Posted on January 7th, 2011
Wine in the Valpolicella is very much a family affair. More than that, the production method of Amarone connects us deeper into the past. Zenato is very much a family affair, and recently celebrated 50 years in business. An infant in relative historical terms, but already a true legend in the wine world. Sergio Zenato made his name and that of his area of Lugano on white wine. 50 years on and his widow, son and daughter are carrying the torch for the Zenato name.
While the Zenato family continue to grow Sergio’s initial vision, their importer in Ireland, Charles Searson, has changed tack from his father’s original focus on premium Bordeaux and the pomp and circumstance that now accompanies the annual en primeur campaigns. Thankfully, due to this strategic nous, we have Zenato’s Ripassa to enjoy on these shores.
And the link doesn’t end there. Ripassa is a mix of the old and the new. The name “Ripassa” is derived from the process used to make the rich, but sometimes esoteric, Amarone, where grapes are left to dry almost to raisins. The dried pulp is then passed over (hence the name, Ripassa) with some fresher wine to make this very approachable rich, deep coloured, lingering wine. The tannins are schweet, the texture is silk and velvet.
Lastly, back to the title, my wines of the week are a little bit arbitrary to called wine of the week (or even month). Regardless, the Zenato Ripassa is very much worth seeking out. It’s widely available, and courtesy of Searon’s new website – a model for all importer websites - the full retail availability can be found on a Google map
Good value at its normal price of around €20, an absolute steal at €15.