In order to continue my process of updating you, friends, on wines that I've had the pleasure and privilege of tasting this summer, I'd like to write about the boldest of the wines we have ordered so far: Luigi Righetti Campolieti 2009 Valpolicella Ripasso.
Valpolicella is made primarily with Corvina grapes, as well as Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara, or a few others depending on the producer. The ripasso process preserves much of the aroma and flavour profiles for a classic Val while boosting other aspects of the wine. Luigi's Campolieti Valpolicella Ripasso had aromas of dark cherries and black tree fruit, with a hint of dark chocolate and herbs. On the palate the wine was full of cherries, plums, and mocha. The tannins were firm, giving a sensation of coffee grit, but the bracing acidity allowed the flavours cut through on a Black Forest cake finish. This wine is so big that it is a tough one to just sit and drink (it's also a bit higher in alcohol, so one may fall off one's chair if one decides to try that), but it is excellent with food. We had a game-and-greens dish with this wine: venison steaks with sautéed kale and onions, and despite the fact that this was not an Italian dish at all, it was a great match. I think that a tomato-based sauce and spicy sausages (spicy Italian, that is) would also go really well. Not for the faint of heart, but a great wine for the big, bold characters in your life.