Ever since we did the dueling wines with Amarone I have been on an Amarone kick, which is not a kick that my wallet has appreciated. I decided to explore some less expensive options that would still satisfy my craving for Amarone, while taking it easy on my bank account. If you read the last dueling wines post you’ll know that one of the wines we tried was a true Amarone della Valpolicella, and the other was an Amarone style blend from Argentina. Given that the Argentinian red blend was a good wine and similar to the actual Amarone, I decided that would be the place to start.
The Palazzo Torre Veronese Corvina Blend, 2011, is just about as close as you can get to an Amarone without being a real Amarone. The blend consists of 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Sangiovese. This wine, while made in Italy, containtes grapes that are not generally contained in the Valpolicella blend, namely the Sangiovese. Just as in an Amarone, the Corvina grape takes front and center stage here, contributing it’s fresh and fruity flavors to the wine, which are apparent in this bottle. This wine was created using the Ripasso method, typical of Valpolicella, where the wine is re-pressed with the dried grape skins.
This blend is a deep ruby red color, red berries on the nose with a bit of spice. Ripe red fruit flavors dominated by cherry with a hint of dried berry give way to a slightly herbal and earthy finish. This is a full bodied wine with medium high acidity and tannins and nicely balanced, which makes me think that it would probably age well. If i had a cellar (which I do not because I live in an apartment) I would probably pick a few bottles up to keep for a few more years. All in all, a very pleasant wine and a great substitute for an Amarone della Valpolicella. You can get it for about $20 (which is what it is listed for online), though I picked it up for $17 at Plum Market. I will happily give this wine an 8.9, or maybe even a 9, given that I was able to grab it for $17, highly recomended. If you’re feeling really adventurous with your palate, it wonderfully complements a meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup.