House: Serego Alighieri (produced by Masi)
Name: Possessioni Rosso
Origin: Veneto, Italy
Price: 60 DKK/8 EUR/10 USD on winefamly.dk (market price: 119 DKK/16 EUR/19,80 USD)
One of the most difficult regions in Italy
Even though Veneto does not get the recognition of regions such as Tuscany or Priedmont, it is still home of some of signature Italian wines with great variety. This great Variety might sometimes be a bit confusing and it might be hard to distinguish between bad and good wines based on something else than just price. Today I will try to clear the air a bit and offer some tips on how to identify good Venetian wines
Before I start I just want to point out that none of the tips are 100% bulletproof and some research, insider knowledge and talk with your local wine dealer is necessary.
One of the easiest tip is to look for wines with designation Classico. These wines are produced in the old historic center of Veneto rather without usage of grapes grown in the outer parts of this region. Veneto has gone through some expansion and vines grown in the outer ring do not share the same terroir as the wines located in the historic region.
Valpolicella Superiore must have at least 12% alcohol and must be aged for at least 1 year in the bottle. Ordinary Valpolicella does not have such requirements. You can find Valpolicella with 11% alcohol and it can be as rushed production as with Beaujolais Nouveau.
Story of Valpolicella
Now Valpolicella is the wine with very interesting story. In a few sentences I will guide you through four different wines so bear with me. Chances are, that if you are on a budget but still want to enjoy a good glass of wine, you came across Valpolicella. Nice, inexpensive simple cherry tasting wine which is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes. Italians used to have a thing for sweet wines back in the day so they wanted to give Valpolicella a little extra. That is when they started drying the grapes a bit before fermentation. That is how Recioto was born. One day, someone forgot about the grapes and let them dry for a bit longer than needed and as an nice accident, Amarone was created. Now where is Ripasso?
Ripasso is somewhere between Valpolicella and Amarone. After pressing the Amarone grapes, there is plenty of skins left. Rather than throwing them away, they use it for secondary fermentation of Valpolicella and voilá, Ripasso is here. Secondary fermentation with Amarone skins gives it extra character and elevates it above ordinary Valpolicella.
Serego Alighieri, Possessioni Rosso 2015
Historical house of Serego Alighieri is family of direct descendants of Dante Alighieri (I hope I do not have to introduce him). Wine that I am tasting today was classified as Valpolicella Superiore until 2000. It lost this designation because the winemaker starting to experiment with adding Merlot and Sangiovese. This wine is a blend of Sangiovese and Corvina. The influence of Sangiovese grapes is obvious on the first smell. Wine has intense cherry nose with strong hints of oak. Taste is very warm and elegant with low acidity and tannins which gives a bit of an sweet feeling. Tasting notes are cherries, almonds and blueberry. Wine has very long smooth finish.
Best thing about writing this blog is, that I learn a lot of new things about wine myself – such as today. This wine was a very nice surprise especially due to the low price point. It is great wine for lovers of rich red wine on the budget.