The Wines of Allegrini

by artfuldiner on March 16, 2021

in Artful Diner Review, Breaking News, Opinion, Wine, Wining and Dining

Allegrini WineryuAllegrini is the most acclaimed winery in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. The family has been involved in winemaking for over six generations, playing a major role in the Valpolicella Classico area since the 16th century.

However, it was Giovanni Allegrini, patriarch of the modern estate, who developed and perfected major innovations in the art of wine. He was among the first to question local viticultural techniques, revolutionize accepted practices, and emphasize quality. His vision was to demonstrate that Valpolicella – particularly Amarone – could be a great wine. He was able to combine the science of enology with strict grape selection and, between 1960 and 1970, produce some of the Valpolicella’s best wines. Today his grown children, Franco (winemaker), Walter, and Marilisa (marketing director pictured above on the cover of Wine Spectator) who run the company and have taken it to even greater heights of success.

The district of Valpolicella is situated between Bardolino and Soave, just north of Verona. The name is thought to come from the Greek, meaning valley of many cellars. Valpolicella is second only to Chianti for Italy’s total DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) red-wine production. The wines are made primarily from Corvina Veronese (Corvina), Rondinella, and Molinara grapes, although four other varieties can comprise up to 15 percent of the blend.

As noted above, Allegrini is Veneto’s most acclaimed winery. And many wine writers feel that their Amarone is the gold standard by which all others are judged. Grapes destined to become Amarone are harvested from the estate’s older, more mature vines. Grapes are picked later in the season – usually in mid-October – to ensure ripeness… Then they are left all winter to dry into raisins. During this period, the grapes lose 30-40% of their weight. The result is intense concentration and a very high sugar content, which, in turn, translates into 15% or higher alcohol levels.

Allegrini Valpolicella 2015All of this, of course, also translates into a premium price. Just take a moment to do the math… Twice as many grapes go into a bottle of Amarone than a bottle of regular wine. The drying process demands an investment of time and space on the part of the winery, as do the 45-plus days of slow fermentations and the long-term aging (similar to that of a Rioja).  If you’re a lover of full-bodied, super-concentrated wines with plenty of alcoholic punch, the 2015 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, which recently received a whopping 94 points from wine critic James Suckling, should fill the bill quite nicely… Just prepared to shell out about eighty bucks for the privilege. Total Wine in Claymont, DE, for example, is offering the 2015 at $79.99. It is somewhat less expensive from various sources online… but don’t forget you’ll also have to pay for shipping.

 Fortunately, Allegrini also produces several other vintages that are a good deal less expensive. The 2019 Allegrini Valpolicella is simply a lovely wine that’s received 91 points from James Suckling and an “Editors’ Choice” designation from Wine Enthusiast magazine. Displaying a beautiful ruby red color with the pleasant scent of wild berries, it’s velvety and light as a feather on the palate, perfect for everyday quaffing, by itself or paired a wide variety of foods… And it’s light on your pocketbook as well. Retailing around the $23.00 mark, I picked it up online from the Wine Chateau in New Jersey for $16.95 per bottle (plus shipping).

Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2016There are also several other options that are worthy of consideration. The 2016 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre, for example, is a blend of 40% Corvina Veronese, 30% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Sangiovese. I’ve sampled this wine on numerous occasions, and it is remarkably consistent year after year. Elegant and well-balanced, it possesses a long velvety finish and silky tannins. Readily available through Pennsylvania State Stores, this highly-rated beauty is a bargain at $19.99.

Allegrini La Grola 2016The 2016 Allegrini La Grola is another excellent possibility. As the winemaker notes, La Grola is the extraordinary result of the meeting of two great personalities: the hill of La Grola, which enjoys the sun’s warmth and the cool breezes from Lake Garda, and the indigenous grapes of Valpolicella. A blend of 90% Corvina Veronese and 10% Oseleta, the 2016 La Grola recently received a 93-point rating from wine critic James Suckling and 92 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine. No question, this is a wine of great elegance, harmony, and finesse that will continue to evolve for over a decade.

Unfortunately, I have never seen this in Pennsylvania State Stores. However, it might be available through special order. If not, it is available from several sources online, ranging in price from $24.00 – $30.00. This is an excellent wine and definitely worth seeking out.


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