2008 Zenato Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripassa

Year: 2008
Appellation: Veneto
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 91
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Red Wine
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"Creamy and layered, this subtle red offers flavors of ripe black cherry, candied black currant, aromatic anise and clove, with a hint of bresaola. Shows lovely integration of the supple tannins and acidity. Elegant. Drink now through 2022. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 5,000 cases imported." (WS)

"The 2008 Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa is a sumptuous wine loaded with dark fruit, espresso, licorice and spices. There is nothing particularly subtle in this blockbuster wine, yet all of the elements come together very nicely. A long, resonant finish rounds things out nicely. This is another absolutely delicous wine for the money. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

Zenato is one of the historic names in Valpolicella. The estate makes a wide range of wines, but truly excels with Amarone. A recent vertical tasting of Zenato’s Amarone Riserva Sergio Zenato going back to 1980 was eye-opening for many reasons, not the least of which was seeing just how well the wines age. Readers will find notes from that tasting on www.erobertparker.com" (WA)

"Bright, deep ruby. Complex, rich nose combines red berry liqueur, dried flowers, cocoa and a whiff of smoke. Velvety and pliant in the mouth, with a silky sweetness to the red berry, sweet spice and floral flavors. Finishes pure and long, with smooth, rising tannins. This supple wine is far removed from the many overripe, alcoholic ripasso Valpolicellas made today." (IWC)

"This edition of Ripassa (a Ripasso-style Valpolicella wine) shows impressive intensity and enduring richness that recalls top shelf Amarone. The wine is dark and inky with sweet barbecue aromas and a fresh blast of mature cherry and chocolate on the finish." (WE)

Winery Notes:
The deep ruby red color of the Ripassa, and the intense yet fine aromas come from the mixture of grapes. It is full bodied, harmonic, and velvety on the palate. Recommended with grilled meat dishes, Ripassa is excellent with rabbit casserole. This blockbuster wine is one of Winebow’s all-time favorites.

Zenato gives the name “Ripassa” to this wine, which shares many of the characteristics of our Amarone. As soon as the fermentation is completed of the dried grapes for the Amarone, selected lots of Valpolicella are then “re-passed” on the Amarone pomace, thus initiating a second fermentation which increases slightly the alcoholic content and gives the wine deeper colour, increased extract, and more complex aromas. After 6 months’ bottle-ageing, the result is a rounded, velvet-textured wine with rich, complex aromas of berries and an impressively lengthy finish that seems to linger forever. Ripassa represents one of the most important milestones in Zenato’s winemaking evolution.