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

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

2016 Tommaso Bussola Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Ca' del Laito, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

Bussola is one of the greatest Amarone producers, but this is just a simple Valpolicella that is relatively inexpensive.  That said, this was excellent and a great value.  Purple in color with ruby at the rim.  Mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black and red currants, slight raisins, dust and spices.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, black currant fruit with underlying spice and some raisins.  Light tannins.  Dry.  Great acidity.  Long finish.  This is delicious.  It worked well with a pasta and tomato sauce.  This should drink well over the next five to seven years.  

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

2019 Pasqua 11 Minutes Rosé, Itsaly, Veneto, Rose Trevenezie IGT, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This proved quite popular at a recent tasting.  The name 11 minutes refers to the amount of time the juice is in contact with the skins.  It comes in an attractive squat bottle with a glass stopper.  A blend of Corvina 50%, Trebbiano 25%, Syrah 15%, and Carménère 10%.  Pale, silvery salmon in color.  Clear and bright.  The nose is pretty with maraschino cherries and slight strawberry notes.  On the palate, this is light bodied but not wimpy.  Notes of cherry licorice.  Very refreshing with some depth.  Orange peel/pith comes out towards the moderately lengthy finish.  This drinks quite well

2015 Famiglia Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a very nice Amarone that is not crazy expensive if one shops around.  It is a step up from their "Pasqua" bottling.  This is a blend of 65% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Corvinone, and 5% Negrara.  It has a true Amarone quality about it.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, spice, slight dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla.  Full bodied.  This wine is dry but with a mouthfeel that is slightly viscous and seems like it would be sweet.  Very interesting.  on the palate, cherries with underlying earthiness and slight tobacco notes.  A nice backbone of ac

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

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