Tommasi Valpolicella Ripasso 2014

This was a Christmas Corporate Gift selected by Alan Crowley.

His tasting notes:

A Ripasso wine is made using normally harvested grapes. When the wine has finished fermenting, the skins of the dried grapes used to make Amarone are added to the wine and it undergoes another fermentation. This method of “refermenting” the wine gives rise to the Italian term of Ripasso, meaning “repassed over”. The wine then undergoes 12 months maturation in large old oak casks. This results in a delicious balance of the juiciness of fully ripened red grapes but with a depth of complexity and fullness. Bearing in mind the festive season, the classic Christmas dinner which is full of meaty flavours of roast turkey along with the tangy bitterness of sprouts, the sweetness of cranberry sauce and rich gravy is well partnered by the big full juicy spicy style of the Tommasi Ripasso. With the warmth, depth and complexity of fruit, spice, liquorice and rich plum flavours another way to enjoy this wine might be in quiet contemplation at the end of the day, perhaps relaxing in front of the fire.

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​Les Mougiuels, Picpoul de Pinet / Torre del Falasco Valpolicella Ripasso

John, David and I had a first visit for food to Fern & Co post-Golf (congratulations Dave!). The layout is the same as the previous Wild Boar entity with the Decor ‘Mahoganied’ up in the Bar and Restaurant. Fern have recently changed the menu and made the pricing more accessible. Not a bad meal.
Les Mouginels, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc 2015

The white: very light, floral
– acceptable but lacking any depth though washed down my tasty Asparagus and Broad Beans, followed by the Sea Bass.

Torre del Falasco Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, Cantina Valpantena, 2014

Cherries & Chocolate with a spicy sweet finish. A competent yet expensive Ripasso @ €38 from Cantina Valpantena in the Veneto.

Allegrini, Valpolicella, 2013

Allegrini Valp 090414

This was our first outing with the 2013 vintage and it’s as good as ever: proving our belief that this is a very fine wine from the Veneto.

From Corvina grapes with a little Rondinella grown near Lake Como, this is medium-bodied, fresh, fragrant juicy Valpolicella, with cherry nose and Raspberry notes.

No longer a Classico – Allegrini droped out of the DOC Appelation – because they wanted to use a Stel Cap which is against the rules.

Keep breaking them please for offerings like this.

Allegrini Valp 090414 b

Allegrini Valp 090414 b

Valpolicella, Allegrini, 2012

Allegrini Valp 190114

This is a real treat which we thought had been lost when Cellarmaster in Sandyford closed its doors until we discovered a private supply line.

A simple really well made wine by one of the top Ten Valpolicella producers in the Veneto. Consistently good quality and worth seeking out.

Corvina is the main grape , some Rondinella and a drop of Molinara.

The full story is here

Allegrini Valp 190114 b

We spit so you don’t have to …

… writes Ernie Whalley in last week’s Sunday Times 2013 Wine Companion, an insert in the July 14th edition.

ST-140713

110 wines tasted and reviewed.

Can’t say I disagree with the methodology or even with most of the tasting comments, though I have heard a few of them before.

In fact, I think Whalley’s Terroir notes are quite good.

What strikes me is the types and status of wines tasted and promoted by a mass middle market ‘Quality’ Sunday Newspaper.

Not to mention the vast value for money producing regions and territories completely ignored by a Wine ‘companion’.

Puglia. Loire Valley. Sardinia. Anyone?

A quick tot reveals that it would cost almost €2500 to stock your cellar with just one of each of the 110 bottles.

Yielding an average cost of €22.33 per bottle tasted.

€22.33.

A hefty wedge for a bottle of wine.

For which you would, not unreasonably, expect the wine to rate in the top Decile.

At these prices, swallow, don’t spit.

As one of my sisters in law says, there’s no need to spend more than a tenner a bottle in the off-trade these days, even with our tyrannical excise duty and VAT on wine.

Certainly for everyday drinking, given the many promotions and competition between the multiples.

For special occasions – and perhaps this is what the Sunday Times is aiming for, like its Michelin 3 Star  AA Gill restaurant reviews – OK perhaps, but it smacks to me of: we have a great idea; let’s set up a wine club; review the wines the shippers will give us the best deals on; get a local hack on board; flog the hell out of it – the more expensive the better – the more we’ll make.

Cynical?

Me, perhaps.

The Sunday Times, yes.

Maybe we should all spit.