Just to clarify: it’s a Superiore as opposed to a ‘Ripasso’ on account of it not being passed over the lees of Amarone. A blend of autochthonous varieties Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara, Oseleta, Croatina, Sangioveto, the fruit was picked fresh from Zeno’s pergola trained vineyards & dried on wooden cassette/baskets for two weeks in an open barn (above a growing collection of vintage tractors!)
This natural (not forced) process leads to an evaporation of approx 10%of the water; the fruit being pressed once the stalks have turned brown (or else the green chlorophyll stains the wine & the taste). Fermented in open french tonneau (500 litre) before being aged for approx 3 years in the very same (used) tonneaux. What strikes you about this wine is its sublime gentleness, purity & drinkability.
Tasted blind you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a very ripe Pinot Noir! 2007 was dry & hot; some parts of the Valpolicella zone were hit by hail, but not in Zeno’s town of Fumane. Both the colour & nose of this wine echo the warmth of the vintage, being a sunny bright red colour with distinct ‘rosa canina’ (wild rose) floral & red berry notes, along with those of dried grass & spice.
The dry medium/full palate’s so textural with crushed strawberry flavours kept fresh & sapid by the salty, tangy that Zeno attributes to the (now outlawed?!) Molinara grape (pale in colour & richly structured). A brilliant companion at any meal, especially where there’s salami served. Drinking now till 2017 at least.
(David Berry Green, BBR Buyer) Monte dei Ragni