Wine of the week: An epic, brooding Valpolicella

2009 La Grola, Allegrini, Veneto, Italy (£108 for six bottles,

Allegrini is the foremost winery in the Veneto region of northern Italy. I rate this estate so highly that I included it in my new book – 100 Most Iconic Wine Estates.

The Allegrini family has been making wine since the 16th century and the father of the company was Giovanni Allegrini. A true pioneer, Giovanni died prematurely in 1983. Today, his son Franco manages the vineyards and winemaking and his sister Marilisa masterminds Allegrini’s marketing and communications.

It is rare to find a top restaurant anywhere in the world without their wines on the list, such is the admiration with which sommeliers hold their name. La Grola is one of their two sensational Valpolicellas. Located in the town of Sant’Ambrogio, this 30 hectare site is one of the finest in the land.

Made from corvina and syrah, this is one of the most complete expressions of the Valpolicella region you could ever hope to taste. If you fall for this epic, brooding, dark cherry and spice concoction, then do graduate to La Poja. Planted in 1979, Giovanni Allegrini identified a section of the upper part of La Grola as the exact position for him to make his dream 100% corvina masterpiece (2007 La Poja, £324 for six bottles,

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (

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