Matt Steeves

Fall 2022

Here are some of the stand-out expressions of Amarone I tasted during the 2017 Anteprima event in Verona, Italy. These are all 2017 Amarones, some barrel samples, others recently bottled but not released, and some were recently available on the market. These all showed beautifully, with styles of Amarone that I love, and am confident North American-based wine enthusiasts will enjoy too. Keep your eyes peeled for these as they become available in the market over the coming months and years.

The 2017 vintage is one of softness and longevity meaning you can enjoy now and also cellar as you please for years, and decades in some cases, to appreciate the benefits of medium to long term bottle refinement.

Overview of the 2017 Vintage of Amarone della Valpolicella

A hot and dry summer led to an early harvest (early September) throughout Valpolicella with high sugar and acidity creating favourable conditions for well structured, balanced, and pleasantly soft/approachable wines.

When tasted mid-2022, the 2017 vintage of Amarone della Valpolicella are showing well now with potential for long aging, characterized by soft tannins with structure to age. This vintage is one for all types of wine lovers. A vintage that will benefit those serious collectors, that enables medium to long term cellaring, and equally one for those looking to enjoy a great wine tonight or perhaps at the next special occasion on their calendar. The 2017 vintage is certainly a vintage to seek out, enjoy now and cellar too. This versatile and approachable vintage will be enjoyed by all.

Matt’s top rated 2017 Amarone della Valpolicella wines tasted during Amarone Opera Prima

2017 Clementi Classico (barrel sample) – Freshness, cacao, citrus, integrated tannins, great textured, with dried fruit and chocolate on the finish. 93+ points.

2017 Le Guaite di Neomi (barrel sample) – super expressive, a very modern and approachable style of Amarone – loaded with sweet dried dark fruits, cacao, sweet baking spices, menthol/balsamic softwood notes. Repeat on the palate – absolutely delicious, it’s refreshing, with expressive dried fruits, chocolate, and spice box on the long textured finish. A style that will resonate very well with many North American palates. 94-95 points.

2017 Sartori di Verona Amarone Classico Reius (barrel sample) – Classic profile, elegant with savoury dried fruits, balsamic notes, it’s fresh, with a lively palate, super well integrated, a lovely Classico Amarone. 93 points.

2017 Secondo Marco (barrel sample) – Expressive and elegant, showing a complex bouquet of dried fruits, citrus, tobacco leaf, floral notes, and chocolate. The palate repeats with freshness, elegance, and complexity in a fantastically harmonious expression of premium Amarone. 95+ points.

2017 Ca’ La Bionda Classico Ravazzol – Delicious rustic style, it’s very expressive with dark fruit, sweet spices, and minerality on the nose. Very youthful now, it’s big and bold with grippy black fruit, figs, and some smoke on the finish. Let rest and enjoy 2025+. 93 points.

2017 Ca’ Rugate Punta 470 – smoky, expressive dried dark fruits, earthiness, tomato leaf on the nose. Delicious dark fruits, cacao, beautifully integrated Amarone. 93 points.

2017 Cantine di Verona S.C.A. Torre del Falasco – Yummy! Sweet dried fruits, spices, tobacco, balsamic notes, great texture, juicy dark fruits, orange, chocolate. Very impressive wine. 93+ points.

2017 Corte Figaretto Valpantena Brolo del Figaretto – Inky, fresh and dried sweet dark fruits, dark chocolate, brandied cherry. Delicious black cherry and sweet spices on the finish. Exceptionally well balanced Amarone! Enjoy now and over the next decade. 94 points.

2017 Falezze di Luca Anselmi – Sweet dark fruits, delicious palate showing decadent dark and dried fruits. Ready to enjoy now. 92-93 points.

2017 La Collina dei Ciliegi Ciliegio – Med ruby with a garnet hue, this Amarone displays a super interesting and complex aromatic profile. Orange, chocolate, brandied cherries, dark fruit, and evergreen notes. Showing beautifully now. 94-95 points.

2017 Monte Zovo – Famiglia Cottini – A very impressive wine. Fragrant with baked cherry pie aromas. Bold and delicious with tobacco and dark cherries on the finish. 93 points.

2017 Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine Famiglia Pasqua – Inviting profile with baked goodies, dried dark fruits, spices, tobacco, and pepper. Full bodied, dark cherry, sweet spices persisting on the long finish. 93 points.

2017 SalvaTerra Classico – Medium ruby, impressive intensity with a gorgeous bouquet of sweet and dried cherry, dried dark fruits. First impression shows big flavour and style, a very bold expression of Classico. Terrific aging potential. Enjoy over the next few decades. 93 points.

2017 Terre di Leone Il Re Pazzo Classico – Complex bouquet showing sweet dried fruit, elegant cherry, fig, menthol and balsamic evergreen notes. Lovely Classico expression – fresh and beautifully balanced, it’s elegant with great structure. Meditative! 93 points.

2017 Vigna ‘800 Virgo Moron Classico Riserva – Deep and expressive, this Classico Riserva is packed full of juicy dried fruit, cherry, herbs, and a hint of orange zest – It’s big and layered with sweet dried fruits, beautifully balanced, great intensity and length on the finish. 93+ points.

Keep your eyes peeled for those beautiful Amarone expressions from the 2017 vintage when they become available in your market. They’re all top notch and will be a great complement to your wine program, cellar, fine dinging, and holiday wish lists!

Matt Steeves – Wine Writer, On-Air Sommelier and former Director with the National Capital Sommelier Guild – follow Matt on Instagram @Quercusvino &r www.quercusvino.ca