| Wine Advocate 90 points (Dec 2011)
The 2007 Amarolo is a 40/40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (sourced from the vineyards of Kerem Ben-Zimra, as planted in 1983) and Merlot (vines planted in 1995), with small amounts of Petit Verdot, Grenache, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz filling out the blend. So, with that blend, why is it called Amarolo? The grapes are dried on mats for 70 days, the winery says, Amarone-style, and then aged in a mixture of new and old oak (70/30 French-American combination) for 40 months and then bottled unfiltered. Owner-winemaker Yoram Shalom’s family was originally from Italy and this is a style that he loves. It comes with an amazingly impressive label, with an equally impressive price. How’s the wine? For fun, I drank this first in a controlled tasting with Alexander’s other wines, and then with some actual Amarones. The latter was the far better context. How you feel about this will depend on how you feel about Amarone. This has the big, ripe fruit, the high toned demeanor, a raisiny note, richness and fine structure. Granting that I’m not the biggest Amarone fan - if I were, this would hit the spot pretty well and I’m rather impressed. It is quite an interesting performance, if rather pricey. Ignoring the price point, this is well conceived and meets it goals extremely well. That assumes that you like them big and bold, with no holds barred. Word to the wise - if you aren’t familiar with the Amarone style, make sure you know what you’re getting into before plunging into this wine. Don’t blame the wine for being something a bit different. It is supposed to be. Drink now-2019.