Happy Thursday! I had a fairly productive day today, got a lot done at work, got a haircut after work, then went to the gym, and then stopped at the store on the way home to get something for dinner. And now that I'm cooking, it's time to open a nice bottle of wine to complement the food, so tonight it's the 2011 Brunelli Pa' Riondo Valpolicella Ripasso. As a refresher, this is more of a poor man's Amarone, as it's the second pressing of the dried Valpolicella grapes that are used to make Amarone, so it gives you a lot of the concentrated flavor and punch of an Amarone but often for a third or less of the price!
The wine is a beautiful bright ruby color in the glass with great clarity. The nose presents beautiful aromas of leather, plum, anise and dried herbs. The taste is at first a bit tight, with some tart cherry at the outset that gives way to some smoother fruit flavors of ripe plum and cassis midpalate. The tannins are still a bit young on this wine, but they still provide a nice base for the long, smooth and somewhat fruity finish.
Overall, I rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's not quite at the level of baby Amarone, but still a pleasant drinking wine in its own right, and it was a nice value at just $13 from Wines Till Sold Out. Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a simple tortellini prima vera, we have such nice produce right now, it's just a pleasure to toss some red onions, green peppers, yellow squash and broccoli rabe in with a light cream sauce over some fresh cheese tortellini, delicious! Salut!