A pretty brick-cranberry color -- meaty aroma like rare roast beef -- very light bodied, fresh
Its tannins will not shout "structure" and its acids will not chorus "age me," but it was delicious and different. The blend is made of 65% corvina, 25% rondinella, and 10% molinara grapes. Together, they make the wine named for the place, Valpolicella, in northeast Italy.
- Valpolicella, Valpolicella classico, and Valpolicella superiore are all wines made from the three native grape varieties mentioned above. Classico indicates a wine made from a smaller and more select subregion of Valpolicella, superiore means the wine has been aged longer and has a higher alcohol content.
- Recioto della Valpolicella is a wine made from the same three grape varieties, after they have been dried to a concentrated sweetness -- the result of course is a sweet wine.
- Amarone is a recioto wine, fully fermented so that all that sugar becomes alcohol. (Amarone means bitter.)
- Ripasso is a Valpolicella of either of the first three types -- in other words, not a recioto and not an amarone -- which has been made as usual but then held for two or three weeks in casks still containing the sludge of yeasts and grapeskins from a previous batch of recioto or amarone. It's been "re-passed," you might say, over these old lees. The trouble is, to find a ripasso you must do yet more homework, since Italian law forbids the use of the word ripasso on these wines. Go figure.
Retail, about $18.