Veneto, Italy, $213, cork seal
This is probably the most widely available and reasonably priced Amarone in Hong Kong. From what I can discover Corte Giara is a side project of the Veneto producer Allegrini who started the brand to make approachable and value-driven, yet regionally true wines. Like all Amarone you'd assume this to be a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara.
The dark, inky colour of this gives a hint of things to come. My mate started with a big "how's the nose" and he was spot on in how amazingly intense and complex this smelt. I detected aromas of black cherry, olive, prunes, spice and raisins all wrapped up in a little porty sweetness. The palate took time to open up but when it did there was liquorice, red berries, cherry and a little spice. I was really impressed by how well this wine fitted together. The 15% alcohol was integrated and only showed itself as a pleasant touch of warmth on the tail end; there was plenty of acid that gave it a lively freshness, while the tannins were soft and approachable. Corte Giara Amarone Della Valpolicella 2004 was a lovely wine that beautifully balanced intensity with refreshment; power with approachability.