Supermarket Amarone: 2010 Cantina di Negrar – Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC

While I was grocery shopping the other day I stumbled over a bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. Usually I don’t buy wine at the supermarket but an Amarone for just 14.99€? How in the world is that possible? I asked myself how this would taste and so I decided to buy a bottle of it. Below you find my short review for it.

Cantina di Negrar

Cantina di Negrar was founded and 1933 and is located in the heart of the Valpolicella in Northern Italy. They buy the grapes from over 200 wineries in- and outside of the Valpolicella. That’s a total of 500! hectares (1235 acres). The winery produces all kinds of Veneto wines including Bianco di Custoza, Bardolino, Valpolicella, Ripasso, Amarone, Recioto, Lugana, Soave, Novello and sparkling wine. Isn’t this crazy? Lugana DOC is not even a wine from the Veneto region anymore, instead it’s a DOC in Lombardy. Cantina di Negrar produces 8 million bottles of wine per year. All their wines seem to be rather affordable.

Tasting Notes

2010 Cantina di Negrar - Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCThe 2010 Cantina di Negrar Amarone is a blend of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. The grapes underwent a slow 30-day fermentation and the wine aged at least 18 months in Slavonian oak barrels. The wine is classified as Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC.

In the glass, deep ruby red color. 15,5% was the label listed alcohol by volume.

The nose, was quite closed at the beginning but opened a little bit later on. Aromas of black cherries in alcohol, cinnamon, vanilla and plums.

In the mouth, dry, warm and full-bodied. Quite aggressive tannins (the wine is way too young anyways but I knew this). Intense flavors of forest fruits and cocoa. Lingering, quite alcoholic finish.

3 / 5 stars      

Parting Words

Well what can I say? For 15€ this is a very good wine. However, it does not remind me of Amarone. It tastes more like a Valpolicella Superiore. As I said earlier, the wine is also very young and should  be stored for at least 4 more years before uncorking it. I plan to buy a few more bottles of this wine because I have a feeling that the wine will taste much better with additional aging.

I have to say that I did not expect to like this wine at all when buying it. Nervetheless, I prefer buying wine from smaller wineries.. 8 million bottles per year is just .. too much.

Find the 2010 Cantina di Negrar Amarone on Wine Searcher.

The wine is by no means comparable to my favorite Trabucchi d’Illasi Amarone but a Trabucchi Amarone also costs at least 3-4 times as much as the Cantina di Negrar Amarone.

What are your thought about this wine? Let me know in the comment section below.

That’s all for today!


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27 comments on “Supermarket Amarone: 2010 Cantina di Negrar – Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC”

  1. Suzanne Reply

    I wish I could have found that wine at that price when I was commissioned to make a dish that used Amarone. I substituted a Valpolicella, which is essentially what you are reviewing. It’s kind of wonderful when you find a wine you think you will dislike and end up liking it. Especially at a bargain price.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Suzanne,
      I remember you asking for an Amarone that was suitable for cooking but back then I did not know about the Cantina di Negrar Amarone otherwise I would have suggested it.
      But like I said in my review, the wine tastes more like a Valpolicella. Producing high quality Amarone is expensive and labor intense.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Tracy,
      I agree! This buy made me try something new because I rarely buy wine at a supermarket. I store my wine in the cellar but I’m planing to buy a climate-controlled cabinet in the near future. We have some of them at the wine store I work at and they are very useful in my opinion – especially for white wine and during very hot summers.

  2. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    I’m surprised that you haven’t tried more Amarone at that price level. I frequently buy Negrar and when driving to the US I tend to always pick up a few bottles of Rengo Amarone (haven’t yet to find it in Canada). These wines have very good quality-price ratios, don’t you agree?

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Hannah,
      I’m not familiar with Rengo Amarone. It seems to be available only in the US – at least I found no retailers outside the US with my quick Google search.

  3. talkavino Reply

    Would be interesting to try it. Amarone, which I always consider my absolute favorite wine, had become a very difficult category in US – Trabucchi, Tenuta Sant’Antonio and may be single vineyard Masi are the only ones which I find enjoyable – most of the others (at any price range) are mostly an alcohol bombs without any beauty. Rengo Amarone (often available for $25) is drinkable, but not an object of craving by all means.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Anatoli,
      The Cantina di Negrar Amarone could fall in the category alcohol bomb as it was quite alcoholic..
      I tried Tenuta Sant’Antonio Amarone only two times so far but I have good memories about it. Another high quality Amarone I can recommend is the Tedeschi Capitel Monte Olmi (not as good though as Trabucchi and Sant’Antonio).
      Cheers!

  4. foodwine88 Reply

    I tend to buy Barolo and Brunello quite often at the grocery store – unless the wine is for a special occasion then I’m willing to pay $45+ for a single bottle of wine.
    Haven’t seen that much Amarone in these stores but I’ll keep looking for this one.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Patty,
      Amarone is considered one of Europe’s very best wines (not particularly the one I reviewed in this post). Good ones tend to be more expensive (often €50+). If you try some Amarone then I’d love to hear how you liked it : )

  5. winetalks winetalks Reply

    Nice review, Julian.
    I don’t like these large cooperative wineries with gigantic productions. Tried older vintages on a couple of occasions and was not that impressed and in general I agree with your rating.

  6. Sean P. Reply

    I somehow always avoided buying wine at the supermarket. Maybe it’s time to try some..

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Sean,
      I guess it depends on what wine the supermarkets carry in your city. In Munich the selection could be better and I only rarely buy wine at the supermarket. Most of the time I end up being disappointed with what I bought.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Oliver,
      Thank you! When i first saw the wine at Rewe I decided not to touch it but then I decided to go back and give it a try. I’m glad that I did because for under 15€ this is a good buy.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      The Wine Wrangler,
      Thanks for stopping by!
      I bought two more bottles and plan to store them for some years. The wine has definitely some potential and I agree with you that it’s not a serious investment. There is pretty much no risk 🙂
      Maybe the wine is also available in your area then you can give it a try as well.
      Cheers!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Andy,
      It was a good buy but like I wrote in my review, this wine is more comparable to a Valpolicella than to an Amarone. Nevertheless I decided to buy two more bottles. I’m curious how the wine will taste like in 3-4 years.

  7. wineking3 wineking3 Reply

    I somehow missed this post in my reader. I don’t think I got a notification for it..
    Anyways, Amarone for under $30 s sold quite often at TJ. I don’t particularly like the TJ Amarone because it’s an alcohol bomb but hey for just $30 that’s the the most one should expect for an Amarone..

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Wineking,
      I’m not sure why you didn’t get a notification or this post – maybe you’ve changed your notifications settings?
      Anatoli from Talk-A-Vino said something similar about Amarone and that it is becoming quite a problem in the US to find good tasting Amarone.

  8. RiojaChianti RiojaChianti Reply

    I think more and more people want to try “fancy” wines like Amarone, Rioja and Brunello but are not willing to pay a fortune for them so it makes sense to me that these wines become available at grocery stores even though there is no doubt that they are the result of mass production, which often seems to have impacts on the quality of those wines.

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