2011 Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto di Monte Lodoletta, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

From one of the top producers in this part of the world,  His Valpolicellas are better and more serious than most Amarones (and more expensive, too).  This is a blend of 70% Corvina,  20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina and 5% Oseleta grapes.  Purple in color, opaque and flat.  This is a dense, concentrated wine.  The nose has cherries, cedar, leather, dark chocolate and a hint of VA (just enough to raise the aromatics without being off putting).  Full bodied.  Concentrated.  Firm tannins with a lush texture.  On the palate, this is teeth staining and delicious.  Cherries, black cherries, with some

2006 Tommaso Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Tb, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

From Magnum.  Pop and pour, it took about 45 minutes to open.  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, slight prunes, slight dark chocolate, raspberries and spice.  Full bodied.  Dry.  On the palate, cherries, raspberries, chocolate with an underlying earthiness.  Nice acidity.  Great mouthfeel.  This is still on the young side, but should be about at peak from a 750ML.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  This drinks well on its own but worked great with a variety of Italian foods.  

2014 Tommaso Bussola Valpolicella Classico Superiore Tb, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$37.00USD

Another "lesser" wine from Bussola.  And yes, while his Amarone's are amazing, they are also pricey.  This Valpolicella is much more affordable and even in a poor vintage like 2014, he made great wine.  This is a blend of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara and other grapes.  Fifty percent of the grapes for this wine are harvested in September and are dried for 3 months.

2005 Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto di Monte Lodoletta, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$122.00USD

Dal Forno makes some of the best Amarone.  Unfortunately, the price is prohibitive.  That said, his Valpolicella's are better than most Amarone and while expensive, they can be worth doing.  This one certainly was.  So much better than a bottle tasted five years ago that was tight, oaked and unforgiving.  This bottle has really started to show a glimpse of its best.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, slight vanilla, cloves and leather.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has up front black cherry fruit with underlying spice and dried

2001 Giuseppe Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella Classico, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$350.00USD

This is a desert wine from one of the world's great winemakers.  At age 19, this is fresh and drinking great.  Tasted from a 375ml bottle.  Purple in color with ruby hues.  The nose is pretty with black cherries, dried red currants, slight mint and milk chocolate.  Full bodied and viscous.  Sweet but nowhere near cloying.  On the palate, this is rich with cherries, black cherries, slight simple syrup, dried herbs and slight alcohol.  Long finish.  This is complex, contemplative and also delicious.  It should easily go another decade or more.  This is one to sip a small glass with on its own

2008 Igino Accordini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Le Bessole, Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella,Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

Purple in color, ruby at  the rim.  The nose has cherries and spice.  With air some chocolate and slight craisin notes.  On the palate, this is ripe but not sweet.  Cherries and slight coffee notes.  Wide but not deep.  It is drinking well now but will certainly go for a while longer.  Seemed to be quite popular with those trying it.  It will work better with food but is nice on its own too.  Perhaps braised lamb?  

2009 Tommaso Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

From a magnum.  A blend of Corvinone (40%), Corvina Grossa (25%) and Rondinella (20%).  Opened and allowed to breathe for about one and a half hours before pouring.  Bussola is in my mind, a close third on the hierarchy of Amarone producers (following Quintarelli and Dal Forno).  His wines are pricey but doable.  This is his base bottling.  Purple in color with some ruby.

1997 Tommaso Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Tb, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1997
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

Bussola is one of the top producers in Amarone and the top producer I can still afford (after Quintarelli and Dal Forno).  This was an older bottle that was just singing.  It had been stood up for a week and then decanted just prior to serving.  It continued to open up for the next couple of hours.  Really a gorgeous wine.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose is great.  Dusty at first, that gave way to slight craisins, cherries with some underlying smoke and even a bit of dried flowers.  With more air, a chocolate/caramel note comes out; almost sweet.  On the palate, this is still l

2006 Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
88
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$39.00USD

This is a very nice Amarone in just the right place right now.  Probably at or close to peak but no real hurry here.  Deep ruby in color with very slight browning at the rim.  The nose is very nice with cherries, slight raisins and other dried fruits, a bit of spice and just a hint of roasted herbs.  A voluptuous texture.  Slightly sweet/ripe but just perceptible.  Layers of complexity. Good acidity that works better with food.  Nice finish.  Is this a blockbuster?  No, but it is an outstanding wine that is around $30 for current vintages.  

2012 Fratelli Speri Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Vigneto Monte Sant’Urbano, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cherries, slight prunes, slight raisin along with some anise and roasted herbs.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this  is ever so slightly sweet with cherries, dried cherries and slight prune.  Medium tannins.  Nice depth with layers of complexity.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  Should work with medium and heavier dishes very well, probably not so much with spicy foods.  Seems to be closing in on peak but should certainly have another 7 to ten years left.  

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