Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Amarone, powerful, red dried-grape wine in the DOC valpolicella in Italy’s north east. The wine, made of the same grape varieties as Valpolicella, consists of 45–95% corvina, 5–50% rondinella, and up to 50% corvinone in the place of Corvina. It may also contain up to 15% of any red variety that is authorized in the province of Verona.

Strictly speaking, Amarone is a recioto scapata, literally a recioto that has escaped and fermented to full dryness when the intention was to produce a sweet wine. The yeast, already struggling with the high sugar content in the must, would normally stop working because of rising alcohol levels, and before all the sugar had been converted. Stylistically, Recioto della Valpolicella and Amarone are similar, but the latter must be dry with no more than 12 g/l residual sugar and at least 14% alcohol (but often more). The pleasant, bitter (amaro) aftertaste explains its name. Amarone is a style and its name must be followed by ‘della Valpolicella’ on the label.