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Amarone Della Valpolicella (Winemaking, Best Wines, Prices 2020)

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Anthony Zhang
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September 14, 2020

Want to explore all about the rich, intense Amarone Della Valpolicella wine?

This dry red wine is one of those scarce collectibles that ages beautifully for decades!

What makes it so sought-after? What’s unique about its winemaking techniques?

And, which Amarone wines should you buy?

Grab your favorite wine and find out everything about Amarone Della Valpolicella - from the unique winemaking techniques, the different styles and flavors, and what makes it so expensive.

Also, discover a handpicked list of 8 unique Amarone wines you could add to your red wine collection and the smartest way to buy them!


Further reading

Step into the world of fabulous Red Wines in this incredibly useful red wine guide!

This Article Will Cover:

  1. 2011 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Selezione DOCG
  2. 1990 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG
  3. 2001 Zyme La Mattonara
  4. 1998 Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta
  5. 2011 Allegrini Fieramonte
  6. 2007 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG
  7. 2008 Tommasi De-Bvris Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG
  8. 2011 Tedeschi La Fabriseria


Got your glass of red wine?

Let’s get started.


Amarone Della Valpolicella Wine

Amarone Della Valpolicella Wine
Best Amarone Della Valpolicella wines to buy in 2020

Amarone Della Valpolicella wine, usually called Amarone, is a rich dry Italian red wine typically made from a blend of Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella grapes in the Veneto region of Italy.

So, what’s unique about this wine?

Short answer: Amarone wine is made of dried out grapes. (We’ll tell you more about that in a bit!)

It is only produced in a small wine region between Verona and Lake Garda in Valpolicella.

Amarone directly translates to “the Great Bitter”, which was used to distinguish it from the Recioto della Valpolicella wine produced in the same region.

A Brief History: How Amarone Della Valpolicella was Created by Accident

It is said that Amarone wine was created by accident in 1936 when Adelino Lucchese (the Villa Novare winemaker) was producing Recioto wine. While bottling the sweet dessert wine, he missed one of the barrels, and it continued to age.  

When Adelino realized his mistake, he feared the worst. He then called winemaker Gaetano Dall’Ora to taste the wine. To their surprise, the wine had not turned! Instead, it tasted better than either of them expected!  

The wine had gained body, power, and structure without losing its original sweetness. By fermenting longer in the barrel, the sugars were transformed into alcohol creating a sweeter, richer wine.

Amarone Della Valpolicella was assigned its DOC classification in 1990. It was only in 2009, that Amarone and Recioto were both promoted to the classification of DOCG.

Grapes Used To Make Amarone Della Valpolicella Wine

Grapes Used To Make Amarone Della Valpolicella Wine
Corvinone grapes at the Tenute Ugolini vineyard, Italy.

There are only 12,000 acres in the world where Corvina and Corvinone grapes are grown, and they are found in Valpolicella.

Initially only Corvina (Corvina Veronese),Corvinone, and Rondinella were used to make Amarone wines. But, of late, grapes like Molinara and Oseleta have also been added to the mix in smaller quantities.

The best Valpolicella wine comes from Corvina grapes, the rarer Corvinone, and Rondinella grapes. Oseleta and Molinara are considered to be lower quality grapes due to their higher production volumes.

The Corvina grape adds to the aroma and flavors, while Corvinone contributes the color, tannin level, and the elegance of Amarone wine.


Valpolicella Regions Where Amarone Is Produced

It has three primary zones, Classico, Est, and Valpantena.

1. Classico

Valpolicella Regions Where Amarone Is Produced
The vineyards at Zenato Winery in Valpolicella Classico

The main valleys of Valpolicella Classico stretch out of the Lessini Mountains and are known as Valpolicella traditional wine-growing regions. These regions, including vineyards like Negrar and Sant Ambrogio, are just north of Verona in the lowest foothills of the Alps. Wines from this appellation are more aromatic, softer, and fruit-forward.

2. Est

The Est (meaning East) region is next to the Soave wine region. It is considered a new region for Amarone wines, and the wines produced are fresher, softer, and keep their flavors longer.

3. Valpantena

This wine region lies east of the Classico region. The wines from this area are like the Valpolicella Classico in terms of style but offer more fruit flavors and herb aromas.  

The popular vineyards from the Valpantena region include Cerro Veronese and Verona.

Wine from Valpolicella is classified into five levels.

Amarone is classified as Level 4 among Valpolicella wines. Here’s what the classification looks like:


Amarone and Valpolicella Wine Classification

Amarone and Valpolicella Wine Classification

There are five distinct levels or tiers of Valpolicella wines:

Level 1: Valpolicella Classico DOC (11% - 12% ABV)

This wine is made under the Valpolicella DOC of the Veneto region and is considered an everyday red wine because it is produced in large quantities.


The grapes used to produce this wine are all grown in the traditional Classico zone.

Level 2: Valpolicella Superiore DOC (12% ABV)

This red wine is aged for one year in wooden barrels. Valpolicella Superiore wines are considered the more versatile wine of the Valpolicella family.


Wine producers can experiment more with this wine to bring out new flavors. They use partially dried grapes or late-harvested grapes in their blend.

Level 3: Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso DOC (14% ABV)

Also called Ripasso della Valpolicella or Valpolicella Ripasso, this wine received its DOC status in 2009.


It goes through two fermentation processes. The first is the usual fermentation with fresh grapes. Later on, it is mixed with Amarone grape skins and solids (known as Ripasso). The second fermentation process is what gives the wine its color, alcohol levels, and texture.

Level 4: Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG (14% - 16% ABV)

Amarone wine is made with grapes from Valpolicella that have been dried for 4-5 months. Drying the grapes removes the water and concentrates the sugars.


The Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG wine is aged for 2-5 years before being released.

Level 5: Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG (12% ABV)

This is the perfect dessert wine! It is extremely concentrated and made with the same grapes and process as Amarone. Instead, fermentation is stopped before completion to leave residual sugar in the wine.


The Taste And Characteristics Of Amarone Wine

The Taste And Characteristics Of Amarone Wine

You can expect high acidity and bold aromas of black fig, cherry liqueur, black cherry, cinnamon, mature fruit, and plum sauce. There’ll also be notes of chocolate, crushed gravel dust, and green peppercorn on the palate.

The older Amarone wines offer more flavors of brown sugar, fig, and molasses.  

This wine also has a touch of natural residual sugar. This residual sugar complements the naturally high acid levels and adds to its boldness.

Tasting Amarone wine is an experience every wine lover needs to get!

Sip this wine in an oversized wine glass to collect all the delightful aromas. Serve young Amarone wines at room temperature and older wines at slightly cooler temperatures.

Amarone Wine Characteristics

  • Body: Full bodied red wine
  • Tannins: Firm Tannins
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV): Minimum 14%, usually between 15% and 16%
  • Residual Sugar: Maximum 0.9% for a 14% ABV, to about 1.2% for higher ABV.
  • Acidity: High Acidity

Amarone Della Valpolicella Wine Styles

Amarone Della Valpolicella Wine Styles

You can find three distinct styles of Amarone Della Valpolicella.

1. Normale

Amarone Normale needs to be aged for a minimum of two years in an oak barrel. This wine is meant to be opened 10 years after its release.

2. Riserva

Amarone Riserva needs to be aged for a minimum of four years in French, American, or Slavonian oak.

Some wineries, such as Zenato, prefer using Slavonian oak casks over French barriques. Aging wine in Slavonian oak is more gentle and allows for a longer lifespan and more prominent flavors.

The grapes used for Amarone Della Valpolicella Riserva are harvested in smaller batches and given some additional time to age. Amarone Riserva can age well for up to 20 years or more.

3. Recioto

Recioto della Valpolicella wine is on the sweeter side, more concentrated, and longer-lived than Amarone wine.  

When choosing an Amarone for any occasion, it is good to know the methodology used to produce them.


Unique Winemaking Methods Used to Create Amarone Della Valpolicella

Unique Winemaking Methods Used to Create Amarone Della Valpolicella

Wineries use the Appassimento winemaking methods to produce Amarone wine.

Appassimento is the original method used for the grape drying process. The dried-out grapes are then pressed and fermented.

With modern technology, however, two new styles have emerged that decide the taste and longevity of the wine.

1. Traditional Winemaking Method

Wineries like Bertani and Quintarelli use the traditional method to dry the grapes and then ferment them in chestnut or oak barrels. In this method, producers use Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella grapes in their blend.

When made using this method, the Amarone della Valpolicella wine has high acidity levels giving it great aging potential.

This method brings out flavors of red cherry, cinnamon, and green peppercorn.

Amarone produced from traditional methods could last easily up to 40 years. When you open the bottle, decant the wine for a couple of hours before serving.

2. Modern Winemaking Method

Winemakers like Masi and Allegrini use the more modern approach of quickly drying the grapes in humidity and temperature-controlled rooms. They then age their Amarone wine in new oak barrels.

Amarone wines from this method are bolder on release because of the new oak aging. The new oak aging also adds flavors of cherry liqueur, chocolate, molasses, and vanilla.

Some wineries also add non-regional grape varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sangiovese grapes to the blend.  

Some of the wines produced using this method only last 8 - 10 years, while others might last for 20 years or more.


What Makes Amarone Wine Expensive?

What Makes Amarone Wine Expensive?
Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico Tommasi

The high price tag for a bottle of Amarone is primarily due to its scarcity and the unique, time-consuming winemaking process.

When it comes to producing Valpolicella Classico, the grapes are harvested and immediately crushed and fermented. But, the grapes used to produce Amarone wine go through a longer journey until it is a finished product.

  • Most wineries select the more mature, finest bunches for this wine.
  • The grapes are also left a bit longer on the vine to make sure they have fully ripened.
  • It takes at least 120 days for the grapes to dry out and turn into raisins. During this time, around 30-40% of the juice and weight is lost.
  • The grapes are then blended and slowly pressed and fermented. This slow process is what gives the Amarone wine an intense concentration and remarkably high sugar content. The resulting wine has a high alcohol content and a deeper color.


To help you choose a bottle of Amarone, we’ve handpicked eight of the best ones!


8 Best Amarone Della Valpolicella Wines For 2020

Here are the most sought-after bottles of Amarone for you to try:

1. 2011 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Selezione DOCG

2011 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Selezione DOCG

This Amarone Classico della Valpolicella is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. It was created by Giuseppe Quintarelli in the hillside vineyards located in Negrar.

The nose opens with aromas of cocoa and liquorice, and it is enhanced with fruity notes of glazed cherries and black plum.

Price of a 2011 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Selezione DOCG: $1431

2. 1990 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG

1990 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG

This vintage was originally labeled as “Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Superiore Riserva”; however, it has since been changed to “Riserva Centenario.”

Opening this bottle of Amarone will release aromas of sour cherry, vanilla, ripe fruit, and complex flower notes. When it comes to taste, this wine has flavors of sweet young cherries, with strong tannins and an amazing long finish.

The acidity in this wine keeps the sweetness in check and lets you experience a perfectly balanced wine.

Price of a 1990 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG: $1342

3. 2001 Zyme La Mattonara

Amarone della Valpolicella: 2001 Zyme La Mattonara

Corvina, Corvinone, Croatina, Oseleta, and Rondinella grapes are used to make this Amarone wine. These grapes were handpicked from the older vineyard in San Pietro in Cariano. Hence this wine was only made in limited quantities.

It has notes of cherry preserves, cinnamon, tobacco leaf, spice, and whisky.

Price of a 2001 Zyme La Mattonara: $549

4. 1998 Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta

Amarone della Valpolicella: 1998 Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta

This pitch-black Amarone bursts with flavors and aromas, including black fruit, espresso bean, exotic spice, mocha, raisin, and vanilla.

It is a full bodied red wine with firm, refined tannins that carry you through to a long finish.  

Price of a 1998 Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta: $489

5. 2011 Allegrini Fieramonte

Amarone della Valpolicella: 2011 Allegrini Fieramonte

The 2011 Allegrini Fieramonte is a bright ruby red wine, with plenty of lively highlights.

It has aromas of dried fruit, plum preserve, and exotic spices. The full bodied wine has tasting notes of clove, crushed alpine herb, ground pepper, and prune.

This wine has no noticeable sugars, but it does have velvety tannins that caress your palate. The tannins are accompanied by vibrant acidity that lengthens and slows the mouthfeel.

Price of a 2011 Allegrini Fieramonte: $280

6. 2007 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG

2007 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG

This Amarone wine is a bright red wine, with an orange rim. While you sip on this silky-textured wine, you will notice a near-perfect balance between the acidity and the tannins.

This wine’s flavor and aroma will remind you of aromatic herbs, crushed flowers, dried red cherry, liquorice, minerals, raspberry, and sweet spices.

Price of a 2007 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG: $351

7. 2008 Tommasi De-Bvris Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG

2008 Tommasi De-Bvris Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG

This elegant Amarone opens on the nose with aromas of carob, liquorice candy, and leather.

This full bodied Amarone has soft tannins that are fully resolved now with a harmonious and durable finish.

Price of a 2008 Tommasi De-Bvris Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG: $266

8. 2011 Tedeschi La Fabriseria

Amarone Della Valpolicella:  2011 Tedeschi La Fabriseria

The 2011 Tedeschi La Fabriseria is a bright, deep ruby red wine. It has aromas of baking chocolate, black cherry, and clove.  

This medium to full bodied wine has an intense concentration, high acidity levels, and medium tannin levels. You can open this wine up now, but it will also be perfect in 10-12 years.

Price of a 2011 Tedeschi La Fabriseria: $221

Now that you’ve discovered all there is to know about Amarone della Valpolicella, it is time to get a bottle of your own to enjoy.

Luckily, you have a trusted wine investment company that can help you find the perfect bottle for your next special occasion!

Read on to find out how Vinovest can help you buy, store,and even sell your Amarone wine.


Buy And Store Your Wines (Including Amarone) Perfectly Through Vinovest

Buy And Store Your Wines (Including Amarone) Perfectly Through Vinovest
Vinovest dashboard

Vinovest is an easy-to-use online wine investment platform through which you can buy, authenticate, store, and even sell your Amarone wines with no hassles.

How it works

Starting with Vinovest is easy. To get started on your fine wine portfolio, follow these simple steps:

  • Sign up on the Vinovest website. (Name, email ID, and password)
  • Answer a few questions on your risk appetite and investment preferences.
  • Add a minimum of $1000 to your account.
  • Track your wine portfolio and watch it grow online!

Benefits of buying and storing your wine through Vinovest

Best prices

Vinovest makes it easy for you to buy the best wine bottles at wholesale prices that are carefully sourced from global wine exchanges, wineries, and merchants.

Easy buying, selling, and delivery

At the click of a button, you can sell or buy wine with just a few clicks with Vinovest’s online AI-based platform. Vinovest’s expert team of Sommeliers and data scientists will also help predict the best time to sell your wines at the highest prices.

You don’t have to worry about packing and shipping that bottle of Amarone to your home or a buyer. Vinovest takes care of all the smaller details for you.

Optimal storage

Vinovest stores your wine in the perfect conditions in their bonded warehouses. Humidity, temperature, pressure, and vibration are all monitored to ensure your wine ages beautifully.

Insurance coverage and security

All their storage facilities are carefully monitored by security and have power backups. Vinovest insures your wine, so you are covered for any loss or breakage.

Authentication and Provenance

Are you worried about ending up with a counterfeit bottle of Italian wine? Vinovest authenticates the origin of every single bottle of wine that you may be interested in.

Curated portfolio

Vinovest’s team of expert data scientists and master Sommeliers will curate your wines and help you build your collection.

Low overall costs

There is a 2.85% annual fee (2.5% for a portfolio above $50,000). This annual fee covers a full insurance policy at market value, authentication, buying your wines, managing your portfolio, storing them, and selling your bottle of wine.

Ownership

Every bottle of wine in your portfolio is 100% owned by you. That's right, every bottle of Amarone, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon is yours!

A Red Wine To Hold Onto!

Amarone della Valpolicella is the perfect wine bottle to uncork on a special occasion or store in your wine cellar to sell later at a profit!

But, you should be able to do so without the hassles of buying, shipping, and storing the bottles.

Simply take advantage of Vinovest’s wine investment platform to build your portfolio of Amarone della Valpolicella and other highly-valued wines.

Sign up today and start building your portfolio right away!

Further reading

Step into the world of fabulous Red Wines in This Incredibly Useful Red Wine Guide!

Written by

Anthony Zhang

Anthony is a repeat entrepreneur who has previously founded and sold two companies, EnvoyNow and KnowYourVC. He has also held leadership positions at Blockfolio and is a board member at RateMyInvestor.
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