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Top-scoring Amarones: 95+ point wines to seek out

Amarone wines saw standout results at the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards. Discover the best...

The celebrated red wine of the Veneto, and one of Italy’s most recognised wine styles, Amarone della Valpolicella has broad appeal.

From elegant and refined styles to rich, velvety, full-bodied wines, Amarone’s flavours range from ripe red cherries, plum and dried herbs to figs, roses, dark chocolate, coffee and smoky vanilla, often with a sensation of sweetness.

‘Few wines are quite so hedonistic’ writes Italian wine expert Michael Garner in Decanter’s Amarone: a buyer’s guide.

Winemaking greatly affects the different styles and quality of Amarones, with decisions around the appassimento drying process and ageing being critical, which is why it can be difficult to know which type of Amarone you’re getting.

This is where a look to Decanter World Wine Awards results is helpful. With over 100 Amarones judged by regional specialists at the 2021 competition, results reveal top-quality, expert-recommended styles worth discovering.

Scroll down to see the top-scoring Amarone wines and tasting notes from DWWA 2021

Garnering the attention of the judges and excitement from the DWWA 2021 Co-Chairs, Sarah Jane Evans MW commented during judging week, ‘I’ve just had an Amarone which I could keep describing to you. It is just something that goes on and on. One sip is 5-minutes’ worth of enthusiasm – that’s really something I’m excited about when judging.’

On judging wines from the Veneto, DWWA judge and The Wine Society buyer Sarah Knowles MW added, ‘the Amarones did very well, so we had a few good winners there with classic Amarones and more modern styles coming through.’

Blind tasted in carefully organised flights including region, vintage and price point, results highlight the standouts, with more than 15 Amarones scoring 95+ points. Discover them here…

Top-scoring Amarones: 95+ point wines to seek out

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva

Zýmē, La Mattonara 2008

Platinum, 98 points
Stewed red and black fruit aromas with smoky vanilla spice and a herbal touch. A powerful palate with raisin, fig and coriander seed flavours, well-integrated oak and silky tannins. Astonishingly fresh considering the vintage.

La Collina dei Ciliegi, Ciliegio Armando Gianolli 2011

Platinum, 97 points
Dried herbs, red cherries and spice bouquet. Great freshness on the palate with red cherries, coffee, wood spice and hint of mushrooms. The tannins are silky with fresh acidity and the finish is long.

Farina, Mezzadro Alla Fontana 2011

Gold, 96 points
Smoky, vanilla with stewed fruit and coffee nose. Great fruit concentration of red plums in the mouth, fresh acidity and forest floor aromas on the finish.

Albino Armani, Cuslanus 2015

Gold, 95 points
Dried herb aromas with baked red plums. Great concentration of ripe black fruits on the palate with sultana notes and a fruit sweetness that balances the alcohol.

Scriani 2015

Gold, 95 points
Attractive aromas and flavours of ripe red plums, cherries with a hint of dried herbs. Fresh acidity and silky tannins on the palate and a pleasing finish.

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

Scriani 2016

Platinum, 97 points
A beautiful wine with glorious creamy vanilla and baked fruit aromatics. It has loads of sweet dried dark fruit, coffee and chocolate notes, a dense texture, sweet spice and ample velvety tannins. Simply electrifying in its superfine acidity and length.

Le Ragose 2010

Gold, 96 points
Very elegant nose of aromatic Mediterranean herbs, dark chocolate, coffee and ripe juicy red cherries. Multi-layered palate with soft and silky tannins, lingering finish.

Zeni, Nino Zeni 2013

Gold, 95 points
Inviting nose with elegant aromas of fennel and dill under richer tones of plummy fruit and vanilla. Big and rich palate with a wealth of concentration.

Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena Riserva

Tezza, Brolo delle Giare 2013

Gold, 95 points
Opulent nose of rich strawberry and cassis seasoned by chocolate and cinnamon with fresh nuances of thyme and rosemary. Powerful body and tannins, incredible length.

Amarone della Valpolicella

Cantina di Verona, Pagus Bisano 2018

Platinum, 97 points
A full-bodied, rich and superb traditional style with a good amount of red and black plums on the nose, plus some vanilla and leather, all of which follow to the mellifluous, poised palate. It’s high class and very high quality. Outstanding!

Cantina Valpantena, Torre del Falasco 2016

Platinum, 97 points
Stunning fruit cake, vanilla and spice nose, touch of wood spice and red cherry. Palate brings lush dark fruits, a creamy texture, well-integrated chocolaty tannins and fresh acidity. Lovely mocha-like persistence on the finish.

La Giuva 2016

Platinum, 97 points
Exceedingly inviting creamy oak, baked red fruit, fig, caramel and molasses nose. Beautiful! Good fruit concentration in the mouth with baking spice, hints of dried herbs and red berries. Very rich and concentrated with big, round tannins. Superb!

Cantine Giacomo Montresor 2017

Gold, 96 points
Inviting and complex nose displaying aromas of juniper, blueberries, chocolate covered cherries, thyme and black olives tapenade. Big and savoury palate, rich and rounded, powerful.

Cantina di Verona, Terre di Verona 2018

Gold, 95 points
A fantastic full-bodied but vibrant and characterful, modern style with a sweet spice nose, grippy tannins and pretty red and dark fruit flavours. Yes, there is a succulence as well. Long, warming finish. Fantastic!

La Collina dei Ciliegi, Ciliegio 2016

Gold, 95 points
Stunning fennel, red berry, dried tomato, cinnamon, vanilla and red rose nose. Dense and concentrated with refreshing acidity, fine-grained tannins and long, savoury finish. A fabulous combination of fruit and acidity.

Pasqua, Mai dire Mai 2012

Gold, 95 points
The nose suggests refined oak notes, with tobacco leafs, mushrooms and black olive notes over ripe dark fruit. Full-bodied with firm tannins, vibrant with a long finish.

Search all DWWA 2021 award-winning wines from the Veneto

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