Tenuta Santa Maria Ripasso Superiore 2016 - Veneto, Italy
93/100 Falstaff Magazin
Kerin O'Keefe (Wine magazine) - "The dense palate offers prune, licorice and a touch of cinnamon alongside velvety tannins. Aromas of ripe black-skinned berry, porcini mushroom and cooking spice lead the way. Enjoy through 2022."
Decanter - "The palate brings a tobacco note, integrated oak and a peppy carriage of acidity. Long and modern. Scents of dried flowers, plum, tobacco, black cherries, coffee, herbs and menthol. "
The Winemaker - "The Ripasso method is delicately achieved conducting a secondary extended maceration and fermentation over the Amarone grape skins, giving the wine higher complexity, bolder and softer body, and intense colour. Reminiscent of the Amarone, the wine is a vivid ruby red colour. At the nose, intense hints of cherry, blueberry, licorice and lingering accents of cinnamon and pepper. At the palate, soft and warm structured velvet tannins and very balanced acidity. Long finish with fruity sensations."
Centuries old, Tenuta Santa Maria all Pieve is located in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica. The 100-acre producer is comprised of two estates, one in the Valpolicella Classico zone and the second in the Illasi Valley. Tenuta Santa Maria all Pieve was established by Gaetano Bertani in 1850 and today it is owned and operated by his descendants, Gaetano Bertani and his sons Giovanni and Guglielmo. Since its sixteenth-century origins this elegant estate has been known for the production of fine wines, especially for its for Amarone Classico and Valpolicella Ripasso. It has a stunning chateau and walled vineyards. Since the 1800's the estate has been making wines using the Guyot Method, a technique with an emphasis on high density, and low yield harvests.
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' sounds like and in fact, means “repassed.” That refers 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 flavorful and complex than the original Valpolicella.
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.