Cantina Tinazzi, Collezione di Famiglia Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2018 (about $20)

Italian Wine for october, 2021

Cantina Tinazzi was established in 1968 in Cavaion Veronese on the shore of Lake Garda and has been producing Valpolicella-based wines in the Veneto region ever since.

In 2002 Tinazzi expanded its operations with the purchase of the Feudo Croce winery in Puglia and then amped-up its Puglia operation with the acquisition and restoration of the San Giorgio winery in the Taranto area. Through acquisitions and internal growth, Tinazzi’s vineyard holdings have increased substantially and today the family-owned estate’s vineyard holdings total approximately 250 acres.

Despite the company’s expansion into southern Italy, Veneto remains the epicenter of the family’s operations. Here they produce a variety of traditional Valpolicella-based wines such as Amarone, Valpolicella Superiore, Valpolicella Ripasso as well as some IGT wines based on the local Corvina variety.

The Collezione di Famiglia (the Family Collection) is a group of the estate’s wines that have been personally selected by the Tinazzi family which they feel best reflect the traditional values and high standards of Tinazzi’s operations.

Tinazzi’s 2018 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore is part of its Collezione di Famiglia portfolio. This wine is made in the Ripasso style with the finished Valpolicella wine “passed over” the pomace (grape skins, seeds and pulp) left over from the recent fermentation of the estate’s Amarone wine. The process of adding (or "repassing”) the lighter Valpolicella wine over the remainders of the “bigger” Amarone wine adds additional richness and depth to the original Valpolicella wine. The process has proved so successful and Ripasso wines have become so popular that Ripasso was awarded its own DOC in 2007.

The Superiore designation indicates that the wine has been aged for at least one year and has a minimum alcohol level of 12 percent. The minimum ageing and alcohol requirements create a more complex and engaging wine than regular Valpolicella with more prominent aromas, evolved flavors and greater texture.

2018 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore from the Tinazzi winery in VenetoTinazzi’s 2018 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore is a traditional Valpolicella blend of primarily Corvina with some Rondinella and Corvinone from selected estate vineyards. The grapes are macerated and fermented at controlled temperatures. At the end of December, the wine is “passed-over” the pomace of the estate’s recently-fermented Amarone where it undergoes a second fermentation and acquires more body and complexity.

The wine is aged in large-format oak barrels for 10 months, then bottled and aged for a few additional months prior to sale.

This medium-to-full-bodied wine is rich, soft and complex with an intense bouquet and plenty of ripe red berry and cherry fruit flavors. There are no rough edges here, just a round and soft texture with discreet tannins and all nicely balanced with vibrant acidity. The wine checks in with 14 percent alcohol.

This Ripasso is a perfect companion to hearty dishes like grilled red meats, most full-flavored pasta and risotto dishes and strong cheeses where the Ripasso’s flavors will complement rather than overwhelm the food.

This quality wine provides a lot of sipping pleasure for a very modest price.


©Richard Marcis
October 10, 2021

To see reviews of other selected wines of the month, see Wines of the Month.

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