Here’s a good reminder of what ripasso means in the Veneto. It comes courtesy of George Elde, salesman for Frederick Wildlman, a venerable wine importer and distributor in New York, where, it’s true, I have a number of friends. Like many sales reps, George sends out e-mails re deals, steals and reals, that reflect their portfolio.
Let’s check out the 2009 Santi ‘Solane’ Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC.
Santi Valpolicella Classico Superiore is a “ripasso” method Valpolicella, meaning that following primary fermentation the wine sees a second fermentation with the addition of Amarone grapes and skins, creating a richer, more complex and more exciting final wine.
Santi Solane is sourced from estate vineyards within the original Valpolicella appellation of Valpolicella Classico.
When primary fermentation is complete in early winter, grapes, skins and pomace from Santi’s Amarone are added to the vats. The additional sugars from the Amarone trigger a second fermentation, which adds additional layers of complexity, rich fruit and structure. The wine is blended and then aged for more 3-5 months in small oak cask followed by an additional 12 months in larger neutral casks prior to bottling.
The finished wine has 70 percent corvina and 30 percent rondinella, typical grapes for the region, (but how could you tell?) excluding the third usual suspect of molinara.