneto , Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.13 Eurowines

Masi, Campofiorin 2011, Veneto , Italy

Commended medal winner

Masi, Costasera, Amarone Classico 2010, Veneto , Italy

Commended medal winner

Alpha Zeta, A, Amarone della Valpolicella 2012, Veneto , Italy

Commended medal winner

£18.35 Liberty Wines

 

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