Zenato, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, DOC Valpolicella Ripasso, Veneto, 2010
Superiore refers to a higher quality base wine, than Valpolicella normale, submitted to the ripasso method – which adds alcohol, body, richness, extract, longevity, and a lessening of acidity. See the Valpolicella Consorzio. It is only Recioto and Amarone that are DOCG, Valpolicella normale, Superiore and Ripasso are all DOC
This wine: a blend of corvina, rondinella and molinara, natural cork closure, 14% abv, widely available, ~ £16
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium (+) intensity, developing, with slightly high-toned opening aromas of peony, black cherry and black berry, then a whiff of black currant, over-ripe black plum, black cherry jam, liquorice, black olive, sweet tobacco, a savoury hint, and a low-key woody note.
Palate: a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, fine-grained well-integrated medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, a medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth rich sweet-seeming mid-palate, with flavours of sweet rich ripe black fruit – black cherry and black berry, then long macerated red cherry, black fruit boiled sweets and liquorice. A long length with a clean smooth rich, yet fresh, lightly grippy black-fruited finish, with a slight bitterness at the end.
Quality: a very good quality wine, perfectly balanced acidity and well-integrated tannins with alcohol, in complete harmony with flavour intensity. A richly flavoured wine, good intensity and quite richly concentrated on the mid-palate, with complexity showing a range of notes with tertiary nuances such as jam, liquorice and olive; this rich ripe character follows through to the long length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, this wine has the structure, concentration and complexity, with interesting signs of tertiary evolution, to suggest further improvement with cellaring over 3-5 years.