Tag Archives: Corvina

60 Second Wine Review — Accordini Ripasso

A few quick thoughts on the 2009 Accordini Igino Valpolicella Ripasso.

The Geekery

Accordini Ripasso wine

Accordini Igino was founded in the 1960s but the family’s history in Valpolicella dates back to the early 1800s. Igino’s son, Guido, runs the estate today with his wife, Liliana, and their daughter Ilaria.

The family farms 35 hectares (86 acres) in the hills north of Verona around the villages of San Pietro in Cariano and Negrar.

To produce ripasso, the Accordinis drain the free-run juice from their Amarone tanks without pressing. This leaves the skins, lees and unfermented sugars left over from the Amarone’s fermentation. They add their Valpolicella base wine to the tank for an extended 10-14 day post-fermentation maceration on the Amarone lees.

During this time, ambient yeasts will consume the remaining sugars trapped in the Amarone skins and trigger a secondary fermentation that extracts additional color, tannins and flavor into the wine. However, compared to the secondary fermentations of sparkling wines, the CO2 is not kept captured in the tank.

The ripasso (roughly translated as “repass” or “renew”) process usually takes place in January or February with the wine then aged an additional 12 to 18 months in oak before release.

The 2009 Ripasso is a blend of 60% Corvina, 20% Rondinella and 20% Corvinone.

The Wine

Photo by Dinkum. Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons under CC-Zero

Lots of sweet spices like star anise & cinnamon in this complex red.

High intensity nose. Very spicy star anise and cinnamon. Noticeable dark fruits–blackberry, black currant and plums.

On the palate, those dark fruits carry through but also bring an orange citrus note with them. Medium-plus acidity balances the full body weight of the fruit. The acid makes the wine very dry but juicy and amplifies the spices from the nose. Ripe medium tannins are noticeable but fairly soft at this point. Long finish lingers on the spice.

The Verdict

At $20-25, this is a very complex and character driven red.

It reminds me a bit of a Right Bank Bordeaux with its profile but easily one that would be more in the $40 range. Very good buy.

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60 Second Wine Review — 2009 Cantina di Soave Amarone

A few quick thoughts on the 2009 Cantina di Soave Rocca Sveva Amarone della Valpolicella.

The Geekery

Founded in 1898, Cantina di Soave is a co-operative with more than 2200 farmers.

With over 14,800 acres of vineyards under the co-op’s control, Cantina di Soave controls nearly 70% of all the vineyards in the sparkling wine producing Lessini Durello DOC, 43% of Soave Classico, 48% in the greater Soave DOCG and 49% of all the vineyards in Valpolicella. All together, around 70% of the vineyards managed by the co-op qualify for DOC or DOCG standing.

In 2017, the total value of the wine grapes under control of the Cantina was over 100 million USD (€81m).

For the Rocca Sveva Amarone, the vineyards are planted in calcareous soils around the villages of Cazzano di Tramigna, Illasi and Val di Mezzane. The vines are trained in the traditional Pergola Veronese (or tendone) system. After harvest, the grapes spend 3 months drying on racks in a specially designed room. During this time the grapes lose up to 60% of their water content. After a long, cool fermentation that can take up to 30 days, the wine spends 2 years aging in oak barrels before bottling and then an additional year aging in bottle before release.

The typical blend for the Rocca Sveva Amarone is 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Molinara.

The Wine

Medium intensity nose. Black fruits–cherry, plum, blackberry–and a little pipe tobacco spice. With some air, black licorice and raisin notes come out.

Photo by KannanVM. Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Dark fruit like black plums characterize this Amarone.


On the palate, the black fruits carry but aren’t as defined as they were on the nose. The medium acidity keeps some freshness but needs more to balance the full-bodied weight of the dark fruit. Medium-plus tannins help maintain the structure and are rather velvety at this point in its development. Fairly short finish with some spice.

The Verdict

This is definitely a more fruit-forward “modernist” style Amarone with only a little earthiness and spice.

At around $45-55, it is decent but doesn’t really offer me the complexity and depth I crave at that price point.

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