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The 2013 Buglioni Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso, is a wine that we must keep in stock all year round. Why? For one thing, it has mass appeal; it is sophisticated and complex enough for the most seasoned wine aficionado, yet its bright, exuberant fruit endears it to the novice. It also manages to be full-bodied and light on its feet at the same time, thanks again to all that rich fruit as well as vibrant acidity. This wine outperforms its price tag by a mile; seriously, it offers so much in terms of taste and quality for the price. You would be hard-pressed to find a wine this good for $18 per bottle!
A bit of background: There is a wine made in the Veneto called Amarone that is the crown jewel of the region. Made from grapes that are dried in the sun, on straw mats, for 12-14 weeks - until they are almost like raisins - before fermentation, it is rich and concentrated, with deep, dark fruit characters, lush mouthfeel and alcohol levels surpassing 15%. Delicious? Yes. Expensive? VERY! Usually, upwards of $50 per bottle, Amarone is reserved for special occasions for most people. What's an Amarone-lover to do? The answer? Ripasso!
Valpolicella wines made in the Ripasso method are from the same region and are made from the same grapes - Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. The pomace, seeds, and pips left over from the Amarone wines are added to the Valpolicella for an extended period of maceration. This process imparts richness, depth of flavor and boosts alcohol levels; what results is a wine similar in style to Amarone - but WITHOUT THE STEEP PRICE.
In an interesting twist on the Ripasso method, a portion of the grapes for this wine was freshly vinified, while the remainder was left to dry for several weeks à la Amarone. Then, the Amarone pomace was added to the freshly vinified grapes, which underwent a second fermentation. The two lots were blended together and were aged for 12 months in oak casks, followed by an additional 6 months in the bottle before release. Dark ruby-red, today's wine has intense aromas of ripe fruit with hints of vanilla and tobacco. The well-integrated palate is lushly-textured, with notes of black fruits, baking spices and more vanilla laced with balancing acidity. This is a wine for those who love their reds full-bodied and will be a perfect accompaniment to anything that comes off the grill.
Whether you enjoy this wine this Summer or you save it for the colder months, you are bound to become an ardent fan of Ripasso wines. CHEERS!
Producer Name: Cantine Buglioni
Old/New World: Old World
Country of Origin: Italy
Appellation: Valpolicella Classico Superiore
Quality Designation: DOC
Grape Varietals: Corvina, Corinone, Rondinella, Croatina, Oseleta
Product Type: WINE
Wine Style: Fuller Body Red
Viticultural Features: Conventional
Winemaking Techniques: Ripasso Method Aged in Oak Cask for 12 months
Winemaker: Diego Bertoni
Pack/Size: 12/750 ml
Container Type: Glass
Bottle Closure Style: Cork