Recioto Della Valpolicella is a sweet, unfortified Venetian wine DOC that was so
named because only the ripest ‘ears’ (‘rece’ is Italian
slang for ears ‘orecchie’) of each bunch of grapes were selected to
make the wine.
emergence in the 20th century, Recioto represented the apogee of every
Valpolicella producer’s range. The Romans raved about
‘recitium’ and even though this was in all likelihood the white Recioto di Soave, it
is the red Recioto della Vapolicella that has caught the imagination ever
since. Recioto is made using the same ‘appassimento’ process as
Amarone but the fruit is left to dry for an extra month, thus necessitating
the selection at harvest of only the very best bunches.
Once pressed, after at least 1st January following the harvest,
the juice’s fermentation is arrested prematurely to capture the fresh,
sweet primary fruit characters. The resulting wine is massively rich in dry
extract (approximately 300 grams/litre) and high in residual sugar (250
grams/litre) but has a relatively modest alcohol level of around 12%.
The wine is then typically matured for 12 months in small French barriques.
Recioto della Valpolicella wine should be medium-bodied with a
beautiful, crushed velvet texture and a palate brimming with vivid, seductive
black fruit and chocolate. Not surprisingly, only tiny quantities are made each
year – a mere 2% of Amarone.
Recommended producers: Tomaso Bussola, Corte Sant’Alda and