Vintages are currently featuring Amarone – Italy’s blockbuster red. Produced from partially dried grapes in the Valpolicella region, it is both super concentrated, and super expensive. But it probably delivers the biggest $50 experience in red wine. My two picks are Brigaldara, which is rock solid with earthy, nourishing feelings – after-dinner conversation wine. And Zenato, which is silky, sensual. Late evening with your lover. Both wines could be ages 2-3 years.
Ripasso is the baby brother of Amarone – in richness and price, and is a perfect partner for steak. Monte del Fra is one of my favourite producers in Valpolicella.
BRIGALDARA 09 Amarone della Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy 300012 Vintages $49.95
ZENATO 09 Amarone della Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy 413179 Vintages Essential $49.95
MONTE del FRA, LENA di MEZZO 10 Ripasso della Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy 165662 Vintages $18.95