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Valpolicella

Among the ranks of Italy’s quintessential red wines ...

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Among the ranks of Italy’s quintessential red wines, Valpolicella literally translates to the “valley of cellars” and is composed of a series of valleys (named Fumane, Marano and Negrare) that start in the pre-alpine Lissini Mountains and end in the southern plains of the Veneto. Here vineyards adorn the valley hillsides, rising up to just over 1,300 feet.

The classification of its red wines makes this appellation unique. Whereas most Italian regions claim the wines from one or two grapes as superior, or specific vineyards or communes most admirable, Valpolicella ranks the caliber of its red wines based on delimited production methods, and every tier uses the same basic blending grapes.

Corvina holds the most esteem among varieties here and provides the backbone of the best reds of Valpolicella. Also typical in the blends, in lesser quantities, are Rondinella, Molinara, Oseleta, Croatina, Corvinone and a few other minor red varieties.

Valpolicella Classico, the simplest category, is where the region’s top values are found and resembles in style light and fruity Beaujolais. The next tier of reds, called Valpolicella Superiore, represents a darker and more serious and concentrated expression of Valpolicella, capable of pairing with red meat, roast poultry and hard cheeses.

Most prestigious in Valpolicella are the dry red, Amarone della Valpolicella, and its sweet counterpart, Recioto della Valpolicella. Both are created from harvested grapes left to dry for three to five months before going to press, resulting in intensely rich, lush, cerebral and cellar-worthy wines.

Falling in between Valpolicella Superiore and Amarone is a style called Valpolicella Ripasso, which has become immensely popular only since the turn of the century. Ripasso literally means “repassed” and is made by macerating fresh Valpolicella on the pressed grape skins of Amarone. As a result, a Ripasso will have more depth and complexity compared to a regular Superiore but is more approachable than an Amarone.

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    Zenato Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa 2015
    Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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    4.1 35 Ratings
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    Dal Forno Romano Monte Lodoletta Amarone della Valpolicella 2010
    Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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    Dal Forno Romano Amarone della Valpolicella 1998
    Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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    Speri Sant'Urbano Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2013
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    4.8 6 Ratings
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    Zenato Valpolicella Superiore 2016
    Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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    3.9 20 Ratings
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    Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2014
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    Pra Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2016
    Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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    Remo Farina Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2015
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    • JS93
    3.9 7 Ratings
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    Tommasi Rafael Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2017
    Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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      Bertani Valpolicella Ripasso 2015
      Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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        Tommasi Ripasso Valpolicella 2015
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        4.3 37 Ratings
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        Remo Farina Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2016
        Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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          Ca' Rugate Amarone della Valpolicella 2014
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            Bertani Valpolicella Ripasso 2016
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            Ca' Rugate Valpolicella Rio Albo 2017
            Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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            Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella 2017
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              Tenuta Sant'Antonio Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Monti Garbi 2016
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              Tedeschi San Rocco Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2016
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              Dal Forno Romano Monte Lodoletta Amarone della Valpolicella 2009
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              Speri Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2016
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              Dal Forno Romano Monte Lodoletta Amarone della Valpolicella 2011
              Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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              Marchesi Fumanelli Amarone della Valpolicella 2015
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                Pra Amarone della Valpolicella 2012
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                Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Bosan Riserva 2009
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              • Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella 1985
                Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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