’13 Cantina di Negrar “Le Roselle” Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso

When I first got into wine I avoided Italian wine at all costs. Drank if offered, sure, but that was about it. Not because I didn’t like it; not because it was expensive – I avoided it because I had no clue how to choose.  And… boy was I missing out. Of the top 10 wines I have had in my time, probably half have been Italian. While this is not necessarily one of those, this is a very good offering in it’s own right.

Valpolicella Ripasso is regarded as the “Baby Amarone” as it is made by being “repassed” (thus, the Ripasso part) over Amarone skins, more or less, with Superiore being macerated directly with Amarone skins and seed pomace. Naturally, it inherits the richness and body from Amarone during this process, but not too much of the tannin, so it is approachable fairly young.

This wine starts with a nose of soft red licorice and a touch of olive. It has medium plus body, with soft tannins and medium acidity – enough to keep it balanced but not excessive. The palate is gorgeous with cherry pie and leather and softly compels continual sips – this is a seriously drinkable wine.

The finish is medium, but retains a touch of sweet baked fruit right at the tail end.

Try this if you are a Cali Zin or perhaps Washington Merlot fan trying to get into Italian wines. You will not be disappointed!



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