Regional styles: Italian Valpolicella Red
Food pairing: Beef ? Pasta ? Veal ? Poultry
Toscana- Italy, Sub-regions- 62, Wineries- 6121, Wines- 35762
A Guide to the Toscana Region
If Piedmont is the soul of Italian wine, Tuscany is its beating heart––and the wine world has fallen in love. Sangiovese, Italy’s most planted grape, has experienced a bit of a roller-coaster ride in production quality over the last century—it’s like a Phoenix that has risen from the ashes of jugged swill wines, popular in American restaurants throughout the 1970s, to the incredible expressions of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino that we know today.Improved clonal selection in Tuscany is partially to thank for the grape’s renaissance , as are hillside vineyard sites that take full advantage of the region’s warm, direct sunlight.Tuscany is vast, from coastal Maremma to the hills of Chianti to rocky Montalcino; altogether it hosts 42 DOCs and 11 DOCGs. “Super Tuscans” were originally created, quite deliberately outside DOC guidelines, in order to incorporate international varieties in blends (like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), have become another Tuscan signature wine, and now run the gamut from everyday blends to high-priced icons like Sassicaia.And this is undoubtedly red wine country, with 80 percent of Tuscan wine bottled as red, but Trebbiano is the signature white grape and it’s worth seeking out the many snappy, refreshing whites that are made from Vermentino and Vernaccia.
REGIONAL STYLE -Italian Valpolicella Red
The red wines of Valpolicella have a lot to offer for anyone who is a fan of rich, fruit-filled wines. The baked cherry, plum flavors and the rich texture are similar to really good Zinfandels from California.
The famous wines from Amarone and even the great value Valpolicella Ripasso are decadent, yet restrained.
In Northeast Italy, the region of Valpolicella grows a little-known grape called Corvina. It can make wines that are light with sour cherry flavors like Beaujolais, but the best known styles are much richer.
In Amarone, the grapes are dried before pressing giving the wine higher alcohol and body. The dark dessert-like fruit is complemented with strong acidity and just a touch of bitterness that makes this wine very sensual and often expensive.
The “Baby Amarone” wines of Valpolicella Ripasso are a much more affordable way to try this bold, seductive style similar to the best of California’s Zinfandel.
Beef, Pasta, Veal, Poultry
Corvina Rondinella Corvinone