From the years when I lived in the UK, fizzy Valpolicella was not a red I liked too much. Indeed, the Valpolicella on offer in the UK more or less put me off Valpolicella for life and I tended to avoid it in Italy too. Well, that’s now changed seeing as I have discovered Valpolicella Ripasso – which is not fizzy. I love it.
While Valpolicella Ripasso is a new discovery for me, having done a little research, I’ve discovered that those in the know consider it to be a good alternative to the lovely, but generally rather pricey, Amarone reds.
While a good bottle of Amarone can cost £50, or $50, a bottle of Valpolicella Ripasso generally costs less than half.
Valpolicella Ripasso is a lovely full bodied red wine – so far, I’ve tried two examples from two different producers, but the one which stood out for me was a Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2010 La Casetta which is produced by Cantina Valpolicella Negrar though under the brand Domini Veneti.
The UK’s Majestic wine shop does have some at £13.99 a bottle – if you buy two – though a search for Valpolicella Ripasso did not find any.
While the name is very confusing, the wine is certainly not! I’ve included a photo of the La Casetta Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso bottle to help you recognise it.
The label is elegant, if rather bland, so you’ll have to look hard if you want find this interesting red on the shelves in your local wine shop. A better idea is to ask for it by name – or track it down online. You should soon be able to acquire Valpolicella Ripasso directly from Cantina Valpolicella Negrar – once their online shop is up and running.
The ripasso in the name means that the passito grapes have been ‘re-passed’ (re-fermented) the passito grapes of standard Valpolicella wine. The ‘re-passing’ process creates a wine with more body and character compared to wines which have not been ‘re-passed’. Ripasso was granted its DOC status in Italy in 2007.
By the way, the area around Verona in northern Italy is Valpolicella and Amarone territory. It’s a lovely area for wine lovers to explore and not far from glorious Lake Guarda, either.
If you like fruity and robust reds, I think you should give Valpolicella Ripasso a try. Should you do so, please let me know what you thought of it.