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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > ITALY: North-East Reds, Veneto including Valpolicella & Amarone

Winner Details

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

2017 Gold: 5 Silver: 13 Bronze: 8 Commended: 15
2016 Gold: 5 Silver: 9 Bronze: 8 Commended: 9

Three very different wine styles on these pages: mostly well-priced Verona reds, mid-weight Valpolicellas and heavily pumped Amarones.

Overall, the medal count was pretty good – more than 40 wines (medals plus Commended) was a record for this section. But these were generally flights that divided tasters. Some liked the sour-cherry fruit and tangy acidity, others couldn’t get past the pricing or, in the case of Amarone, the sheer size – both of price tag and alcohol. And the ‘new versus traditional’ debate in the world of Valpol is probably still rumbling on.

As a general observation, we’d probably get warmer feedback and more Golds if we could have a few more wines around that £10 price point.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

I couldn’t drink half a bottle of Amarone with a friend, even if I could afford it. They should bottle everything in halves. It’s impossible to sell a whole bottle of Amarone.’ Hamish Anderson, Tate Catering

‘Valpolicella offers consistent drinking. You can see why these wines turn up on lists as they’re very food friendly.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘I wouldn’t say Amarone is out of fashion exactly, but it’s so expensive, and there can be a problem with people liking one style, but getting another.’ Daniele Di Blasio, Pollen Street Social

‘People don’t ask much for Valpolicella.’ Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan Group

‘The most expensive [Veneto reds] were like bodybuilders, although they were well made with a lot of freshness. The best wines combined freshness with ripe fruit.’ Matthieu Longuère MS, Le Cordon Bleu London

‘A list will probably have one Amarone, but it has to be a very good one.’ Sara Bachiorri, Chez Bruce

‘[The Veneto reds] were a nice easy-drinking style, but I thought they were slightly overpriced when you compare them to similar wines from Spain and Portugal.’ Luciana Girotto-Beckett, Macellaio RC

‘Veneto reds are underrepresented on wine lists. They’re achieving with subtlety and elegance what a lot of winemakers would kill to be able to do.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

Award winners

Found 41 wines

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

Zenato, Sergio Zenato, Amarone Classico della Valpolicella Riserva 2010, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

Our panel was unanimous in awarding this exceptional wine the Gold. ‘Rich, ripe and yummy fruit, full-bodied and smooth on the palate,’ began Avenue’s Agustin Trapero. ‘Very finely perfumed, composed,’ said Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens, with team leader Sam Caporn MW praising its ‘beautiful, spicy oak and rich fruit’ and Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson finding it ‘brooding and deep’. ‘A standout: supple, complex and fruity,’ concluded Avenue’s Agustin Trapero.

£63.69 Eurowines

Villa Mattielli, Amarone della Valpolicella 2012, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘A wonderfully moreish, savoury nose, with some violet notes,’ began Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot in praise of this Gold winner, adding: ‘Dried fruits and crunchy Morello cherries follow on the palate – a match for veal.’ Daniele Di Blasio of Pollen Street Social was pleased with its ‘old style in a very good expression’, noting ‘some ripe autumn fruits on the nose, good balance and a slightly sweet finish’. ‘Lots of fruit and spices, and good intensity,’ added Mattin Larraburu of Sexy Fish.

£24.30 Top Selection Ltd

Villa Mattielli, Valpolicella Ripasso 2014, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

Team leader Sam Caporn MW praised this ‘characterful’ Gold winner for its ‘juicy, ripe red fruit and spice, as well as floral, almost aromatic flavour profile’, while Federico Forte of Plateau was intrigued by its ‘concentrated, balsamic nose with sage and thyme herbal notes’. Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, meanwhile, highlighted its ‘dark damson and raspberry charm, aromatic character with bags of flavour and cocoa notes on the finish’.

£12.65 Top Selection Ltd

47 Anno Domini, Batista, Marca Trevigiana 2013, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Really vibrant and juicy,’ began Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu London in praise of this Gold winner, finding an ‘aromatic nose showing menthol and herby notes, slightly confected on the palate but full of lovely, energetic black fruit’. Team leader Angela Reddin appreciated its ‘smoke, cinnamon and mocha notes, with plum and spiced cherry too – bright flavours with firm tannins’, while Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson liked the ‘brooding cherry, leather and earth, with very pure fruit expression’, suggesting this be served with game or stew.

£13.97 Vinicola Tombacco srl

47 Anno Domini, Le Argille, Cabernet di Cabernet, Marca Trevigiana 2013, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Winning judges over with its generous character, this equal parts Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend took Gold, and was described by team leader Angela Reddin as having ‘vanilla and smoke, as well as Indian ink, graphite and dried herbs, before fruit explodes on the tongue – dense, concentrated and never ending’. Francisco Macedo of Bovey Castle praised its ‘violet and herbaceous notes, with red fruit and some vanilla’, suggesting that it would be a perfect match with duck.

£29.97 Vinicola Tombacco srl

Campagnola, Vigneti Vallata di Marano, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2013, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Team leader Sam Caporn MW enjoyed its ‘attractive, rich baked fig and plum aromas, round, fruity and spicy palate’, while Agustin Trapero of Avenue noted its ‘ripe, creamy black fruit, rich cherry and chocolate, and coffee finish’.

£19.18 Eurowines

Campagnola, Caterina Zardini, Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2014, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Buddha Bar’s Piotr Artur Tomaszewski found this ‘medium bodied and round, with plum and cherry fruit, very fresh with fine tannins’, while senior judge Olivier Gasselin enjoyed its notes of ‘cherry in brandy, quite generous, ripe and crunchy texture with fine depth and elegance’.

£13.05 Eurowines

Zenato, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Sara Bachiorri of Chez Bruce found this ‘rich, concentrated, perfumed and textured’, and enjoyed its ‘sweet, ripe, dark fruit flavours, with chocolate, clove and star anise notes followed by a long and balanced finish’.

£31.50 Eurowines

Adalia, Balt, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2014, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW found ‘berry and fennel herbal notes on the nose, with a savoury palate that’s mid-weight and complex, long and interesting’, while Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club picked out ‘fresh strawberry and floral notes, sweet-sour red fruit palate with rich herbs and minerals’.

£13.55 Wine Traders

Montresor, Capitel della Crosara, Valpolicella Ripasso 2015, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Complex baked fruits with smoky, chocolatey aromas crunchy and juicy on the palate with some bitter-choc notes,’ said Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW finding it a ‘lean style, quite elegant with ripe berry fruit and a spicy richness’.

£10.76 Boutinot

Cielo e Terra, Amatore, Rosso Verona 2015, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Easy-going, with red fruit and minty hints on the nose, smooth tannin on the palate,’ began team leader Lionel Periner, while Cristian Sanchez of Hotel du Vin Cambridge noted ‘ripe cherries and plums, violet and lavender floral notes with medium body and low tannin’.

£5.99 LWC Drinks Ltd (Merchant and Shippers)

Ca' La Bionda, Ravazzol, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Red cherry, rose petal, raspberry jam and a touch of volatility on the nose,’ began an impressed Kelvin McCabe of Yauatcha, adding: ‘Cherries, spicy and juicy, on a palate that’s vibrant and long, with fresh acidity making it fine for now and years ahead.’ ‘A wine for meditation,’ agreed Sara Bachiorri of Chez Bruce.

£35.96 Top Selection Ltd

Masi, Serego Alighieri, MontePiazzo Anniversario, Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2013, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

A ‘rich, dense style showing redcurrant acidity and chalky tannin’, said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, with Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club also noting ‘sweet cassis and fresh floral aromas, with intensity and gentle herbal notes on the palate’.

£15.29 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Masi, Serego Alighieri, Vaio Armaron, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Red fruit, lightly leafy notes, and massively structured,’ began team leader Sam Caporn MW, with Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson going further: ‘Great nose, bright fresh fruit of cherry and strawberry. Really good, balanced by grippy but integrated tannins. Strawberry jam, yet great freshness to finish.’

£39.02 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Alpha Zeta, R, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2014, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A plush more opulent style of Valpolicella, with soft tannins and ripe red berry fruit,’ began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels picking up on some ‘dried fruits, sour cherry and tertiary mushroom and leather notes on a complex palate’.

£10.24 Liberty Wines

Alpha Zeta, A, Amarone della Valpolicella 2014, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Hamish Anderson of Tate Catering found it ‘very good, in the context of inexpensive Amarone’, commenting on its ‘dried fruits and good, attractive spice on the nose, chocolate richness and a bitter edge on the palate, with some brighter fresh notes on the finish’.

£18.59 Liberty Wines

Ca' Rugate, Campo Lavei, Valpolicella Superiore 2013, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Piotr Artur Tomaszewski of Buddha Bar enjoyed its ‘red fruits, raspberry and sour cherry’, also finding ‘cigar box and pencil shaving notes on a rounded, well-balanced palate with ripe tannins and good structure’, concluding: ‘Very good quality.’ ‘Powerful and complex, showing good typicity of the region,’ added Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels.

£18.28 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Bertani, Vintage Edition, Secco 2014, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Dark cherries, raspberries and plums, with some leather too. A complex wine, with good acidity and length,’ said Markus Dilger of MAD F&B Consulting, while Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson described this as ‘creamy and textural, with dark plum notes, and rich tannins’.

£16.82 Enotria&Coe

Ca' del Colle, Carmina, Colli Euganei Riserva 2010, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

A ‘not too heavy, and easy-drinking wine’ said Jose Luis Hernandez of Hakkasan Hanway Place, who noted: ‘Chocolate and oaky notes on a fruity nose, some meaty notes and dried fruit but fresh on the palate, candied fruits too, with concentration and richness, nicely balanced.’

£11.48 Ca' del Colle

Cesari, Mara, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2014, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Full on, with dark berries and chocolate richness, a great sociable drinking wine,’ began Michael Moore of The London Cookhouse, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering finding an ‘appealing, plummy nose, tangy fruit with an exciting zing, brilliant for all kinds of Italian meat and tomato dishes’.

£7.75 Fuller's

Cesari, Valpolicella Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘An approachable wine with refreshing acidity that will work well with lighter dishes,’ began Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels, highlighting its ‘good value, with aromas of red cherry and raspberry and a hint of spice’.

£7.30 Fuller's

Prà, Morandina, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2015, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Well balanced and rounded, in a fresh style with lots of plum and cherry fruit on the palate,’ began Piotr Artur Tomaszewski of Buddha Bar, continuing: ‘Complexity will develop further with a couple more years in the bottle, but it is still a very good quality wine.’

£15.06 Boutinot

Riondo, Lunardi, Merlot delle Venezie 2015, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Angela Reddin praised ‘a spiced fruit cup nose, along with some dried fruit notes’, while Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson enjoyed the ‘quite restrained and complex nose, with sour cherry and spice, as well as some earthiness. Very Italian in feel, with bright acidity and grippy tannins. Very good for the price too.’

£6.00 Moreno Wines, Try Wines, The Great Grog Company Limited

Nicolis, Seccal, Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2013, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Concentration, jammy plum and cherry spirit notes on the nose, balsamic and herbal notes on the palate with a long finish,’ said Federico Forte of Plateau, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering suggesting its ‘tangy, big, mouth-filling style would be a special match with strong-flavoured cheeses’.

£13.21 Bibendum

Sartori, Regolo, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2014, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Dark spice and baked red fruit aromas, sweet and sour cherry on the palate with light, fresh herbal notes to finish,’ said Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club, while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering concluded: ‘Big wine, complexity and warmth. Will stand up to some big gamey, even spicy dishes.’

£10.50 Enotria&Coe

Bertani, Valpantena, Amarone della Valpolicella 2013, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh and pure on the nose, with lovely defined fruit character, red cherry ripeness,’ said Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson, concluding: ‘Mid-weight tannins are there, but some elegance too, making it a good value option.’

£27.21 Enotria&Coe

Aldegheri, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, Verona, Italy

Commended medal winner

Santi, Proemio, Amarone della Valpolicella 2010, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£28.00 Mondial Wine

Corte Sant'Alda, Ca' Fiui, Valpolicella 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.55 Wine Traders

Cesari, Salvalai, Pinot Noir 2014, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£5.50 Fuller's

Prà, Amarone della Valpolicella 2011, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£28.95 Boutinot

Nicolis, Ambrosan, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2008, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£35.66 Bibendum

47 Anno Domini, Raboso del Piave 2012, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Domìni Veneti, Vigneti di Torbe, Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.89 Alivini

Domìni Veneti, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2013, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£22.00 Alivini

Cantina di Negrar, Poggio Al Lago, Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2014, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.99 Direct Wines

Masi, Riserva di Costasera, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Alpha Zeta, A, Amarone della Valpolicella 2013, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£18.59 Liberty Wines

Pieropan, Ruberpan, Vigna Garzon, Valpolicella Superiore 2014, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.06 Liberty Wines

Sartori, Rosso Veronese 2014, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.41 Enotria&Coe

Sartori, l'Appassito, Rosso Veneto 2012, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.69 Enotria&Coe

 

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