The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Go-To-Wine Tuesday: Venturini Massimino 2010 Valpolicella Ripasso Semonte Alto

Posted on | March 8, 2016 | Written by Stephane Menard | No Comments

RD7841-2Winter is almost over, but before it ended, I wanted to have a “big” wine from Veneto. I chose Venturini Massimino 2010 Valpolicella Ripasso Semonte Alto. Venturini is a family run and operated estate. Massimino works with his children Daniele, Mirco and Giuseppina, and all take their parts in growing the grapes and crafting their delicious wines. IWM loves family producers like Venturini, who take care of their vines, following the growth of every single berry day after day and make their authentic, regional wines with love.

The Venturini estate sits in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica region. The estate’s flagship is called the “Semonte Alto,” and it’s a full-bodied red wine, with a rich, concentrated flavor and an intense and distinctive bouquet. The Semonte Alto is a blend of three indigenous grapes from the region: Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, and Molinara. The estate uses the traditional ripasso technique to make this wine, where the first press wine is re-fermented by running it over the lees of the grapes that the estate used to make Amarone. This technique adds intensity, deep color and body to the Valpolicella DOC Classico Superiore Ripasso, and makes it more suitable for maturing in Slovenian oak barrels.

Medium ruby in the glass, this Venturini Semonte Alto 2010 is not as dense as you might think it is, but don’t be fooled by its lighter color: this is definitely a big wine. You can feel the power and the strength bursting on your palate. Aromas of plum, dark cooked cherries, chocolate, and spice make it a really interesting and complex Valpolicella. With 14% of alcohol, it’s a also a wine that is as powerful as it feels. I really enjoyed this $25 bottle, and I would recommend decanting it for an hour or more before enjoying it with a hearty dish such as beef ribs, braised lamb or wild boar ragù.

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