Open Mike: Valpolicella.

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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:23 pm

An off-year but no complaints here.


Bob, some years the wine practically makes itself, and some years the producer struggles to get the best out of his crop while 100 miles away another farmer doesn't struggle at all. Point is, good producers geenerally make good wine every year, though the wines from year to year aren't identical each will be good in it's own way. So isn't it more fair to judge a wine according to the producer's other efforts or other wines you've had than to brand it by a generalization that may not in fact apply?

It tasted like burnt chocolate.


Jim, more Argentinian reds than not taste burnt to me. Hate that--it's why I rarely buy them.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:59 pm

Between travel and not having the subject wines on hand, it's fun to be able to jump into an Open Mike for a change. I picked up this one at a local shop Friday and uncorked it last night, and find it pretty characteristic of the style. The label doesn't specifically say so, but from its intense dried-fruit characteristics and the "Classico Superiore" designation, I assume it's a <i>ripasso</i>.

<table border="0" align="right" width="145"><tr><td><img src="http://www.wineloverspage.com/graphics1/mazz1028.jpg" border="1" align="right"></td></tr></table>Mazzi 2004 Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($15.99)

Blackish-purple, shading to garnet at the edge. Dried cherries and black licorice, intense and typical of the Valpolicella style. Mouth-filling flavors follow the nose, juicy fruit and snappy lemon-squirt acidity, just a whisper of fuzzy tannins in the background. U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Mason, Ohio. (Oct. 28, 2006)

<B>FOOD MATCH:</b> Fine with Spaghetti with a quick Amatriciana-style sauce ... it's big enough and purple enough to call for bold food, and this mix of crisp pancetta, onions and garlic and tomatoes and a dash of dried red-pepper flakes worked just right.

<B>VALUE:</B> The mid-teens might be a bit spendy for a lighter-styled Valpo, but this Superiore was clearly made in a <i>ripasso</i> style and fairly justifies the price point.

<B>WHEN TO DRINK:</B> Again, the <i>ripasso</i> style confers a bit of ageworthiness you wouldn't find in a basic Valpo. Still, I think I'd go ahead and drink it up over the next year or two.

<B>WEB LINK:</B>
Here's the wine portion of the Mazzi Website in English: http://www.robertomazzi.it/eng/cantina/eng.htm.

<B>FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:</B>
Find vendors and check prices for Mazzi Valpolicella on Wine-Searcher.com.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Oliver McCrum » Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:17 pm

Jenise wrote:A question for Hoke or Oliver: Considering that the grapes are essentially dried, how many pounds of grapes does it take to make one bottle of Amarone vs. a typical bottle of dry red wine from fresh grapes?


I don't know, Jenise; I would assume at least 20% water loss from the increase in alcohol, though.

I know a man in the Alto Adige who makes a wine he calls 'Lamarein,' Amarone-style Lagrein made by twisting the bunch stems and leaving the bunches on the vine to dry for weeks. Amazing wine.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:51 pm

Jenise, I noticed this weight ratio while browsing for Amarone info:

To make a truly superior bottle of Amarone are necessary eleven kilos (twenty-three pounds) of grapes. To compare, the Valpolicella is made with one kilo (two and ¼ pounds) of grapes. Once Amarone is bottled, it can be aged for up to fifteen years, and it really holds up beautifully.

http://users.tns.net/~nadia/article10/article10.htm
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Mike B. » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:55 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Well, here is my contribution to the new Open Mike. I have not been a regular taster of wines from this area so this was to be, hopefully, a pleasant experience. Well-known producer but a lousy vintage so lets see what the winery turned out. Ripasso style and Classico Superiore, at 13.5% alc. Natural cork, not decanted.

WTN: `02 Valpolicella "La Casetta di Ettori Righetti"--Domini Veneto.

Color. Ruby-red, medium hue intense centre. Starting to show slight tinge of brick on the rim.

Nose. Opens out quite nicely after 10 mins. Rose petals, perfumed, hint of alcohol, raspberry and cherry. Very fruit forward nice!

Palate. Initial mouthfeel entry is ripe, elegant, juicy, soft tannins, chokecherry. As it opens out, good acidity and black fruit balance. The dried fruit and herb comes out with some airing, nice finish with raspberry and chokecherry. No bitterness the first day, fruit was quite ripe I think? This wine has appealing roundness and rich, very well received the 2nd day with the servers at the Grill!! An off-year but no complaints here.

Cost was $22 Cdn.
Food, NY steak with hummus dip. Good matchup for sure.


Same wine - similar impressions. Once the funky nose blew off after a couple of minutes it was incredibly fruit forward.

Just incredibly fruity on the palate, mostly black cherries, but the acidity kept it from being cloying. Lots of fruit, slightly bitter on the aftertaste.

Plenty of ripe fruit, with a decent finish. Very smooth texture, with mucho fruit. Despite a 13.5% alcohol level, there was no hint of booziness.

Oh, did I mention the fruit?

But I loved it all the same. Very nice to drink. The fruit was the most obvious part, but it wasn't smack-you-in-the-face frooty like a cheap Barossa shiraz.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Hoke » Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:48 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Jenise, I noticed this weight ratio while browsing for Amarone info:

To make a truly superior bottle of Amarone are necessary eleven kilos (twenty-three pounds) of grapes. To compare, the Valpolicella is made with one kilo (two and ¼ pounds) of grapes. Once Amarone is bottled, it can be aged for up to fifteen years, and it really holds up beautifully.

http://users.tns.net/~nadia/article10/article10.htm


Bob: This statement you quoted bothered me, and continued to bother me, until I was able to talk to a friend from Verona in the wine business (he lives in the Valpolicella, as a matter of fact).

He told me that it was reasonable to assume a 35%, possibly up to a 40% reduction in the fruit must between regular grapes and the passito grapes that make Amarone. When I quoted the above numbers, he said that could not be so.

The intent, he said, was to wither the grapes (with the emphasis on wither), rather than to totally raisinate them, and to estimate. And to go from 2 kilos to 11 kilos was not necessary, and was not done.

He was not even sure you could *get* 11 kilos of grapes into a bottle of wine, especially not with the standard passito method.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:34 pm

Killer Allegrini the other day but left my notes at the store!!! Was a `00 vintage, will report back.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Brian K Miller » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:41 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:Well, here goes with a wine at least tangentially related:

1999 Allegrini "La Grola" IGT Veronese

nose: initially, a big whack of cherry liqueur, almost medicinal, later growing more berryish and even later developing a hint of tarriness

palate: soft entry, medium body, cherry liqueur, fine grained tannins, a bit thin in the midpalate and a shockingly low acidity in the finish

Backstory: This wine, despite coming from the estate vineyards of Allegrini, entirely inside of the boundaries of Valpolicella, is labeled an IGT because of Allegrini's decision to not include Molinara in the encepagement (as required for DOC labeling) and instead add such non-traditional varieties as Syrah and Sangiovese. In this year, the actual blend was 70% Corvina, 15% Rondinella, 10% Syrah and 5% Sangiovese. Add to that its elevage in French Oak and what you get is a quite modern wine somewhat in the Valpolicella mold.

My own take is that this wine is way too modern for my tastes, especially since I love the rusticity of a good Valpolicella Classico and the controlled power of Ripassos and Amarones. It went well enough with our dinner of chicken with broccoli, but ultimately was a bit lacking.

Mark Lipton


I think I agree with your opinion of this wine. I opened it during an unfair occasion (Barolo/Barbaresco tasting), and the somewhat medicinal cherry character made me think of bad Pinot Noir. :wink:
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:09 am

Guess it is time to bump this OM up as there are some `05s on the shelves around here. With Robin in the area right now, we might as well open one and think of him riding the scooter around Veneto!!!
Will try the `05 Allegrini tomorrow, anyone else game?
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Jenise » Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:20 am

The scooter? Would that be the one he bought at The Scooter Store? :P
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Jenise » Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:20 am

The scooter? Would that be the one he bought at The Scooter Store? :P
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:12 pm

Jenise talking about scooters (is that the correct spelling), any white-winged out your way in the bay? Birding folks!!
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:33 am

WTN: `05 Valpolicella Classico--Allegrini.

13% alc, natural cork, opened one hour, basic blend includes Corvina and Rondinella. Powerhouse producer along with Masi, Quintarelli, Bussola (in my books).


Colour. Lightish red-ruby, already showing some slight orange on rim.

Nose. Spice, cherry, hint of oak, floral, kirsch.

Palate. Medium dry, some tannins, earthy, sour cherry, strawberry. Delicate but good structure, "nice and soft" was one comment,"not too grapey" another. I could not find the plum from other vintages, pretty simple accessible wine here. Would be a nice winebar component.

Cost was $22 Cdn.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Tim York » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:58 pm

I don't often drink Valpolicella because I have been underwhelmed by most I have tried. One does stand out in my memory and that was an Allegrini about 10 years ago (before he became cult) drunk at Edinburgh's temple to Italian gastronomy, Valvona and Crolla; it was model for a young, fresh, fruity and unpretentious wine.

However this one is pretty good -

VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO Pègaso 2003 - Ambrogio & Giovanni Folonari.

Nice round and quite rich plum and cherry fruit with some velvet, fair depth and good mouth-fill together with more than adequate freshness and grip particularly considering the torrid vintage. Well balanced. It was a pleasure to finish the bottle and I may well buy more (approx EUR 8).

(I looked up this producer in Gambero Rosso and am surprised to find that it is basically a Tuscan estate from Greve in Chianti. They are regular 3 glass winners for a wine called Il Pareto, which has never come my way.)
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Tim York » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:14 pm

VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2004 - Bottled by Brunelli, San Pietro in Cariano, Verona - 12% Vol - EUR 4,89.

Quite different from the much fuller Pegaso, on which I reported last week.

C: Very light and transparent. N: Cherries. P: Very light-bodied but attractive fresh fruit with cherry brandy notes, good mouth-fill, length and grip. Benefited from the freshness of being served at cellar temperature (15° after a record mild winter). Good QPR.

There is definitely a place for light reds like this to serve with good light food like the canneloni stuffed with sopinach and ricotta which we had tnoight, although it did not cope with the tomato sauce as well as a Chianti. At lower level of class and elegance, it could do a similar gastronomic job to, say, a Coteaux Champenois rouge (ignored by Parker!).

However the advice on the back label is unusually inane. "Service temperature: 17/18 ° (is it a fine Bordeaux?). Accompanies: white (perhaps) and red (no!) grilled meat, game (never!), various roasts (?) and maturing cheeses (never!)". My comments in brackets!
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:51 pm

Thanks for keeping this OM going, Tim. Now time for some Chianti eh!! Plus Otto thinks we are all going Tempranillo mad this month.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun May 06, 2007 7:42 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Guess it is time to bump this OM up as there are some `05s on the shelves around here. With Robin in the area right now, we might as well open one and think of him riding the scooter around Veneto!!!
Will try the `05 Allegrini tomorrow, anyone else game?


Just bumping up! Stay tuned forumites.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby RichardAtkinson » Mon May 07, 2007 2:42 pm

On the old WLDG, Iverson (Thor) raked me over grapevine coals for calling Allegrini's La Grola a valpolicella. He said, then, that the Allegrinis considered it kind of a "Super Veneto".

Any opinions on that from this crowd?

Richard
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Robin Garr » Mon May 07, 2007 3:01 pm

RichardAtkinson wrote:the Allegrinis considered it kind of a "Super Veneto".

Any opinions on that from this crowd?


Richard, it's nothing to flame you about. :) And I'm not sure I'd accept "Super Veneto." To me, something like the Bertani "Catullo," a blend of Corvina and Cabernet Sauvignon in equal proportions, makes a more precise analogy with "Super Tuscan," typically blends of Sangiovese and Cab or Merlot or both.

Still, it's not entirely a bad analogy, as La Grola is a Veneto IGT just as Super Tuscans are Toscano IGT, indicating that it involves a grape blend and/or vinification that doesn't fit the regional DOC regs. So literally it is not a Valpolicella DOC. But with 70% Corvina Veronese and 15% Rondinella, it's closer in style to the original than a 50-50 blend of traditional and non-traditional grapes would be. (The outliers in the La Grola blend are 10% Syrah and 5% Sangiovese, according to Winebow. There's also some funky stuff going on with oak there, which is why I'm usually less than fond of La Grola myself ... )
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby RichardAtkinson » Mon May 07, 2007 3:33 pm

Never took as a "flame" , Robin. Even on the original board. Just a lively discussion. But I was curious about other opinions on the...well...Valpolicella-ness...of the La Grola.

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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon May 07, 2007 10:35 pm

I think Mark Lipton posted on the La Grola here on Page 1.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue May 08, 2007 12:18 pm

I had intended to open this last year but the call of other wines left this one in the cellar! A special bottling from Serego Alighieri, held back in their cellars, commemorating 650 years in the area of Gargagnago. Pietro Aligheri was the son of Dante and brought his first estate in the area mentioned.

WTN: `00 Masi Valpolicella Classico Superiore Serego Alighieri "650 Anniversario".

Cork was pretty dry, 14% alc, opened an hour, not decanted.

Colour. Almost a medium plum w. fair amount of browning. Good depth of colour here considering the age.

Nose. Very mature, cherry and raspberry. Hint of volutility here but very herbal..mint, basil. Fellow taster noted "licorice and olives".

Palate. Initial entry thought was mature, starting to show age but drinkable. Not your average Valpolicella that`s for sure. Cherry, red fruits in background w. good tannin structure. Found this very herbal on the finish plus some tea. "Licorice and leathery"came from across the table! Will be interesting to try again in 24 hrs. Mature wine.
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:01 am

Robert, hope this helps!!
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Re: Open Mike: Valpolicella.

Postby Robert Reynolds » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:15 pm

It does help, Bob! Thanks! The more info the better.
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