LCBO Sale Wine of the Week: December 1

Cesari Mara Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore (Veneto, Italy)

Sale $15.95, Regular $18.95
Discount (until Jan. 1): $3.00
LCBO #506519 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Big black cherries, raisins, nuts and sweet oak spice.
Pairs with: Textured foods, like risotto, stews and braised meats and pastas.
Good for: Winter.
Alcohol: 13.5%
Drink: Now to 2020.


Why we're drinking this
Valpolicella doesn’t get a lot of respect. Sure, these wines are no Borolos or Napa Cabs, all majestic and chest-thumping and proud. They’re peasant wines. Refreshing, soft and designed for tumblers and terraces. And no shame in that. This wine is all of that and more. It’s a ripasso, which means the grapes are fermented once, and then re- fermented with the leftovers (the must and lees) used to make the vaunted (read: expensive) Amarone wines. Sure, it’s a bit of a sloppy seconds kind of affair, but the process brings another level of texture and flavour to the wines. And it’s kind of cool, in a nerdy way. Crazy Italians. (Note: We love Italians.)

Tasting note
Nose of black cherry, plum and sweet spice, tobacco, with some dried fruit and nuts typical of the ripasso style. This is a dry wine, yet the scents and flavours might suggest something a little more robust like a Port. There’s a lot of value here, as this is a “Superior” — these wines must have a minimum of 13% alcohol. A juicy wine with a solid backbone, oak tones, and a goodly portion of present but softening tannins. Well- balanced and quite nice to drink. Supple and big. Serve with risotto, big stews, lamb or a meaty pasta.

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