Cesari Mara Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore 2018 - Veneto, Italy
92/100 Luca Maroni
93/100 James Suckling (2017 vintage)
92/100 Luca Maroni (2016 vintage)
Don Opici "Named after the Cesari family matriarch, Mara is vinified using the Valpolicella’s exclusive Ripasso technique.....a smooth, elegant wine with an aromatic bouquet of ripe cherries....a persistent, warm finish with round tannins after aging in large Slavonian oak barrels for 12 months."
The Winemaker “Striking for a medium intense ruby red color. On the nose there are immediately typical hints of ripe sour cherry and raspberry, accompanied by pleasant spicy and woody notes. In the mouth it is powerful, warm and silky, a wine of extraordinary persistence.”
The winemaker "Dry, with complex chocolate, cinnamon, nuts and figs interplay and a velvety mouthfeel. Serve with rich pasta dishes, roasted meats or aged cheeses."
An iconic producer of Amarone, Cesari was founded in 1936 by Gerardo Cesari who set out to produce an Amarone capable of competing with the great red wines of the world. As one of the first Italian wines to be exported to all five continents, the Cesari name became synonymous with Amarone. In recent years, Cesari has adopted environmentally sustainable growing practices. Most of its vineyards are planted with indigenous varietals, with a small percentage of international grapes, carefully harvested by hand.
Valpolicella is one of the most prestigious Italian winemaking areas in the Veneto region and is located northwest of the elegant Roman town of Verona, in the western corner of the Veneto. The region has grown far beyond the original classic area and extends east to Soave and west to Bardolino, next to Lake Garda.
Ripasso is a red wine from the Valpolicella zone located north of Verona in the Veneto region of Italy. Ripasso is generally less well known than Valpolicella and Amarone wines, also from this area, even though it shares some features of both wines. The term 'Ripasso' means “repassed.” It is a reference to its production process whereby regular, fermented Valpolicella (which is a blend of three regional native red grape varieties - Corvina, Rondinella and occasionally Molinara) is added to a cask containing the skins and lees left over from recently fermented Amarone wines. The process of adding (or repassing) the lighter Valpolicella wine over the remainders of the bigger Amarone wine imparts additional colour, texture and flavour to the Valpolicella wine. Also, it induces a second fermentation of the wine that increases the wine’s alcoholic content. The end result is a wine called Ripasso that retains the vibrancy of Valpolicella but is darker in colour, bigger and more flavourful and complex than the original Valpolicella.