Trader Joe's delivers a true Amarone for less than $20, the Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG "Black Label".
65% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Corvinone and 5% Negrara from Valpantena, Veneto, Italy. The grapes are dried for 3 months, losing 25-30% of their weight, before being pressed. The wine is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels and has 9.5 g/L of residual sugar.
The Black Label Pasqua Amarone is available at Trader Joe's for just $19.99. It is evidently not a Trader Joe's exclusive as there are a handful of other retailers that sell it, but they are all priced at least 50% more. It is imported by Latitude Wines, Inc.
This Amarone is a great full-bodied red wine produced with a unique technique called "appassimento". The grapes are left to air-dry in well ventilated rooms for about three months. The wine is aged in small wooden barrels and afterwards in bottle. This is an elegant wine with fragrances of currants, blackberries and notes of vanilla. Warm and rich, with silky tannins and a long finish. Serve at 18-20C.
The 2015 Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella begins with excellent aromas of blackberry, prunes and chocolate plus lots of interesting touches like vanilla, figs, spice, licorice and much more. It's fascinating to see how the bouquet evolves as it has some time in the glass too. The wine tastes big, smooth and delicious with similar flavors to the nose. Once again, there's lots to explore here so take your time with this one. It ends dry and long with nice touches of spice.
This is really nice example of Amarone at a price that doesn't completely kill your wine budget. It handles the 9.5 g/L of residual sugar and the 15% alcohol extremely well. We declare it to be super delicious!
For much more about Famiglia Pasqua and all their wines (many of which are also available at Trader Joe's) you can visit this post to read about our recent visit.