The 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella is a sleeping giant, wafting up with a hauntingly dark and layered display of crushed stone, black cherry, lavender, dusty earth, animal musk and hints of Indian curry. It’s deeply textural, velvety, yet light on its feet, with penetrating dark fruits offset by zesty spiced orange and minerals, as fine tannins slowly saturate.
It finishes structured with cheek-puckering tension, resonating on notes of red currant with hints of baker’s chocolate. There’s so much power here and depths unseen, which will take time to fully emerge. If tasted blind, you’d be hard pressed to call this out as Amarone, and I mean that in the best possible way.
Drink 2024 - 2036
Eric Guido, Vinous (February 2021)
This is part of our January 2023 sale. The price shown above includes a saving of 20%. Prices are valid till January 24th, apply to 75cl bottles only and exclude BBX listings.
This is a terrific bottle from Marion and one that I enthusiastically recommend for drinking out of the gate, or for aging. The 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella, made with Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella (and aged in large Slavonian casks for 30 months), is a full and generous wine that reveals special elegance and finesse.
The bouquet is layered and deep with wild cherry, rose hip, earthy tones, forest floor, spice and dried tobacco. It shows balance over a silky, tapered mouthfeel with length and polished streamlined intensity. Some 10,000 bottles were released.
Drink 2021 - 2035
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (December 2021)
About this WINE
This Valpolicella estate is owned and run by the Campadelli family, who purchased the property in 1986. Based in the valley of Marcellise, just outside the Classico zone, it’s home to a splendid 15th century villa once owned by the Conte Marioni. Stefano Campedelli – a trained surveyor – was delighted at a chance to escape the office. Working with his wife, Nicoletta Fornasa, and brother, Marco, they started bottling in 1995, and today they farm 22 hectares, producing around 70,000 bottles a year. The wines have been fine-tuned over the years, but their hallmark is fruit purity, aided by the vineyards’ chalky soils.
Valpollicella is a famous (and infamous) Venetian wine DOC north of Verona producing enormous amounts of red wine of variable quality and accounting for almost 7% of the Veneto's entire production.
Valpolicella Classico covers the original zone, an area drastically enlarged with the granting of DOC status in 1968 (energetically encouraged by the large, local co-operatives) to encompass the fertile plains as well as the superior Lessini Mountain foothills. After opening the floodgates to gallons of poor quality Valpolicella, steps have more recently been taken to redress the quality issue, notably through the removal of Molinara from the list of permissible grape varieties. Only Corvina Veronese and Corvinone can now be used, along with a small percentage of Rondinella and Croatina.
The wines are aged in large oak vessels or stainless-steel vats for no more than a year, thus retaining the fresh, approachable, black cherry fruit that can make them so attractive. While Valpolicella (and even Classico) may be light and relatively simple, Valpolicella Ripasso is altogether richer and more satisfying. Matured on Amarone lees, it begins like a slightly less full-bodied version of Amarone before finishing on a sweet, Recioto-like note.
Valpolicella Ripasso is an increasingly popular style of Valpolicella that is produced by passing Valpolicella ‘normale’ or Classico over the still warm Amarone grape pomace in early spring after the Amarone wine has been run off. This effects a second alcoholic fermentation in the Valpolicella and gives the resulting wine more body, texture and alcohol.
Corvina, Corvinone blend
Corvina is widely grown on the Veneto shore of Lake Garda and the hills of Valpolicella to the north and north-east of Verona. Sometimes known as Corvina Veronese, it is blended with Rondinella and Molinara to produce Valpolicella and Bardolino. It can be a tricky grape to cultivate, as it ripens late and is prone to rot if affected by rains at harvest time. It is a high-yielding grape and quality is very dependent on keeping yields low.
Corvina-based red wines can range in style from a light, cherryish red to the rich, port-like Recioto and Amarone Valpolicellas. Most Valpolicella from the plains is pale and insipid, and bears little comparison with Valpolicella Classico from the hills. Some producers such as Allegrini are now producing very high quality 100% Corvina wines.