Zenato 2018 “Ripassa” Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso

Tasting notes
Powerful, full-bodied wine with slightly sweet fruit initially, balanced by more savoury mid palate flavours and a long finish. Superb with foods that contain fruit such as venison shank with prunes and apricots and hard cheeses.

Why we recommend this wine
Ripasso is between Valpolicella (which we find generally to be thin and acidic, lacking in fruit) and Amarone (which we find too sweet and heavy for most occasions). Zenato has a great reputation for this type of wine.

The wine
This wine is closely connected to the greatest wine of Valpolicella: Amarone. After pressing the dried grapes from which Amarone is made, the Valpolicella wine is passed over the still warm marc (the skins, seeds and stems of the leftover, dried grapes) of Amarone. A second alcoholic fermentation begins which increases the alcoholic content and the wine becomes richer in colour and bouquet. The grape varieties are 85% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, 5% Oseleta.

The wine estate
Founded in 1960, the family-run Zenato’s vineyards cover 75 hectares; in Lugana overlooking Lake Garda where they produce Trebbiano di Lugana, and a bit further east in Valpolicella where they cultivate the grapes used to produce Valpolicella.

Food and wine
Excellent companion to game dishes, grilled meat and roasts, salami and aged cheeses and, of course, Spaghetti Bolognese UK style. Also see our guide to pairing food and wine here.

Did you know?
Valpolicella comes in three guises; Valpolicella, Amarone and Ripasso. Valpolicella is made in the normal way. The sweetish Amarone is made from grapes that are sun-dried for several months before being vinified. Ripasso is made by taking the leftover grape skins from Amarone adding Valpolicella and getting a secondary fermentation to give some body and oomph to the otherwise thin Valpolicella.