Amarone della Valpolicella is the long of it; Amarone is the short version. It’s an Italian, dry red wine that’s typically rich in flavor. “Amarone,” in Italian, translates to “the Great Bitter.” This is to distinguish it from Recioto, which is produced in the same region.

  • Passito ~ This is a generic term for wine that is made from dried grapes. It’s typically sweet, but it can also be dry.
  • Recioto ~ This one is a sweet red or white wine that is made from dried grapes. It’s a form of passito, but it is sweeter.

The recipe blend (if you can call it a recipe) is to make this wine in the following way:

In December 1990, Amarone was assigned its Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status. On December 4, 2009, Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella were promoted to the status of Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG).

What does this wine taste like? Loved it, loved it, loved it.

If you look up who’s talking about it, you’ll see it is consistently getting great scores. Cesari Fine Wines of Verona encouraged me to learn more about Amarone. I’ve since learned that they are a leader in this area of wine.

2005 Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Bosan – Score 94 points

The Wine Advocate

Another monumental achievement, the 2005 Amarone della Valpolicella Bosan shows just a glimmer of its age with aromas of tobacco and root beer that segue to dark fruit and spice. The Bosan vineyard is planted to 80% Corvina and 20% Rondinella with the Pergola training system on clay and chalky-alluvial soils. It sits tight on the palate with thick extraction and a touch of sweetness followed by savory spice. Polished tannins stand at the back. Bosan can be consumed now, or you could wait ten years or more. Drink 2014-2025.

I am surprised to discover that Cesari has not been previously reviewed in The Wine Advocate. Deborah Cesari and her father Franco now run the company founded by grandfather Gerardo Cesari in 1936. They own vineyards in Valpolicella and Lugana with four historic single-vineyard sites: Bosan, Bosco, Jema and Centofilari. They just bought three more hectares in San Ciriaco Negrar. The house style, executed by enologist Luigi Biemmi, definitely veers toward the international side of the Amarone spectrum (medium-toast French barrique is preferred). But their wines are exceptionally clean and balanced, revealing unique personalities across the board. In the ten years I have tasted Cesari, I don’t remember finding the overtly raisiny or oxidative qualities you sometimes get with Amarone. This flight with excellent picks from the 2010, 2009, 2007 and 2005 vintages make for an impressive debut in these pages.

–Robert Parker

Well, that sounds yummy and promising. Let’s find another…


2006 Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classic0 – Score 92 points

Wine Spectator

This fresh, juicy red is driven by a rich note of black licorice snap, mixed with damson plum and crushed currant flavors that show accents of freshly ground spices—anise, clove and cardamom. Features fine balance and polish throughout, with a sweet smoke note and subtle tannins that build on the finish. Drink now through 2026. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,500 cases imported.

–Alison Napjus

Again, very tempting… I’m ready for a black licorice snap. How about you? Another one…

Wine & Spirits

2001 Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico – Score 90 points

This wine’s black cherry flavors are distinctly Veronese, a clean line running between black mushroom and rose perfume. The texture is built on tannins as fine as cocoa dust, a contrast to the voluptuous fruit. Serve it with roasts, particularly wild boar.
Opici Import Co., Glen Rock, NJ

2000 Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Il Bosco – Score 93 points

A big, delicious Amarone, this builds dense and luscious cherry flavors into a modern, approachable style. Impressive in its balance of fruit and mineral tannins, this is ready to drink with pasta in a meaty wild mushroom ragù. It will thrive over the next several years.

–No author listed

The Final one, Wine Enthusiast

2006 Cesari Il Bosco (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico) – Score 94 points

The Cesari family has perfected its formula for achieving pure pleasure in liquid form. This is superstar Amarone, with loads of chewy, ripe fruit, decadent dark chocolate, leather, moist pipe tobacco and candied raspberry flavors. Even with all of the richness, extraction and deliciousness, this is an elegant wine. Drink after 2018.

Certainly, this is a delicious brand, when comparing the thoughts of my wine colleagues. Not, I must learn for myself. How about you? Are you down with that?

–No author listed