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Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Sergio Zenato 2015  - First Bottle


98 James Suckling -
An Amarone for the future with terrific richness and tannin power, offering dried fruit, figs, blackberries, bark, mushrooms and hints of wood. Full-bodied and very structured with a powerful finish. It needs a lot of time to come around. Try it after 2024.
95 Vinous -
The 2015 Amarone delall Valpolicella Classico Riserva Sergio Zenato is a massive and towering expression that straddles both savory and sweet with a heady display of plum sauce and crushed raspberries complemented by mentholated herbs, licorice and balsamic spice. There are depths of fresh red and black fruits that gain a polished feel as they coast across velvety textures, while vibrant acidity adds verve, further contrasted by a bitter twang of baker’s chocolate. There’s so much going on here that you hardly notice the 2015’s formidable structure up until the very end, where hints of cumin and ginger linger under an air of violet florals. I believe this opulent beauty deserves an official “wow.” Drink the 2015 now for its primal beauty and extroverted fruit, or put it away for upwards of a decade. It’s a gorgeous Amarone Riserva.
94 Wine Spectator -
This red is full-bodied yet bright and graceful, offering a rich range of baked black cherry, fragrant herb, dried fig and smoky mineral flavors, with lively acidity and sleek tannins providing a well-defined frame. Well-spiced and citrusy on the chewy finish. Corvina, Rondinella, Oseleta and Croatina. Drink now through 2035. 1,500 cases made, 100 cases imported.
94 Decanter -
Hand-graded grapes (80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta and Croatina) were left to dry for around four months, then fermented 15-20 days on the skins, the wine maturing for at least four years in large oak vessels before another year of ageing in bottle. Dense ruby in colour, this shows an impressively defined sense of terroir with its bright red-cherry fruit and black pepper – typical of Sant’Ambrogio Valpolicella – then the depth of dark chocolate, dried prunes and figs. Creaminess prevails on the off-dry (6g/L) palate, with elegant velvety tannins, refreshing high acidity and the final grip possibly from the Oseleta. A top example from the Classico area, this is a great example to pair with boiled meats and Italian mustard.
93 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Packaged in a pretty brown label, the Zenato 2015 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Sergio Zenato is very ripe and open with aged aromas of tarry smoke and baked fruit. This inky dark wine feels evolved and further down its evolutionary track than it should be. The 2015 vintage was hot and dry leading up to the appassimento process. That oxidative heaviness is pushed forward by a 16.5% alcohol content. The blend is 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella and the rest is Oseleta and Croatina. Production is 9,000 bottles.
93 Wine Enthusiast -
Violet, mature black-skinned fruit and new leather are some of the aromas you get on this big, bold red. Powerfully structured, the full-bodied palate features steeped prune, fruitcake and licorice framed in tightly knit, velvety tannins. Drink 2022–2027.

Technical Details

  • Blend80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella and 10% Oseleta
  • WinemakerAlberto Zenato
  • CountryItaly
  • RegionVeneto
  • AppellationValpolicella
  • Aging/Cooperage36 months in large barrels and then rests in bottle for several months
  • Alcohol16.5%

Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Sergio Zenato 2015

Red Blends  |  Italy
JS98, VN95, DC94, WS94, WE93, WA93

Amarone just might be the world’s most perfect winter wine. Rich, warm, spicy – just soul-enriching stuff from the very first sip! This “Sergio Zanata” riserva is one of the very best we’ve ever had. 98 POINTS! Do not miss this one!

If you’ve ever enjoyed a glass of trebbiano outside of Veneto, there’s a good chance you owe it to Sergio Zanato. He was a legend that is credited for putting trebbiano di Lugana, and indeed, the entire region of Lugana on the proverbial wine map. His tireless dedication to his precious estate, founded in 1960 and based in San Benedetto di Lugana on the shores of Lake Garda, made him the champion of the local trebbiano grape, bringing it to the international wine world’s attention. He expanded his focus to neighboring vineyards in the Valpolicella Classico region, exerting the same effort and extraordinary vision with this remarkable Amarone as the result.

Though Sergio passed after a bout with leukemia in 2008, the estate has thrived under the stewardship of his wife, Carla, and children, Alberto and Nadia, and is recognized as one of the finest Amarone producers in the entire region. With some 35 hectares in the commune of Sant'ambrogio di Valpolicella, the Zanato family focuses on the corvina, rondinella, oselata, and croatina grapes to make their Amarone. For this cuvée, only the oldest plots are selected, with this offering only made in the finest vintages. The vines, grown on lime-y clay and shale, are hand-harvested, then dried for four months on special mats in a specialized drying room. The yields for these vineyards are extremely low, averaging just over 3 tons per acre, all before drying removes the majority of water prior to fermentation. After a two-week fermentation, the wine ages for a minimum of four years in large Slavonian oak casks, with another year in bottle prior to release.

The resulting wine is classic, compelling, and simply jaw-dropping Amarone. Smoky, dark cherries, dried figs, chocolate-covered raisins, licorice, baked plum, iron ore, roasted herbs...this goes on and on. Tremendous balance, with hedonistic weight, and warmth, this is a wine to be savored...either now, or better still, 5 years from now. Epically delightful stuff. Only 100 cases made it to the states, and we are just thrilled to have this...even though it is strictly limited. While it lasts!

About the Producer

Three words come to mind when Saint Cosme is brought up in conversation: historic, dedicated, and DELICIOUS! Saint Cosme is located in the Rhône Valley region of France. They have been making wine for over 500 years and have a long history of producing high-quality, expressive wines. The team at Chateau de Saint Cosme is passionate about their craft and are dedicated to producing wines that showcase the unique terroir of the region. They grow a variety of grape varieties, including Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, and produce a range of red, white, and rosé wines. Their wines are known for their depth, complexity, and balance, and have earned a reputation as some of the best in the Rhône Valley. Whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of wine, Chateau de Saint Cosme has something for everyone to enjoy.