Pasqua Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2011 – Hits the Trifecta

This Trader Joe’s exclusive wine is complex, easy to drink AND cheap!

A blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara from Veneto, Italy.

Available for $8.99 in most Trader Joe’s markets.

From the bottle:

“This wine is obtained from the ‘Ripasso’ technique, a secondary fermentation of the wine on the dried skins of the grapes already used to make appassimento wines. Aged in wooden barrels for 8 months before being bottled. A full-bodied wine, with an intense bouquet of wild cherries and redcurrant, well recommended for roast meat and mature cheese. Serve at 18C.

13.5% Alcohol”

As mentioned on the label, this wine is made in the Ripasso style, a process that has become quite popular in Valpolicella wines. Typically grapes are dried for many weeks allowing the sugars to concentrate and become more powerful. These dried grapes are used to make Amarone wines but then the leftover grape pomace is effectively recycled by re-fermenting it with standard Valpolicella wine. The goal is to add depth and complexity to a wine that is normally quite light-bodied (think Beaujolais Nouveau). To get the Superiore designation like today’s wine, the wine must also be aged at least one year.

The 2011 Pasqua Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore begins with pleasant aromas of maraschino cherry, sour cherry, strawberry and some dried herbs. The medium-bodied wine tastes of red currant, raisins, cherry and spicy oak with undertones of dried herbs. It also has a bit of a rustic quality to it, which I enjoy. Overall this wine is that rare combination of being easy to drink AND complex — the best of both worlds. Add in the cheap price and you’ve hit the trifecta! It ends sweet and savory with good length. This wine would be a nice match with lots of different rustic Italian dishes.

For more great Trader Joe’s picks be sure to check out Trader Joe’s Week 2013.

Taste Rating: 8              Cost Rating: 8
Overall Rating: 8.0

Highly Recommended

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