Quercus Vino

Canadian Sommelier, On-Air (TV, radio) Wine & Spirits Somm, Valpolicella Wine Specialist

wine review: 2018 Ca’ La Bionda Ravazzol Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

Ca’ La Bionda’s organic terraced vineyards are situated in the Marano Valley of the Classico region of Valpolicella, and since 2015 they’ve been picking a couple weeks earlier than most (as early as mid-August) to ensure the retention of that bright acidity in their wines, which is critical in support of their winemaking vision of producing terroir-focused wines with great freshness, complexity, and drinkability. 2018 Ravazzol shows delicious dried fruit, fig, cherry, spice, and tobacco on the nose. The palate is equally layered and complex, with great structure, freshness, and elegance. A premium Amarone to make room for in your cellar, every vintage. Enjoy now and over the next two plus decades. 94+ points.

wine review: 2018 Secondo Marco Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (barrel sample)

2018 Secondo Marco (barrel sample) – Expressive, crisp, clean, and elegant, showing a complex bouquet of herbs, menthol, plum, prunes, and tobacco. The plate is smooth and refreshing with delicious red fruit, spice, and beautifully integrated tannins. Their vineyards, in the heart of Valpolicella Classico area, benefit from warm breezes from Lake Garda in the morning and cool mountain air in the late afternoon to create the perfect conditions for ripening whilst preserving freshness. Winemaker Marco Speri vinifies and ages each of the varietals in his blends separately, then carefully assembles them when ready to produce the expressive and well structured wines Secondo Marco has become renowned for over the past decade. 2018, although a youthful preview, is another outstanding expression of premium Amarone from Secondo Marco. You’ll have to wait a few extra years to pick up your own case as it’s still got a few years to go before release. Enjoy 2028-2048+ 95-96+ points.

wine review: 2018 Le Guaite di Neomi Amarone della Valpolicella (barrel sample)

2018 Le Guaite di Neomi (barrel sample) – Deep colour, concentrated, super expressive. Loaded with dried dark fruits, dark chocolate, sweet baking spices, menthol/balsamic notes. This preview shows a very youthful and well structured wine that will be outstanding in the coming years when winemaker Neomi Pizzighella deems it ready (generally ~8-10 years following harvest, expect this one to be available for sale in 2028 only… note the 2012 vintage is what’s currently available). Enjoy 2028-2040+. 94-95+ points.

wine review: 2018 Lavagnoli Amarone della Valpolicella

2018 Cantina Lavagnoli Amarone della Valpolicella – First time tasting Lavagnoli’s Amarone and very impressed. Ruby with a garnet hue, the nose shows delicate sweet spices, dried red berries, plum, leather, and tobacco notes. Very complex, beautifully balanced, the palate repeats the aromas delivering a finely textured and very approachable Amarone to enjoy over the next decade+. 94 points.

wine review: 2018 Adalia Ruvaln Amarone della Valpolicella

2018 Adalia Ruvaln Azienda Agricola Camerani Marinella – This wine, named after the two spot lady bug (Adalia Bipunctata), recognizes the important role nature plays in the vineyards, like the important role biodynamic Valpolicella winemaking pioneer, Marinella Camerani, has played in crafting premium Valpolicella wines following the biodynamic tenants which guide in the production of the grapes/wines for Adalia and the family’s Corte Sant’Alda winery. This vibrant wine shows expressive dark fruit, spice, tobacco, and incense on the nose. The palate is perfectly structured with a beautiful medley of sweet and spicy fruits and an elegant fine textured finish. Enjoy over the next decade+ with rich and flavourful dishes. 94 points.

wine review: 2018 Ca’ dei Frati Dal Cero Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG (barrel sample)

2018 Ca' dei Frati Pietro Dal Cero (barrel sample) - Rich deep colour, the nose shows dried dark fruits, cassis, prune, and sweet spices with great intensity. The palate is concentrated with delicious dried fruit and spices. Remarkable freshness on the long and beautifully balanced finish. This barrel sample of fine Amarone shows it's approachable style while young while its great structure will enable medium to long term cellaring. Enjoy 2024-2040+. 94 points.

wine review: 2018 Clementi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG (barrel sample)

Deeply coloured, opaque core, nose shows impressive freshness alongside the rich dried dark fruit and cacao notes. Great concentration and purity of the fruit with well integrated tannins, great structure, this early preview is impressive with great potential for when it’s released in the coming years. Tasted during Amarone Opera Prima in Verona, Italy, February 2023. Enjoy 2028-2048+. 94-95 points.

Top Rated 2018 Amarone della Valpolicella Wines for your collection

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Featured post

Celebrating Robbie Burns with Scotch Whisky & Whisky Cocktails on CTV Morning Live

Today on CTV Morning Live, Sommelier Matt Steeves showcased some of his top recommended Scotch whiskies and Scotch cocktails to celebrate Robbie Burns on January 25.

Signature Holiday Cocktails as seen on CTV Morning Live

Today on CTV Morning Live, Sommelier Matt Steeves showed some of his Sommelier-recommended wine picks that make excellent last minute gifts this holiday season.  

Last minute wine gifts as seen on CTV Morning Live

Today on CTV Morning Live, Sommelier Matt Steeves showed some of his Sommelier-recommended wine picks that make excellent last minute gifts this holiday season.  

wine review: Culmina No. 18 Süsser Riesling 2020

Ottawa, ON November 2022 Matt's review: Culmina's No. 18 Süsser Riesling 2020 is very unique offering that's part of their winemaker's small lot experimental series. 2020 Süsser Riesling No. 18 is sourced from Margaret's Bench Vineyard high up on the... Continue Reading →

wine review: 13th Street Winery Cabernet Merlot 2020

Each vintage 13th Street's winemaker assembles a unique blend of their popular 'Cabernet Merlot' to showcase how great this value-priced red blend can be. 2020 is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, all from Niagara's Creek Shores VQA . Deep ruby in colour, the nose shows dark cherry, plum, pepper, and sous bois. It's rich with fine soft tannins making it great to enjoy now with wood fired pizzas, pasta, or charcuterie.

wine review: Donnafugata Sul Vulcano Etna Rosso DOC 2019

From Sicily's Mount Etna region (Etna Rosso DOC) which produces very unique and complex wines from its volcanic soils, like Donnafugata's Sul Vulcano.

Anteprima Tasting – Terre di Leone Il Re Pazzo 2017 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

I fell in love with this winery, their impressive wines, and breathtaking terraced vineyards when I first visited in 2016. Was very impressed with their 2017 Amarone when tasted at Amarone Opera Prima in Verona Italy this past June. Highly recommend!

wine review: Inniskillin Cabernet Franc 2018

Ottawa, ON November 2022 Matt's review: Inniskillin's Reserve Cabernet Franc 2018 is a wonderful expression of the elegant, complex, and balanced cool-climate Cab Franc coming from the Niagara region. Ripe, earthy, herbal, with impressive graphite minerality on the finish -... Continue Reading →

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