(TORONTO, ON) – Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso is souped up Valpolicella because it is fermented over the pumice of the semi dried grapes that are used to make the ultra rich Amarone wine. The process gives it more kick than the regular Valpolicella.
By kick I mean more body, depth, and sweetness. It must be aged a year before it’s released.
This Righetti Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore has a dark ruby red colour. Very rich aromas of black cherry, dark chocolate, with a raisiny edge.
On the palate definitely a full boded wine bursting with black fruit, cherry pie, and freshly baked raspberry tarts, with a pinch of graphite. Not for anyone seeking a delicate or dainty wine.
This Ripasso is muscular.
Just the right amount of spunky acids and tannins to say this wine is perfectly balanced and good until 2025. Medium finish. I’d say just right for venison or wild boar. (Luigi Righetti 2012 Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC, Ripasso, Luigi Righetti, Marono Di Valpolicella, Italy, 750 Ml, $20,95, 14%, LCBO #575787, Square Media Group Rating 93/100)
The Righetti Campolieti Valpolicella Ripasso, Classico Superiore is a lighter ruby colour. Fainter notes of black fruit, but there s some blackberry, graphite, and sweet cranberry.
The oak is more prominent, yet never distracting.
The palate presents some gentler black fruit and chocolate malt framed by more new oak than the above described Valpolicella. A more diffused and less concentrated wine, which may be more your style than the above Ripasso.
More subtle and nimble, but lacking the power of the other Righetti. Comparatively on the palate a bit weak and diffused.
This Ripasso has not been taking its steroids. By Canadian terms, it is a Cabernet Franc while it’s sister is more like a Cabernet Sauvignon.
It is from the same family, but packs far less of a left hook than described above. This gives it more range with pasta, cheese, and chicken in tomato sauce dishes.
These wines are closely related, but with different characteristics. One favours heavier dishes the latter lighter. And, perhaps, a greater range of food. (Luigi Righetti Campolieti. Valpolicella Ripasso 2013, Classico Superiore DOC, Luigi Righetti, Marono Di Valpolicella, Italy, 750 mL, 13.5%, $18.95, Square Media Group Rating 88/100) Your choice as to richness and power. This depends on what you are eating. The first wine might suit rich wild game, but the second a prime rib roast or beef burger.
The wines have different scores, but when pairing with right foods the ratings may be totally irrelevant. This is the quandary faced by the wine writer. Take the wine as is or build in some score based on its combinations with food.
I would prefer to take the wine on its own.
Now you might be able to source the wines at your local LCBO, but you might be better advised to contact Small Winemakers at 416-463-7178, the agent for the distribution of these wines.