A blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara (don’t worry if you haven’t heard of them before, these grapes are generally only used in Italy in the wines of Valpolicella).
Read that title again! What a mouthful…….and that’s why your “average” wine buyer normally misses out on these awesome wines! The labels are no doubt very confusing, and the wines even more so; however if you’re feeling adventurous, the red wines from the Veneto are some of the best (and my personal favorites) coming out of Italy!
Ripasso is a winemaking process, which gives a wine a greater level of richness. Ripasso involves pouring the juice over the skins of grapes used to make Amarone (the top wine in the Veneto). It’s made by drying Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes on straw mats over the course of several months until they become raisinated; after that is completed, the wine-making process starts. Amarone is concentrated in flavor, with black fruit, a raisiny or prune-like quality and dark chocolate with potential for extensive aging. My all time favorite wine!
In case you didn’t already guess, ripasso means "passing over", as in the Valpolicella juice is passing over the Amarone skins to increase the flavor and roundness of the wine.
Regular Valpolicella has at least 11% alcohol and is usually fairly inexpensive. Superiore wines are given at least a year of aging, and must be 12% alcohol or more.
The Valpolicella wine producing district is within the Veneto (Venice) region of North-West Italy. Valpolicella ranks just after the Chianti region of Italy in total wine production.
There has been winemaking going-on in the Veneto since the Bronze Age (therefore 3000+ years of practice), giving it one of the longest wine-making history’s in the world. The Veneto was home to the 1st Italian winemaking school in 1885, and the region also has some of the most modernized wine-making facilities in Italy
White wine accounts for 55% of the DOC production in Veneto with an emphasis on Pinot Grigio and Prosecco.
Brambly black fruit, raisins and a hint of tar on the nose. Dried berries with raisinated and prune tones continue throughout on the palate, with a hint of mocha on the finish. Mellow oak. Maybe I should have reviewed this wine in one of the colder months!
A beautiful wine. Elegant finish. Perfectly enjoyable on its own, but I always prefer to drink a bottle of Italian-anything with dinner, rather than by itself.
For Valpol’s of this type, think big earthy dishes i.e. liver, duck, stew, roast pork, sausages or game. Ok, so the weather is still a little warm for a dish such as this, but we’re coming into the colder season, and I found a nice and simple recipe from Jamie Oliver: Jools’s Favourite Beef Stew. Give it a try!
$17.99 average retail price.