Saturday, December 6, 2014

2004 Bussola Ca' del Laito Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso

Well, it's the first Saturday in December, which of course means it's Cellar Saturday, that special day when I dig deep into the cellar and find a nice bottle a bit more mature just for the heck of it.  Tonight I go back a decade and open a bottle of 2004 Bussola Ca' del Laito Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso.  For those who have read any of my past posts on Amarone, know that the Valpolicella Ripasso is the second pressing of the grapes used to produce Amarone, which themselves are dried before pressing, creating a much more concentrated flavor that is just a joy to drink.  The only problem with Amarone is the price, hence the ripasso is a more value oriented offering which we are enjoying tonight!

The wine is a bright ruby color in the glass, with just the faintest hint of amber along the edges.  The nose is quite nice, with earthy notes of cedar, leather and fresh herbs over concentrated fruit notes of ripe plum and raisin.  The taste is sublime, with a burst of sweet cherry and anise at the outset, which transitions to some espresso and white pepper notes midpalate.  The tannins are well integrated and nicely structured, supporting a long, velvety dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid  8.5, it's drinking exceedingly well after it's first decade, and it was a great value at just $25, or about a third of the cost of a comparable Amarone.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a classic big dinner to go with the big wine, a rare grilled prime New York strip, a big baked potato with butter and sour cream and some steamed broccoli.  The fruit and spice in this wine just play remarkably well with a charred steak, tutti a tavola a mangiare!

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