Valpolicella is a fruity, complex red wine from the Valpolicella viticultural zone of Veneto.  Because Valpolicella’s wines generally lean towards the lighter end of the scale, for centuries the local winemakers have employed various techniques to improve the depth and complexity of their cuvees. The passito and ripasso methods have been the most successful: the former is used in the Recioto della Valpolicella and Amarone della Valpolicella, while the latter is used to make Valpolicella Ripasso.

Ripasso was trademarked for many years by Masi (who are in the same village), fortunately it is a term that has been freed for all to use, a great step forward for the consumer because it is a very distinct style of wine.

Righetti’s take on ripasso is a conventional one; the grapes are crushed and fermented at the end of the harvest and the wine is stored in steel vats where it rests until the springtime awaiting the Amarone to finish its fermentation.  When the fermentation is complete the Amarone is taken off its skins and transferred to casks for ageing, it is replaced by a future Campolieti, the wine is enriched a little to get the fermentation going again and this draws some of the lovely flavours that remain in the Amarone skins and adds a little more alcohol.   The finished wine is transferred to a mixture of large oak casks and some barrique for 8 to 12 month stint of maturation before being transferred to steel tanks prior to bottling.

On offer this week is their 2013 Campolieti Valpolicella.  This is without a doubt my favourite wine from our portfolio.  My wife and I adopted the Righetti Campolieti as our preferred “house wine” many vintges ago.  Over the years we have consumed countless cases – never being disappointed.  It is a delicious wine that is well suited to a wide range of foods; also terrific as an aperitif.  Try it, you’ll like it!

The 2013 Campolieti Valpolicella is available for immediate delivery. To order , click here

2013 Luigi Righetti Valpolicella Campolieti Ripasso

$19.60 btl / $235.20 cs (case of 12 x 750ml)

The wine is medium bodied with strawberry, black cherry and plum aromas with hints of leather, autumn leaves, cocoa and asian spice.  The palate is vibrantly fruity and lightly tannic. Campolieti means “happy fields” and refers to the vineyards from which the grapes are harvested.  The wine is a traditional blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara (the Amarone and Valpolicella grapes) that has had a second fermentation on the pressings of the Amarone grapes (a process called “ripasso”). This wine is delicious when young and always has the structure to improve for years.

Drink:  Now – 2020

Food Pairing: Pairs well with roasts, stews with meat and mushrooms, and seasoned cheeses


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