Italian wine enthusiasts abound in our valley, so it takes some digging to come up with a good one that is not well known to the majority of readers. The 2008 Palazzo Montanari Ripasso is one you won't find in grocery stores, but is popping up at independent wine shops and restaurant wine lists. Lets start with some background:
What is a Ripasso?
A Ripasso is a wine with the same grape composition and famous dry-rack aging process as Amarone. The wine is mostly composed 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Molinara.
What is dry-rack aging?
A centuries old process during with the pressed grapes are saved and set to dry on wooden racks that look like shelves. The juice is poured over the dried grapes at some point during the aging process is is returned to the barrell for aging after this process is completed.
What region does this wine come from?
Valpolicella Classico Superiore
What does it taste like and what can I eat with it?
The wine has intense raisin, plum, and black cherry, fruit flavors balance with well integrated black pepper spice and smoky notes. The wine is aged one year in medium toasted French oak barrels. It is a really dry wine that matches up wonderfully with steak, pasta and red sauce, lamb, pork and bolder chicken dishes. The beauty of this Ripasso lies in its price. At only $20 per bottle, it is exactly one third the cost of most Amarone from its region. The 2008 Palazzo Montanari Ripasso is one of my favorite wines of 2012 so far and represents incredible value at its price range.
This wine is distributed locally by Natural States Distributing. Your local wine shop or restaurant can order it for you by calling the local representative or their home office in Columbus. Cheers and Bon Appetite!