Proper, Organic and Biodynamic Ripasso that is dry, structured and really, really good. That's pretty much all you need to know about this wine, but the experience is way better than that!
Taking a base Valpolicella from the same vineyard area, this wine then undergoes a second fermentation that is started because of the addition of the grape pommace of fermented Amarone, that are still full of sugars.
These kick off the second fermentation but also add colour and flavour and texture to the previous Valpolicella, giving this wonderful hybrid as a resulting beauty.
Black cherry and spice, but less Christmas cake than Amarone, it still wears the red fruit and ripe berry of its Valpolicella former-life.
In 1974, Guido Fidora was a farmer growing grapes in the Valpolicella region who felt uncomfortably out of place. All around him, his neighbours were turning to the use of chemicals to increase the volume of their crops and to prevent the grapes being eaten by pests. His attitude was one that sought to benefit from natural harmony and as such gained certification for organic vineyards, which firmly set him apart from most of the entirety of the Valpolicella community.
But he was right, of course. The quality of the grapes, the health of the vines and the consistently high level that his wines attained were proof enough that his decision added up for the business. The fact that he uses extremely traditional techniques puts him at the top table of Valpolicella producers and reminds us that these wines should be elegant, savoury, bright and characterful.
The estate is now run by Emilio, his grandson, and so convinced that his Nonno was right, Emilio has converted the entire estate to Biodynamic.
The second ferment is a process that lasts for about three weeks as it is slow and can be complicated. Organic fruit assists in the consistency of course, and the wine is then aged in French oak barrels for 24 months before bottling.
The acid levels are actually the same as the Valpolicella, but as the other components have been enhanced through the second fermentation, the sensation is of a softer, smoother, richer and less acidic wine. It's sort of irresistible.
Grape(s): Rondinella, Corvinone, Corvina
Style: Svelte, Structured, Soft, Smooth, Silky, Round, Rich, Organic, Medium Full, Intense, Fruity, Fleshy, Elegant, Complex, Biodynamic
Best food matches: St Stephen's Day, Soft Cheeses, Roasts, Red Meats, Poultry, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Grills, Goat's Cheese, Game, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Beef, Baked Fish