Winter may be tiresome, but it does have some advantages. Being able to snuggle up under a blanket watching the comedy shenanigans at Downton Abbey is one, drinking Valpolicella Ripasso whilst doing so is another. It’s the ideal wine and “cheese” combo (did you see what I did there?).
This Ripasso from Aldi smelled suitably of plums and raisins, with something else that was dried, I like to think maybe the straw the grapes were dried on, but who knows, it could be straw that Lady Mary has taken a tumble on. It was a lovely rich colour, bright and attractive.
The Valpolicella ’11 was dry but the fruit gave it a candied festive sweetness. The tannins were smooth and soft and the acid at a medium level, like the alcohol, it all fitted together well, with a late zing of almonds that arrived after the fruit. The flavour lasted well and had a pleasant journey from plums to raisins to almonds, not quite soup to nuts, but almost. Carlson would be proud.
It was a little thinner than my ideal for a Ripasso, but it was also a lot cheaper than any Ripasso I’d rave about, and I think it comes down on the side of being good value for the money rather than a false economy.
I wouldn’t choose it for a special occasion, or even one of those occasions like a rubbish week at work, failing to find a parking space and walking two blocks in the freezing rain without a coat and the bottom falling out of the bag as you take it out to the bin, which count as special and Champagne worthy in my house.
It’s an everyday, nothing special choice, with a price point to match.