Saturday, December 09, 2006


I have a sweet spot for amarone, the dry full bodied wine made in the veneto from grapes dried on mats for months (to concentrate the flavours...and the alcohol content) but it is expensive to make and therefore expensive to buy. So, a reasonable alternative is a wine made by the ripasso technique - a good valpolicella is allowed to referment with the lees of an amarone (basically the skins after the juice has been racked off). This fortifies the valpolicella and adds body. The Sa' Solin, Ripasso Valpolicella 2003 is such a wine. This, however, is not quite what I expected. It is a thick sweet effort, not like a recioto or porto, but still more than I expect from a ripasso...almost cloying. This would be hard to stomach with most foods, and it is tough to choke down half a bottle as a sipper while watching Marv do his Sin City stuff. So, a valiant effort but gets a just "OK" rating with a so-so for value at $15. I don't think I'll buy another, but if you're a fan of the style, give it a shot.


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