Allegrini, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

James Suckling 94 Points. Wine Enthusiast 93 Points.

Country, Region: Italy, Veneto
Grape: Corvina, Corvinone, Oseleta, Rondinella
Vintage: 2019
ABV: 16%
£79.95 Single bottle
Qty:
Tasting Notes
Producer details
In the vineyard
In the winery
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Allegrini's Amarone is a classic expression of the appellation with both tradition and a sense of place. With intense aromas of ripe, dark fruit and spice, it has an imposing structure and depth, superb balance with refined tannins and a long, spiced finish.

The Allegrini family estate covers 120 hectares of vineyard in the heart of Valpolicella Classico. Although they have been growing grapes here for several centuries, Giovanni Allegrini was the first to start bottling wines from the family's vineyards. When he died in 1983, he passed a passion for and a commitment to quality wine onto his three children - Walter, Marilisa and Franco. They worked together to build on Giovanni's quality ethos until Walter's death in 2003. Franco looked after the vineyards and the winemaking while Marilisa has always been in charge of sales and marketing. From the 2007 vintage, Franco sacrificed the Classico status of the Valpolicella and bottled the wine under Stelvin to eliminate cork taint and random oxidation problems as much as possible. Franco sadly died in 2022. He led the way in Valpolicella's quest for quality, forging a path that many others have followed.

After years looking closely at the Lugana area, Allegrini purchased 40 hectares of land in the municipality of Pozzolengo (in the province of Brescia) in 2018 and created a Lugana with a lively acidity to balance the natural richness of Turbiana. The result is a stylish and elegant wine showing the typical floral aromas with hints of almonds. The Valpolicella has a lovely intensity of red cherry fruit, lifted perfumes and a ripe yet zesty character on the palate. La Grola, sleek and beguiling, sets the standard by which all other wines from Valpolicella are judged. The Palazzo della Torre, a baby Amarone produced by Allegrini's unique approach to the ripasso method, is plush and rounded. Their Amarone is outstanding, intense yet balanced.

The Allegrini family's south-east facing vineyards are located in the Valpolicella Classico hills at 450-520 metres above sea level. The varied soils are mostly chalk and clay of volcanic origin, which are well-draining. The vines are Guyot-trained and 37 years old on average, planted with about 5,000 vines per hectare.

Overall, the 2019 vintage was characterised by a very mild winter. Temperatures only hit below 0C for a few nights in January, whilst peaks of 10C were recorded both in early December and in early January. This allowed the soils to still be 'workable' so vineyard managers took the opportunity to aerate the soils with some superficial subsoil tilling. There was very little rainfall in March and April which greatly reduced risks of mildew damage. In May however, rainfall came and temperatures dropped very low. This changed the growth-cycle of all plants in the area. This was followed by a cool, dry summer, which is why one can expect wines from this vintage to have finesse and elegance.

The grapes were hand harvested in late September, and dried over three to four months in the traditional Appassimento process, during which they lost 40-45% of their original weight. Vinification took place in the first two weeks of January. The dried grapes were destemmed, crushed and fermented in stainless-steel tanks at temperatures between 8-22C. Maceration lasted 25 days, with daily pumping over. The wine was racked into 100% new oak barriques (225 litres) in March for 18 months. After blending, it spent seven months in bottle.

James Suckling 94 Points. A modern interpretation of Amarone on one hand, yet dense, fresh and altitudinal of feel, brimming with the marrow of alpine herb and spruce sap, on the other. Bitter cocoa, espresso grind and the usual swathe of pithy, dried grape skin tannins, menthol and black licorice strap. Immense, powerful and fresh. I suppose that one can ask just how much of this can be drunk. On the other hand, a glass is impressive in the right moment. Drink or hold.

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points. Aromas of plum and black cherry that give way to notes of black tea, violet and savory spices. The palate is well-balanced, highlighting both the fruit and non-fruit flavors equally. Black and red berries share the stage with notes of espresso, anise, dried leaf and limestone. Fine tannins and meaningful acidity make this wine a standout.

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