Tenuta Sant Antonio Monti Garbi Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2017

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Tasting Notes

This is a deeply colored wine, looking like black cherry juice. It’s quite aromatic, with smoky, almost cedary plum and cherry, both fresh and dried. Savory aromas dominate. In the mouth, flavors are more fruity than savory, especially on the attack. Toasted wood kicks in midpalate and lingers through the finish. The texture is very supple, and the wine offers significant depth, intensity, and complexity. There’s an old-fashioned feel here, with the fruit and non-fruit elements harmonious. It is medium plus in body with a long finish. Open the wine 30 minutes to an hour prior to consumption to allow the wine to shine.



Valpolicella is a region north of Verona, not far from the eastern side of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. It produces one of the country’s finest and most powerful red wines, Amarone, made from the same varieties as Valpolicella, but the grapes are dried on mats until the March following the harvest before they are pressed and fermented. Amarone is strong and expensive. For those who are unable to drink Amarone, there is a lighter alternative—Valpolicella Ripasso. Here the wine goes through a second fermentation on the lees of Amarone, adding color, depth, and complexity. Some producers add dried grapes as well. When the wine achieves a higher level of alcohol, the term “Superiore” is added to the name.

Most Valpolicella comes from the western side of the DO, but in recent decades, some exciting and innovative wineries have been established in the east. Here the soils contain more limestone, resulting in higher acidity and bolder cherry fruit. Tenuta Sant’ Antonio is one of these.

Antonio Castagnedi was a winegrower who left 50 acres of vines to his four sons in the late 20th century. They all worked as consultants for other wineries as well as continuing their father’s tradition. In 1989, they bought another 75 acres of top quality vineyards on the high terrain of Monti Garbi. They released their first vintage in 1995. Grapes for Amarone are harvested on the first pass, and grapes for the rest of the lineup are harvested on the second pass. Because the Amarone grapes are harvested early, their sugar level is lower and the wine is less alcoholic. Sufficient high-quality grapes remain to make the regular bottlings exceptional values. The estate is sustainable, and the harvest is manual. Vineyards are densely planted and low yielding.

This Ripasso goes through primary fermentation in older oak casks, followed by spontaneous secondary fermentation on Amarone lees for a week in late January. The wine is stirred once a month for its first year in 500-liter French oak casks, 30% new, 70% second use. It is racked to stainless steel for 2-3 months, microfiltered, and aged 6 months in bottle.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Charcuterie, Cheese, Duck, Fish-full flavored (salmon/tuna), Grilled preparations, Hearty stew, Mushrooms, Pizza, Red Meat, Roasted Root Vegetables, Slow-smoked Barbeque/BBQ Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Vegetables, Wild Game

Italy , Valpolicella Ripasso DOC, Veneto
Grape Varietal:
70% Corvina and Corvinone, 10% Croatina and Oseleta, Rondinella
$21.50 each
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