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An organic, low-sulphite Ripasso wine produced by sustainable winemaker Camilla Rossi-Chauvenet. Tastes like fresh red cherries and cherry conserve.
Marchesa MariaBella – a delightful Valpolicella Ripasso wine – is made from three types of grapes: Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella, all picked by hand. The wine is packed with tastes of fresh cherries, underpinned by notes of spices and cherry conserve from Amarone grape skins used in the fermentation process.
First, the bunches are gently crushed, and left for a long maceration. The wine is then fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the delicate flavours. After several months, Amarone skins are added to the wine, effectively starting a second fermentation. This adds structure and an intense fruity flavour to the wine, as well as increasing the level of alcohol. The wine is then aged in small French oak barrels for twelve months to soften the tannins and develop complex aromas.
Ripasso is a traditional method of winemaking in the Valpolicella region, making use of grape skins from Amarone della Valpolicella. Just before the Amarone wine finishes fermentation, the skins are drained and transferred to a vat of Valpolicella wine, that has already completed its fermentation. The Amarone grape skins continue fermenting, adding more colour, tannins and flavour to the resulting wine.
Meet the winemaker: Camilla Rossi-Chauvenet was one of the first female winemakers in Valpolicella, and one of the first ones to switch to sustainable and organic methods. Her winery Massimago is now 100% organic. She believes in protecting animal and vegetal biodiversity in the vineyard. 80% of all electricity used at Massimago is produced by solar panels. Camilla limits the use of machinery to an essential minimum, with most processes done by hand.
Tasting notes: Medium ruby colour. Pronounced aromatic intensity, with notes of kirsch and cranberry, enriched by aromas of eucalyptus, nutmeg and fruit jam. On the palate, the wine is dry and full-bodied, with refined soft tannins, high natural acidity and a high level of alcohol. It fills your mouth with a taste of fresh red fruits, spices, herbs and cherry conserve, with a lingering fruity finish.
Ageing potential: 7 years
Awards: James Suckling – 87 points (2016 vintage) | I Vini di Veronelli – 2 stars (2014 vintage) | Wine Searcher – 88 points
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