Looking for the flavours of the corvina grape with some of the heft of Amarone, but without unburdening the wallet too much? The wine to try is Valpolicella Ripasso, another testament to the range and uniqueness of the wines of this region.

The method used to make it is truly singular: after the appassimento process is complete, and the juice crushed out of the dried grapes for turning into Amarone, the pomace – the stems and most importantly the dried grapeskins – is removed and added to vats of selected Valpolicella wine while it’s fermenting, before any barrel ageing. The effect is to beef up the wine – the extra phenolic compounds leeched out of the pomace help to boost the wine’s body and structure, and add an extra boost of concentration and fruit flavours.

As the base wines chosen for this method (ripasso – ‘re-passed’) tend to be particularly good Valpolicella Classico, the result of this imaginative yet inexpensive process is a really exceptional bit of value for money. All the freshness of Valpolicella normale is retained, but with real added heft and seriousness. For a more accessible, more everyday alternative to Amarone, look no further!

Alcohol: 13-14.5/15%

Colour: dense plum-purple, with reddish hues, turning browner with age.

Aroma: blackberries and sour cherries; lifted spices like cinnamon and cloves.

Palate: thick, viscous mouthfeel, bright acidity; red and black cherries, damsons, smokiness; size and weight overall.

Food Pairing: braised meats; wild mushrooms; aged parmigiano.

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Wineries

Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore 2018

27,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore 2016

32,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore 2017

25,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore “Le Sassine” 2017

27,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico “La Casetta” 2017

25,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore “Caparbio” 2017

34,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore “Seccal” 2017

29,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC 2010

46,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore 2018

26,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Doc Superiore “Catullo” 2017

39,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore “Ripassa” 2017

27,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore “Seccal” 2017

24,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore “Campo San Vito” 2016

41,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore 2017

25,00
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Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore 2016

65,00
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