The weather has turned cold and Michele was making short ribs from her book The Italian Slow Cooker for dinner.
I wanted a red wine that would not be overwhelmed by the ribs. I decided on the Valpolicella Ripasso 2010 DOC made from 75% Corvina, !0% Rondinella and 15% Corvinone from Tenuta Santa Maria Alla Pieve. The 2010 has just arrived and it is showing very well.
The vineyards are located on clay hills with calcareous layers. The training system is the pergoletta, there are 5,600 vines per hectare and the harvest is by hand at the end of September. In the middle of October when the grapes have reached their optimal maturation and sugar level, they are pressed and fermented in temperature controlled stainless tanks for 25/30 days with daily pump over. The wine is later macerated and fermented a second time on the skins and raisins of the grapes used for Amarone, which are still rich in sugar. This is followed by 24 months of aging in tonneaux and barriques where malolactic fermentation takes place. The wine is then aged for 6 months in bottle before release. This is a complex well-balanced wine with nice fruity aromas and flavors with hints of dried cherry, blueberry, licorice and a touch of spice, which made it a perfect wine with the ribs. $35