Shari’s Picks for the end of Winter
Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2015 and Castel del Lago Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2017
Go big and stay home!
We are definitely in strange times as we near the end of winter. Cold temperatures offer the perfect time to enjoy rich, heavy foods with rich, heavy wines to match.
This month’s two red wine picks are excellent choices from VINTAGES. Both wines are delicious blends of predominately Corvina and Rondinella grapes from the Valpolicella area within the large Veneto region near Venice and Verona, in northern Italy. Verona is a charming medieval city, with romantic winding streets and many fans of William Shakespeare are lured here as two of his plays are set in Verona, and is considered the hometown of Romeo and Juliet.
The wine purchasing decision you need to make is: save or splurge?
If you are ready to splurge, try Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, 2015(VINTAGES +413179 | $49.95). Amarone is a highly rated, premium, iconic DOCG red wine made from partially dried grapes. The process is unique to this style of wine. The ripe grapes are placed in chambers, or on straw mats, and are dried for about 120 days. During this time, the grapes lose almost 50% of their weight. These dried grapes are then pressed and fermented for up to 50 days. The wines are aged 36 months and are released five years after the vintage. They are full bodied with little acidity, silky tannins and can age for many years.
Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is a very big wine weighing in with an alcohol content of 16.5%! It is smooth, with concentrated aromas with forward, tart cherry aromas and flavours and a firm velvety finish. This wine is best paired with rich foods as stews, game, risotto and braised meats. Parmesan cheese with drizzled honey is a delicious match as well.
At $49.95 you splurge!
If you are interested in saving, try Castel del Lago Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2017 (VINTAGES +12411 | $17.95). This red wine is also a big wine at 15.4% alc/vol. It is made using the appassimento technique and is considered a baby Amarone for a variety of reasons. To make an appassimento wine, the pressed pomace (solid remains of the semi-dried grapes used to make the iconic Amarone) is re-pressed and blended with fresh Valpolicella wine. This particular process results in a wine that is lighter in character than Amarone, yet heavier than most red wines. Although Ripasso wines have less concentrated characteristics than Amarone wines, at a third of the price, they are extremely popular. Castel del Lago Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2017is well made with fresh, rich blackberry aromas and juicy flavours with a soft, silky, lingering, balanced finish. The wine pairs well with grilled mushrooms, steak and heavy pasta dishes.
At $17.95 you save!
Cheers to our last few weeks of winter, and better days ahead.
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