Valpolicella Classico Superiore “Ripasso” DOC

The Speri family has been making wine in the Valpolicella Classico appellation since the early nineteenth century, deeply focusing on preserving the local heritage and highlighting the unique terroir, cultivating only native Valpolicella clones and epitomizing the most authentic expression of the appellation. Every one of the Speri vineyards is in the Classico area and total 60 hectares (148 acres), in the finest districts: Fumane, Negrar, and San Pietro in Cariano. And the estate-owned vineyards themselves are divided into distinct crus: La Roverina, Sant’Urbano and La Roggia.

The name Valpolicella contains the Italian word for “valley” for a reason. But the entire Valpolicella appellation is not so much a single valley as a number of small valleys fanning out towards the hills behind Verona. Its wonderful climate, abundant sources of water and gently rolling landscape have made this a densely inhabited territory throughout the centuries. The Classico area of the Valpolicella appellation’s historic core covers a mere fifth of the DOC’s total territory. It enjoys excellent, elevated terrain in the Alpine foothills and a mild climate you would not expect at this northerly latitude.

The Speri family is now seven generations in, and deeply proud of being a family-owned and sustained operation, with three generations currently involved. Pioneers in their own right, the family is even responsible for creating the “Pergoletta Speri” training system that is considered the most effective training system there is for Amarone in the area, designed to give the grapes more sun exposure and essential ventilation.

The hillside vineyards are also cultivated using traditional marogne, which are stone walls that create terracing on the slope. Not only do they protect against washout, but they also retain heat well. They also provide shelter to a vast array of insects thus helping maintain balance in the ecosystem.

After already many years of sustainable agriculture, the Speri vineyards have been certified organic since 2015. Their ultimate goal is to get as close as possible to a naturally balanced agricultural ecosystem by implementing practices that combine a knowledge of ecology, plant physiology, biochemistry and the study of insect behavior.

Ripasso is made by refermenting Valpolicella wine on the marc leftover from Amarone. (Ripassare in Italian means going over again). The re-fermentation lasts only about eight days and is meant to infuse more complexity and plushness into the wine.

Speri’s is made from Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and other indigenous varieties, grown in vineyards in the districts of San Pietro in Cariano, Fumane and Negrar, in the heart of Valpolicella Classico, at altitudes varying between 120 and 350 meters (395-1,150 feet) above sea level.

The grapes are harvested in early fall and macerate for about eight days in stainless steel. They complete fermentation in glass-lined vats. In late February, second fermentation on Amarone marc begins, lasting eight days as well. The new wine then ages twelve months in large oak barrels and then in bottle for several more months. Rich, full, spicy, fruity, with interesting notes of cocoa. Warm and smooth on the palate, nicely balanced by round tannins. Very versatile.


Wine exported to

Bermuda, USA, Japan, Puerto Rico, Australia

Most recent awards

  • 2018 | James Suckling93
  • 2017 | Wine Enthusiast90
  • 2014 | Wine Spectator90
  • 2012 | Wine Advocate91
Grape Varieties:

70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Molinara and other native varieties

Fermentation container:

Stainless steel

Length of alcoholic fermentation:

10 days

Type of yeast:

Selected Organic Certified

Fermentation temperature:

20-22 °C (68-71.6 °F)

Maceration technique:

Periodic pumpovers and délestage

Length of maceration:

10 days

Malolactic fermentation:

Yes

Fining agent:

None

Aging containers:

Barrels

Container size:

20 hL

Container age:

10th use

Type of oak:

Slavonian

Bottling period:

January

Aging before bottling:

12 months

Aging in bottle:

6 months

Closure:

Natural Cork

Organic:

Yes

Vineyard location:

Valpolicella Classica, Valpolicella, Veneto

Vineyard size:

60 hectares (148 acres)

Soil composition:

Alluvial terrain, very fertile and rich in mineral salts.

Vine training:

Inclined open pergoletta

Altitude:

125-350 meters (410-1,148 feet) above sea level

Vine density:

110 vines per Ha

Exposure:

Southern

Years planted:

1997

Age of vines:

22 year old vines

First vintage of this wine:

2005 exactly when VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO became officially a DOC

Total yearly production (in bottles):

100,000

Tasting notes:

A deep intense ruby red color, with hints of red fruit, spices and cocoa on the nose. Warming and smooth on the palate, nicely balanced by rounded tannins.

Serving temperature:

Best served at 16-18 °C (60.8-64.4 °F).

Food pairings:

Very versatile but great with meat and cheese

Alcohol:

Alc. cont. 13.5% by vol.

Winemaker:

Alberto Speri