Country of origin: Italy

Zenato Ripassa della Valpolicella Superiore

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This Ripassa is extremely impressive, for its balance and power – ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ comes to mind.  It’s smooth and velvety in mouthfeel, with rich flavours of dried dark fruits, chocolate and spice, and a wonderful, warm, lingering finish.

It’s made with care by the Zenato family.  As soon as the dried grapes for the winery’s Amarone have completed fermentation, a top selection of Valpolicella grapes “passes over” (ripassa) the Amarone pomace, thus resulting in a second brief fermentation.  This helps to obtain higher alcohol content, deeper color, and rich flavor and aroma. After aging in French barrels for 18-20 months, the wine is cellared for another 6 months in bottle before release.  The blend is primarily composed of Corvina.

Food match: this is delicious with robust dishes (venison, beef), as well as chocolate, and blue cheese.