This wine is one of two siblings. The other is Palazzo della Torre, and both used to be - technically - Valpolicella. This is the more expensive of the two, but it doesn't mean it's always the better of the two. Originally, this was made 'ripasso' and Palazzo was not. Now, they're both 'ripasso' and even a little 'apassimento'. Intriguing and obscure (and now oft-imitated) Italian vinification techniques aside, it's always amused me that in spite of the price difference, the wines have always been equals. They've also always been excellent. The last time I tried the pair together, Palazzo was the better.
Italian broody - intense ruby edges with a deep and broody core.
The fruit is cherry and cranberry on the nose with cocoa and some sweet-cured ham.
What is line that forms that separates fun wines and serious wines? Aside from price? The darkness of the palate reaches out before the fruit comes. The fruit comes with richness and depth. Ripe, but not jammy. Oddly, no hint of the raisins. The backbone is dry, textured to the point of rasping, but not coarse. It brings the finish along and keeps it going. It's complete. It's young. I think a lot of people would think this was just right. The secondaries and the primaries are both big, balanced and provide a lot. But I think there's more to come - there's a sense of complexity in the passing of the palate that isn't nuance, it's the flavour memory of what just passed. An echo. I think that happens a great deal with big wines these days. It's not new points of flavour coming out - it's the echo of such big flavours lingering. This isn't like that - there are hints of that, but there's stuff underneath. It will bear out the weight of age. And there is more to come. I'm pretty sure of that. This got serious. And for this vintage, it's better than the Palazzo.
Tasted 11/12/2010 at Shorehead