Zenato Valpolicella

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Eric Asimov, Feb. 20th, 2020, Wine School article

"I don’t think of myself as a contrarian, but I am fascinated with wines that seem to have gone out of style.

Our last subject, Rioja Gran Reserva, was one such wine, and so is our next, Valpolicella.

Light, crisp, refreshing Valpolicella used to be a famous name among Italian reds, but it has been overshadowed by its sibling in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, Amarone della Valpolicella, better known by the more informal Amarone.

This big, powerful, expensive, often syrupy red is made from the same set of grapes as Valpolicella, primarily corvina, with some rondinella and corvinone. To make Amarone, those grapes are dried after harvest until they become sweet and concentrated, and then fermented.

In the last 50 years, another version of Valpolicella became popular, one that occupied a middle ground between the ordinary style and Amarone. This version, ripasso, is made by pouring already fermented Valpolicella over the dried skins left over from making Amarone. This repassing, or ripasso, adds weight and intensity to the wine."

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