Roberto Mazzi Valpolicella
Roberto Mazzi Valpolicella Classico Superiore and Roberto Mazzi Valpolicella Classico Superiore Poiega are among two of the best Valpolicella wines produced in Italy. Subtly different, these are two wines both under €20 that are real bargain wines. The very best Valpolicella wines can be classed as “little Amarones” and a savvy wine drinker can get that Amarone flair for a third of the price.
Mazzi has been producing wine in the Valpolicella region (Negrar), north of Verona for 100 years, a family business that seems to get better with every passing generation their Valpolicellas are among the most respected of all. Mazzi also produce a lesser known, though interesting, Amarone, Passito and a Grappa di Amarone.
This weekend I was lucky enough to spend time at the much improved Ambasciatori Hotel in Mestre and sample their Valpolicella. My travel pal this time around did not drink red wine at all (I know, I know) and so ordering the half bottles seemed prudent. I knew I was onto a safe bet with the Mazzi Valpolicella Superiore 2005, I’ve tried this wine several times over the last 12 months and thought I would recommend it today as a great QPR wine. At only €12 a bottle and with a few years ageing potential too this is a super little wine.
Valpolicella, especially in the states, has some kind of “Chianti” type slur attached to it. By this, I mean that Valpolicella is usually sneered at by wine drinkers. I’m not familiar with the Valpolicella brands being exported over to the US, maybe there has been some negative publicity about the wine. Please leave a comment if you know why Valpolicella is so slated in the U.S of A? Poor mans Amarone? Nah. Clever mans Amarone.
Mazzi are not the most famous name out there producing Valpolicella, if you wish to experience the finest Valpolicella’s known to humanity then be prepared to pay some big notes. I’m not sure who is buying Romano Dal Forno’s €80 Valpolicella when you can get an Allegrini, Bussola or Tedeschi Amarone for the same or less. I suppose if quality Valpolicella is your thing then a case can be made for it.
So, let’s see the reviews for these two wines.
Roberto Mazzi Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2005 – BUY – €12
Pretty ruby red in the glass with a fast and loose nose, quickly giving up plums, acres of dark fruits and some nice vanilla/walnuts flavours. Mid bodied effort, on the palate the vanilla continues to come thru and the finish is good. Quite a simple wine but pleasant drinking with an appealing bouquet. 87 Points
Roberto Mazzi Valpolicella Classico Poiega Superiore 2003 – BUY – €19
Darker red in the glass and a step up in concentration from the regular bottling. Similar profile on the nose, plums, dark fruit and vanilla, however this effort has some chocolate notes and is noticeably a thicker and chewier wine. Good length on the finish, a Valpolicella hit. 89 Points
For just two points more and only a slight improvement you should look to the tasting notes to see which of these would be a more exciting Valpolicella for your palate. Personally, I’d pocket the €7 and go for the standard label. Twenty Thousand of these bottles are produced per year, I believe this wine has a strong presence in the USA so should be no trouble to find it. The 2005 blend was 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Molinara.
Where can I buy this Wine (standard bottle)
Europeans – Wineshop.it – €12
Americans – Wine Pro – $15
Brits – Wineshop.it – €9
Leave a comment!
Over 500 of you read the blog on Friday and I saw 3 comments! Are you trying to break my heart? Let’s talk about Valpolicella Bay-bee, drunk it? What did you think? Why are the US wine-o’s hating on it? Know Mazzi? Tell me your secrets!