Le Salette I Progni Valpolicella Ripasso 2018

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Tasting Notes

Deeply ruby colored. Lovely aromas of black fruits--currants, berries--with a suggestion of wood spice and leather. It is complex, interesting, and inviting. This is not a heavy, dense Ripasso; the palate is elegant and well integrated. On the palate it has notes of dark, supple small fruits, dried cherries, spice, and dark chocolate. A bit over medium bodied with a longer finish.


Valpolicella is located in the southwest of the Veneto not far from Lake Garda. The name is a mixture of Latin and Greek meaning “the valley of many cellars.” It achieved DOC status in 1968, but unfortunately it boundaries were greatly enlarged. The original zone, labeled Classico, is located in the hills and now accounts for only about 40% of production. Valpolicella produces a magnificent sweet red, Recioto, and Amarone, a rich and robust red; both are made from dried grapes. Ripasso, literally “repassed,” refers to the technique of adding depth, flavor, and alcohol to the wine by refermenting the wine on the skins of Amarone or Recioto after these wines are done fermenting in late winter. Some producers substitute dried grapes for the marc, an expensive choice.  Corvina buds and ripens late and is vigorous cold-resistant; it is very sensitive to mildew, drought, and sunburn. Corvinone, too, is vigorous, ripens late, and susceptible to mildew. Both varieties are particularly suitable for drying.  Rondinella is high-yielding and very resistant to fungal diseases; it is less flavorful than the previous two varieties. Oseleta was saved from extinction in the 1970s; its yields are low and variable and it adds color and tannin to a wine.

Le Salette is a chapel built in 1860 on a rocky hill overlooking vineyards by local farmers as a votive offering to the Madonna, who protected their vineyards from phylloxera. The Scamperle family, grape growers for many generations, was part of this endeavor; in fact, one of their vineyards extends to just below the church. The family owns 20 hectares (ha) of vines; grapes for this wine come from the northeast-facing 5-ha I Progni vineyard. The vines grow on mineral rich cretaceous soil and are largely pergola trained, planted 1988-2003. Harvest is manual, and the fruit ferments in stainless steel. The first fermentation takes place in October and the second in January/February on sweet Recioto marc. Together, the fermentations take 30 days, and maceration 20. The wine ages 18 months in 70% Slavonian oak casks and 30% French oak barriques before bottling.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Charcuterie, Cheese, Duck, Mushrooms, Roasted Root Vegetables, Slow-smoked Barbeque/BBQ Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Vegetables

Italy , Veneto
Grape Varietal:
70% Corvina, 30% Rondinella
$31.00 each
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