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🕵️ VALPO DAY CONTINUES! Baby Amarone Ripasso <$20

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Cantina di Negrar
2019 'Le Preare' Ripasso della Valpolicella Superiore

Amarone Tuesday CONTINUES!
 

Aah, Amarone… the Italian essence of bittersweet (amaro) love (amore) in one big, beautiful word.
 

Trouble is, it can get pricey as you go up the quality ladder. On any other day, spending $45 per bottle on “baby” Amarone you can count on by the house that PIONEERED it – may hurt, but is worth it as what goes into making it is crazy amounts of love, labor, and patience.
 

This one is JUST $19 and technically NOT an Amarone per se, but a “baby” Amarone, a Ripasso. And this is the “La Preare” line, a Reserve program that brings the best vineyards Negrar has access to.
 

AKA insane value! Ripasso is a singular style, whereby the crazy Italians take an already delicious Valpolicella and repass (ri-“pass”-oh-so-good) it through still fermenting, sugar-rich dried grape skins of Amarone they just made, which in itself is a style they charge an arm and a leg for, because making a ‘dried grapes only’ wine makes them lunatic in the first place! A great Ripasso attains complexity levels that can normally be achieved only by the priciest Amarone, which was pioneered by Negrar!
 

The Wine Economist has the story: “Take the cooperative winery in Negrar - Cantina di Negrar. This is where Amarone was born in 1936 when the cellarmaster lost track of a tank of Recioto, that fermented dry by accident instead of the yeasts being stopped with some residual sugar remaining. A catastrophe - except that it was really good. Not bitter ‘Amaro’ but smooth and dry Amarone.”
 

Wine Advocate adds “Cooperative wineries are often seen as the ugly ducklings of Italian wine. But the dynamic Cantina di Negrar with 220 members who farm a total of 600 hectares is maturing into a graceful swan. The co-op is very active when it comes to experimentation with sustainable farming methods and innovative winemaking. I was absolutely captivated…”
 

If Wine Advocate knew we’d be giving these away at these prices, how much more “absolutely captivated” would they be?
 

Going, going, AGAIN…
 

93 Points – Luca Maroni

“Hints of raspberry and slightly dried plums. excellent and full-bodied; intense with notes of ripe cherry. A super balanced wine that gives velvety tannins, fresh acidity, and a long and soft aftertaste.”

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