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Home Winners > Winners 2020 > North-East - Red (Veneto, including Amarone & Valpolicella)

Winner Details

North-East - Red
(Veneto, including Amarone & Valpolicella)

Another good year for north-east Italy in SWA saw our teams able to put together a beautifully balanced range of reds here, from a well-priced Veronese rosso and sub-£10 Valpol, laddering right the way up to buy-it-if-you-dare Amarones over £70.

The latter flight were consistently good, and since the biggest reason for failure here was wines being too young, it’s no surprise that two of our three Golds were from 2013. If you like powerful coffee-and-chocolate wines, there’s plenty for you here.

The Valpolicellas garnered much more mixed feedback – mostly due to huge stylistic differences. There were wines from barely to heavily oaked, off-dry to dry, and ripe and plush to green-tinged. So decide what style you want and read the tasting notes with care.

From The Tasting Teams

‘The Amarone flight was like a journey, with various expressions that were still all quite clearly Amarone, but showed themselves differently between producers.’ Gary Newborough, The Aristologist

‘My only concern for the Valpolicellas was about the residual sugar. These wines are supposed to be dry, and they weren’t here. More medium-dry.’ Maria Cristina Francescon, Enoteca Sorso di Vino

‘About 90% of the Veneto reds would fit very well on our wine list, from the lower end right to the higher end. Our guests would go straight to these.’ Charlie Cockaday, Gravetye Manor

‘You expect certain things from Valpol – high alcohol, rich and warming plum notes – but I wasn’t expecting them to be herbaceous and green, which some were.’ Harry Ballmann, Folie

‘I’m usually not a big fan of Valpolicella, but there was typicity here, and overall it was a nice flight.’ José Hernandez, Hakkasan

‘You could find things at a lower price point for gastro pubs or casual restaurants, so that even people who don’t want to spend too much can still enjoy a good wine.’ Dario Barbato, Individual Restaurants

‘The range of different styles is the beauty of Valpolicella. Like it or not, that darkness, that opulence, and the earthiness or spiciness were there.’ Diana Rollan, D&D London

‘Veneto reds can sometimes be undervalued. They have decent structure and are food-friendly, and the prices are practical too.’ Jan Van Heesvelde, L’Enclume

‘We found the notes we were looking for: coffee, chocolate and dried fruit. Amarone continues to be one of the best from the north of Italy.’ Elisa Soggia, Trivet

‘From Valpolicella you want fruitiness and easy tannins – a soft, easy-going wine.’ Janusz Pawel Sasiadek, Mercato Metropolitano

Award winners

Found 40 wines

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

Giacomo Montresor, Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Sour cherries, red plum and floral aromas, with a juicy palate that has delicate flavours but good length.' Luma Monteiro, Wineria. 'Well-made and concentrated, with good integration of oak and silky tannins, and acidity to match.' Harry Ballmann, Folie. 'Good balance between fruit, wood and acidity - this can be enjoyed with red meats, bringing fruit and spice to a dish.' Jurijs Nemkovs, StreetXO.

£17.90 Boutinot

Monteci, Valpolicella 2015, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'A buttery, rich and modern Valpolicella with some spice, grip and weight, and notes of caramel and cocoa.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Red and black cherry notes as well as cooked raspberry and bay leaf.' Romain de Courcy, The Ritz Paris. 'Light, delicate, soft red aromas followed by an endearing, delicious palate with impressive tannins for the price point.' Hamish Greening, Twenty Seven by Jamie Rogers.

£7.69 LWC Drinks

Cielo e Terra, 3 Passo, Rosso 2018, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'This has ripe black fruit with fresh bramble notes, as well as some multi-layered oak.' Jan Van Heesvelde, L’Enclume. 'Roasted, toasted notes with dark fruit too - this is dense and plummy, with high acidity.' Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine. 'Hints of amarena cherry and herbal notes, along with some sweet spice, cedarwood, smoke and chocolate.' Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection.

£7.95 LWC Drinks

Zenato, Sergio Zenato, Amarone Classico della Valpolicella Riserva 2013, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'A wonderful wine that's good value for money, with figs, raisins, vanilla, almonds, liquorice and chocolate mousse. One of those wines you don’t want to stop drinking, and that would work with various dishes throughout a meal.' Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard. 'A great expression of amarone, with black fruits, intense raisins and smooth, well-integrated tannins.' Gary Newborough, The Aristologist.

£70.40 Eurowines

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

Gold medal winner

'A rich and dense nose with black tea, chocolate raisins, Black Forest gateau and salted caramel, with a long finish.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'Predominant vanilla followed by cinnamon, and an overall good body, with length, balance and intensity. This is a complex wine with good structure, and a good finish too.' Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard.

£38.44 Top Selection

Santa Sofia, Antichello, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Very pronounced and welcoming, with lifted cherry, kirsch and sandalwood on the nose, and a rich palate with a smooth, warm finish.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'Complex mature fruit and soft leather on the nose, with a palate that's generously balanced with good acidity, fruit and spice.' Michael Fiducia, Royal Automobile Club. 'Good expression of fruit here, with balanced tannins.' Gary Newborough, The Aristologist.

£13.40 Mondial Wine

Alpha Zeta, A, Amarone della Valpolicella 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'A lighter, modern style with ripe juicy black fruit and a soft leather finish.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks. 'With floral, spicy, peppery aromas, and chocolate, morello cherry and vanilla on the palate, this is full-bodied, rich and concentrated, with a fresh finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader. 'Deep red cherry and a light smokiness, with baked cherry tart notes and chalky tannins.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader.

£19.57 Liberty Wines

Allegrini, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Floral, perfumed and elegant on the nose, with notes of potpourri and seaweed, leading to a full-bodied and extracted palate that's chocolatey and spicy - an impressive, monumental wine.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader. 'Elegant for its youth, with all of the elements in place - black tea with bergamot on the nose, leading to dense chocolate and fig pudding with coffee on the palate.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers.

£45.80 Liberty Wines

Bottega , Venedika NV, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Black fruit and garrigue on the nose, with a hint of minerality and chalk, leading to more intense floral characters, like orange blossom and light jasmine, overtaken by fresh raspberry and tart blackberry, and a hint of compote.' Tim Handley, Royal Automobile Club. 'Ripe fruits of plum and blackberries, leading to a black pepper finish.' Sarah McKenzie, Nut Tree Inn.

£13.92 Matthew Clark

Bottega , Ripasso Valpolicella 2017, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Good, rich ripe fruit notes of boysenberry and black cherry with an earthy undertone, leading to a nice mouthfeel - a generous and uncomplicated style that will suit by-the-glass offerings, as well as food.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'Tasty dark and red fruit with hints of minerality.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting.

£13.88 Matthew Clark

La Dama, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Balanced flavours and nice complexity here, with dark cherries, dark chocolate mousse and some cut grass to finish. Lots of potential here.' Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard. 'There's some prominent nutmeg and cinnamon on the nose that carries through to a palate that's evolving well, with redcurrants and some leather on the finish.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks.

£29.71 Bibendum

La Dama, Valpolicella Classico 2018, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Bright red fruit character, with some grip and acid freshness, and a leathery note on the mid-palate - a well-made wine.' Harry Crowther, Grape Times UK. 'Smoky and really fresh, with great acidity and brightness of fruit, and a hint of sweetness on the finish.' Jade Koch, team leader.

£11.01 Bibendum

Giacomo Montresor, Castelliere delle Guaite, Valpolicella Classico Primo Ripasso 2016, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Ripe and intense stone and bramble fruits, both black and red, with lively oak and savoury spice, as well as hints of coffee and chocolate. A layered palate that has great balance and intensity carrying through to a very long finish. Exceptional.' Angela Reddin, team leader.

£19.90 Boutinot

Sartori, Cà Nova, Bardolino Classico 2018, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Lifted, with red fruit, wild berries and a herbaceous note, leading to a medium body with a nice hit of tannins - fruity and well-balanced.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Light, pretty and herbaceous, with red berry fruit and some balanced acidity.' Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine.

£9.08 Casa Vinicola Sartori S.p.A.

Sartori, Montegradella, Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2016, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'With a deeply intense colour, this is highly concentrated, with great potential - the fruit is complex, with elegant tannins and acidity.' Harry Ballmann, Folie. 'This has a smoky tea character, with good intensity and warmth of fruit, with freshness and weight on the palate, finishing on spice.' Jade Koch, team leader.

£11.78 Casa Vinicola Sartori S.p.A.

Ca'Rugate, Campo Bastiglia, Valpolicella Ripasso 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A good expression of Valpolicella, with sour red cherries, plum and spices on the nose, while on the palate there's more concentration of fruits with hints of herbal notes.' Luma Monteiro, Wineria. 'A great example of a juicy, concentrated wine with spices and abundance of fruits. This can stand up to meat dishes with its tannins and acidity.' Jurijs Nemkovs, StreetXO.

£15.21 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Cantina di Custoza, Val dei Molini, Corvina Garda 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Lots of warm, ripe and juicy fruit, with good acidity and tannins too.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'Opening with blackberry, dark cherry and plum, with some herbal notes, bitter chocolate and smoke.' Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection. 'Mellow fruit with some herbal notes.' Jan Van Heesvelde, L’Enclume.

£10.00 Eurowines

Corte Bacaro, Vulcana 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Eucalyptus notes, with perky acid and fine, long tannins.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'This has a soft palate, with lean, fresh and crisp fruit.' Jan Van Heesvelde, L’Enclume. 'Notes of ripe plum and cherry, with bitter chocolate, herbal notes and smoke.' Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection.

£23.52 Corte Bacaro

Nicolis, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2013, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Rich farmyard notes with dry cherry and fig aromas, leading to dark, rich forest floor and sweet dark plum notes on the palate. A more developed, mature style.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'An oaky, opulent wine that's succulent and meaty, with notes of prunes and cooked fruits, some orange marmalade and vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon and some chocolate and herbal notes.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet.

£30.47 Bibendum

Nicolis, Valpolicella Classico 2018, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Fresh and ripe red cherries, as well as some nuances of herbs, lead onto an approachable palate.' Michael Fiducia, Royal Automobile Club. 'Strawberry and cherry fruits, with smoky earth.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting. 'Leafy cherry juice and soft ripe fruits with drying tannins.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£10.69 Bibendum

Cantina Valpolicella Negrar, Domini Veneti, Amarone della Valpolicella 2015, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A good, complex wine with red fruits, black plums, dried apricots and figs, some cooked fruits and hazelnut notes, as well as tobacco and black pepper, with good structure.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'Very gamey and spicy, with an ethereal centre and notes of leather on the finish.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks.

£19.90 Alivini

Cantina di Negrar, Bartolomeo Lorenzi, Rosso Veronese 2016, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Easy-drinking, with a juicy palate showing some notes of cocoa and caramel.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Notes of cherry, plum and red berries, as well as some sweet spice, chocolate and cedarwood.' Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection. 'Ripe black fruit with some sweet spices.' Jan Van Heesvelde, L’Enclume.

£6.23 Direct Wines Production

Cantina di Negrar, Verjago, Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2016, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'With concentrated notes of bramble black fruit, plum and morello cherry it's rich and herbal, with some tobacco and spice, and some high tannins and high acidity. This is big and opulent, with good potential to age. And perfect for rich meat dishes.' Diana Rollan, D&D London. 'A tasty wine with dark fruits and some earthy notes.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting.

£15.00 Alivini

Villa Mattielli, San Giacomo, Valpolicella Ripasso 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'There's a nice touch of oak on the nose here, with the fruit taking over on the palate, but still keeping that spice, and with the tannins slowing coming in.' Timothy Connor, Heddon Street Kitchen. 'Quite pronounced, with spice notes and fruits all well-balanced.' Aurore Anguenot, Aviary.

£14.10 Top Selection

Santa Sofia, Montegradella, Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2016, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A rich and concentrated style, full of blackberry, cherry and violet notes, and oaky and herbal too, with ripe tannins, good balance, long length and good complexity.' Diana Rollan, D&D London. 'Fresh compot and some ripe grip, with lift and focus, and a persistent finish.' Harry Crowther, Grape Times UK.

£17.30 Mondial Wine

Giacomo Montresor, Capitel della Crosara, Amarone della Valpolicella 2014, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£58.90 Boutinot

Sartori, Bardolino Classico 2018, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

La Dama, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore Classico 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.93 Bibendum

Montresor, Capitel della Crosara, Valpolicella Ripasso 2017, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.00 Boutinot

Montresor, Amarone della Valpolicella del Fondatore 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£26.95 Boutinot

Giuseppe Campagnola, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£20.80 Eurowines

Giuseppe Campagnola, Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2018, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.90 Eurowines

Giuseppe Campagnola, Valpolicella Classico 2019, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.20 Eurowines

Zenato, Ripassa Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.30 Eurowines

Giacomo Montresor, Amarone della Valpolicella 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£29.90 Boutinot

Cielo e Terra, Bericanto, Pinot Noir, Vicenza 2018, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.15 LWC Drinks

Domìni Veneti, Vigneti di Torbe, Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2017, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.89 Alivini

Villa Mattielli, Amarone della Valpolicella 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£26.52 Top Selection

Alpha Zeta, R, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2018, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.80 Liberty Wines

Bertani, Valpolicella Ripasso 2017, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.94 Enotria&Coe

 

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