2014 FATTORI COL DE LA BASTIA VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO
In the same way that Brunello drinkers gravitate towards a Rosso di Montalcino, and Barolo fans look to a Langhe Nebbiolo, Amarone aficionados will often pursue Valpolicella Ripasso when seeking value. Amarone and Valpolicella Ripasso are both made with the same grapes, and the key difference is Ripasso, which translates to re-pass, is made with a second pressing of the dried grapes used for Amarone. They’re not quite as extracted as Amarone, but they fall deliciously in-between regular Valpolicella and Amarone, and they’re also a fraction of Amarone’s price.
To make Valpolicella Ripasso, you start with the grapes used in Valpolicella, primarily Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. The grapes are harvested late, and once picked, the tops of the clusters are dried for roughly 120 days. The first fermentation and pressing of the dried grapes are used to make Amarone, and these once-pressed grapes are “re-passed” into the tanks of partially fermented Valpolicella to increase body, depth, and color.
Fattori’s 2014 Col de La Basita Valpolicella Ripasso arose from 5 acres of vines grown on a plateau in Basita, in well-drained shaley clay and subalkaline rock. The wine is remarkably expressive and oozes ripe red fruits and enchanting elegance.
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