We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2019 > ITALY: North-East - Red (Veneto, including Amarone & Valpolicella)

Winner Details

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

2019 GOLD: 9      SILVER: 8      BRONZE: 7      COMMENDED: 13
2018 GOLD: 7      SILVER: 13    BRONZE: 6      COMMENDED: 10

Rounding off a hugely impressive competition for northern Italy, we saw yet another record-breaking performance from a category, this time from the North-East’s reds.

So, did our tasters throw Golds around like confetti? Swooning before the testosterone-fuelled bling of powerful, swaggering Amarones with rippling pectorals and price-tags to match? Well, not entirely.

Yes, there were a few steroid-pumped offerings with flashing teeth and sports cars in tow – but frankly, Amarone ain’t cheap (with the laudable exception of the impressive offering from Domini Veneti) so our tasters weren’t counting the zeroes too closely with these.

Valpol prices, too, are heading north these days. We used to find this a great place to go fossicking around for sub-£10 beauties. Now those same wines are mostly in the £10-£15 area, though hearteningly there is still value elsewhere in the Veneto.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Valpolicella has this nice acidity that cuts through the greasiness of the meat, and goes with woody vegetables like artichokes.’ Virginia Fontò, La Trompette

‘There’s a segment of your clientele that always wants full-bodied wines, and Amarone can deliver that. I don’t think you can find that style anywhere else in the world.’ Melania Battiston, 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen

‘Valpolicella is getting quite a big name as the prices are affordable and the quality is really nice. If you want something heavier you can always go with Amarone.’ Roberto Sanchez, Sexy Fish

‘Everything was big, but very well balanced: tannins, ripeness. The winemakers did a really good job.’ Carlos Ferreira, team leader

‘Very well made, concentrated, expressive, with great refreshing acidity. A good style for beginners. Some have a crowd-pleasing style like a Malbec.’ Adam Michocki, The Glasshouse

‘Amarone is always something that people will go to, and I’ll always list three or four at different price points.’ Sean Arthur, Cliveden House

 

Award winners

Found 37 wines

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

Orion Wines, Tenute Fiorebelli, Cabaletta Rosso 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

Judges had praise for this Gold winner’s great value, as well as ‘purity of fruit and bright acidity’, according to team leader Andres Ituarte, who found it ‘concentrated and toasty’. Nut Tree Inn’s Sarah McKenzie appreciated its ‘ripe red fruits on the palate, as well as some bell pepper, and well-integrated tannins’, while team leader Carlos Ferreira found it ‘complex and peppery, with blackcurrant, blackberry and leather, as well as cigar and coffee notes’.

£7.82 Matthew Clark

Santa Sofia, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

Displaying all of the qualities needed for Gold, this Valpolicella was praised by Woodhead 17’s James Fryer for its ‘dark, dense purple fruit and freshly ground coffee, with sappy, plush black fruit on the palate, as well as some black pepper, finishing with chocolate and leather’. ‘Concentrated, big and bold with lovely liquorice and sweet spice along with the cherry and plum fruit, and a nice texture, too,’ said Diana Rollan of D&D, adding that its acidity made it ideal ‘to pair with oily fish’.

£13.40 Mondial Wine

Zenato, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

With team leader Laura Rhys MS describing this Amarone as ‘rich, bold, meaty and complex, with black fruit and tar’, and declaring that ‘this wine has everything’, it’s unsurprising that it was awarded not only a Gold medal but a Critics’ Choice award, too. An impressed Heesoo Kang of Flat Three Restaurant found it ‘fresh and vibrant, with liquorice, chocolate, prune and tobacco’, while consultant Anja Breit described ‘smoke, raisins and dried fruit, with some marzipan and cherries, too’.

£35.15 Eurowines

Zenato, Sergio Zenato, Amarone Classico della Valpolicella Riserva 2012, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Super-complex and very powerful,’ praised team leader Laurent Richet MS as this was elevated to Gold status, while Giorgio Scarsella of The Stafford was impressed by its ‘great purity of fruit’, describing it as ‘elegant and velvety, with baked cherry, cinnamon and star anise’. ‘A really exciting wine,’ added impressed team leader Laura Rhys MS, who found it to be ‘dark, rich and inky, with some minerality and polished tannins’, which all made it ideal for ‘rich, meaty stews’.

£70.25 Eurowines

La Dama, Valpolicella Classico 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

As judges handed over the Gold, Gymkhana Restaurant’s Savvas Symeonidis spoke highly of this Valpolicella’s ‘perfumed nose with black fruit, leading to some tart acidity’, while La Trompette’s Virginia Fontò thought ‘its persistent tannins and sour cherry and strawberry flavours make it feel versatile’. ‘Spiciness and some mint on the nose, leading to a complex palate with good, fresh acidity’ made this ‘a great wine for a Sunday roast’, concluded team leader Carlos Ferreira.

£11.09 Bibendum

Domìni Veneti, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

This great-value Amarone was easily worthy of a Gold medal for its ‘good fruit intensity’, according to Heesoo Kang of Flat Three Restaurant, who went on to describe a wine that was ‘earthy, spicy and woody, with rich cherry notes and generous tannins’. ‘For the price point it’s hard to beat,’ added consultant Anja Breit, who described ‘wood, smoke and dark berry fruit’, and suggested this was served with ‘braised meat or ox cheek’.

£15.12 Direct Wines

Montresor, Castelliere delle Guaite, Valpolicella Classico Primo Ripasso 2015, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

With judge Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn describing this as ‘gamey and built to last, with really great balance and richness, with a long lasting finish’, it’s no surprise this went home with Gold. Team leader Carlos Ferreira appreciated its ‘smoky nose of oak, vanilla, tobacco leaves and leather, with a palate that’s elegant, smooth and aromatic, with lots of complexity’, while Kai Mayfair’s Elisa Soggia described notes of ‘red cherries and plums, orange marmalade and a herbaceous note, too’.

£19.90 Boutinot

Ca' La Bionda, Ravazzòl, Amarone della Valpolicella 2013, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

This was clearly destined for no less than Gold, with ‘a savoury nose with black tea and prunes’, according to team leader Laurent Richet MS, and notes of ‘clove, prune and chocolate, and a sweet palate that has an oxidative note but is very fruit forward’, according to Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross Kenilworth, Simpsons & Edgbaston. ‘Elegant and silky,’ added team leader Laura Rhys MS, who enjoyed its ‘juicy, sweet red and black fruits’.

£36.70 Top Selection

Villa Mattielli, Valpolicella Ripasso 'San Giacomo' 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Rather opulent’ was Diana Rollan of D&D’s first impression of this great-value Gold winner, going on to praise its ‘savoury notes of tapenade as well as dense cherry and kirsch’, while Virginia Fontò of La Trompette appreciated its ‘notes of tobacco leaf and cigar box’. Woodhead 17’s James Fryer, meanwhile, pointed out ‘an almost lacquer character on the nose’, which led to ‘vanilla and nutty chocolate notes on the palate’.

£14.10 Top Selection

Sartori, 120° Anniversary, Valpolicella Superiore 2016, Valpolicella, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Great spicy, very “Mediterranean” flavours,’ thought team leader Lionel Periner, adding: ‘There’s good aromas of fresh-picked red berries and a nice floral note. The palate is balanced with refreshing acidity and a long finish.’ ‘Spicy and earthy,’ added The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones.

£10.48 Please contact winery for further information

Zenato, Cresasso, Corvina Veronese 2013, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

While Sarah McKenzie of Nut Tree Inn found a nose of ‘farmyard, black pepper and plenty of spice’, Michael Fiducia of The Royal Automobile Club enjoyed the ‘savoury, baked fruits, fine structure and good length’.

£29.05 Eurowines

Riondo, Castelforte, Corvina 2015, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘There’s a nice, smoky nose with an earthy rustic finish,’ noted Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks. ‘It offers good complexity at this price point,’ added team leader Andres Ituarte, agreeing that it had an ‘earthy style with crunchy red fruit’.

£6.17 Moreno Wines , Inverarity Morton

Prà, Morandina, Valpolicella 2017, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Juicy and balanced, this is very approachable and easy to drink,’ said D&D’s Diana Rollan, adding: ‘With its fruity notes of blueberry and cherry this has great by-the-glass potential.’ ‘Elegant and pure, light and fresh,’ thought La Trompette’s Virginia Fontò.

£10.55 Boutinot

Guerrieri-Rizzardi, Clos Roareti 2016, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks picked out the aromatics, finding ‘piquant notes of resin, violets and a leather’. For team leader Andres Ituarte, meanwhile, it had ‘big, woody notes, lots of oak grip and jammy fruit with a touch of vanilla’ and he thought it would be ‘a style that lots of people will like’.

£13.55 New Generation Wines , New Generation McKinley

Allegrini, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Perhaps it lacks a bit of acidity but everything else is outstanding,’ said Heesoo Kang of Flat Three Restaurant, pointing to the ‘ripe, jammy, almost baked fruits, like cherry pie or cooked strawberry’ and the ‘subtle notes of raspberries and strawberry sorbet’.‘It may have grippy tannins,’ he added, ‘but it’s very drinkable.’

£46.29 Liberty Wines

Villa Mattielli, Amarone della Valpolicella 2015, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Classic style, going back to its roots; very enjoyable wine,’ said Benares Restaurant & Bar’s Filip Viorel, adding: ‘Lots of black olive tapenade, excellent balsamic notes and a slightly oxidative style. Absolutely beautiful.’

£26.30 Top Selection

Ca' Rugate, Campo Lavei, Valpolicella Superiore 2016, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Diana Rollan of D&D liked the ‘lifted notes of blackberries, blackcurrant, tea leaf, tobacco and dark chocolate’ and found it ‘well balanced and concentrated, yet with refreshing acidity’. She thought it was ‘craving for roast lamb’. Virginia Fontò of La Trompette summed it up as ‘outstanding and great value for money’.

£18.66 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

47 Anno Domini, Le Argille, Cabernet di Cabernet 2014, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

For Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks, this was another aromatic wine, with a ‘medicinal nose, dense black fruit, notes of tar and crunchy a red fruit finish’.

£20.39 Lanchester Wine Cellars

Santa Sofia, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2013, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Sean Arthur of Cliveden House found this a typical example of the style: ‘With its touch of salinity, raisins and prune notes, and intense, dark red fruit, this well-balanced wine tastes like a definitive recipe for Amarone.’

£29.00 Mondial Wine

Trastullo, Primitivo 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks described this as an aromatic wine with notes of ‘pine and eucalyptus’ that led to a palate of ‘raspberry fruit and tar’.

£7.50 New Generation Wines , New Generation McKinley

Sansonina, Merlot 2016, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Carlos Ferreira noted ‘plums and black pepper with dried cherry and vanilla’ and described the palate as ‘fresh with good balance’ and the finish as ‘long and clean’.

£29.75 Eurowines

Bolla, Le Origini, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva 2010, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Richly aromatic with dried dates and prune, chocolate, coffee, tobacco and herbs,’ said Heesoo Kang of Flat Three Restaurant, adding: ‘Good intensity of fruit concentration is balanced by fairly high acidity through a long finish.’

£40.70 Matthew Clark

Masi, Bonacosta Valpolicella Classico 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘This would work with raw meat,’ said Virginia Fontò of La Trompette, describing ‘clean and pure strawberry and plum flavours with balanced acidity and tannins’ and summing it up as ‘rather elegant’.

£10.22 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Cantina di Negrar, Bartolomeo Lorenzi, Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

For Francesca Turra of Mondrian London this had a ‘powerful and intense nose’ with ‘red fruit, chocolate and leather’. She described ‘a very good palate’ and found it ‘pleasant to drink’ and ‘full bodied with well-handled oaky tannins’.

£9.05 Please contact winery for further information

Orion Wines, Tenute Fiorebelli, Fiorebella 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.24 Matthew Clark

Santa Sofia, Antichello Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£24.35 Mondial Wine

Sartori, 120° Anniversary, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£27.43 Please contact winery for further information

Sartori, 120° Anniversary, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.78 Please contact winery for further information

Zenato, Ripassa, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.20 Eurowines

Cantina di Custoza, Corvina Garda, Val dei Molini 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.65 Eurowines

Campagnola, Valpolicella Classico 2018, Veneto , Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.05 Eurowines

Nicolis, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£30.39 Bibendum

Nicolis, Ambrosan, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2009, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£42.00 Bibendum

Masi, Costasera Amarone Classico 2013, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Cantina di Negrar, Bartolomeo Lorenzi, Rosso 2017, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£5.92 Direct Wines

Montresor, Capitel della Crosara, Amarone della Valpolicella 2013, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£39.90 Boutinot

Villa Mattielli, Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva 2013, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£38.44 Top Selection