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Degani Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso "Cicilio" 2017
Located in Valgatara in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico region, brothers Aldo and Luca Degani are a generation of growers running a small, dynamic winery in their simple cellar. Founded in 1970, the winery produces only 5 wines (2 Amarone Classico, Valpolicella Classico, Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso Cicilio, and Recioto della Valpolicella Classico); approximately 40,000 bottles annually. Year over year, their adherence to the local traditions demonstrates that quality depends primarily on what nature provides. According to Gambero Rosso, one of the major wine publications in Italy, “they amaze us by regularly turning out great results, vintage after vintage. Wines of high quality and lashings of personality.”
The Degani brothers own 6 hectares of vineyards in Marano and Fumane, in the heart of the Classico region, re-planted over 25 years ago. The vineyards are between 150-180 metres above sea level, with rows running north-south for maximum sun exposure. La Rosta is a special part of the vineyard holdings, which provides even riper grapes in top vintages.
2017 Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso “Cicilio”DOC, (pronounced che-chee-leo), is a blend of 40% Corvina, 30% Rondinella grapes, 25% Corvinone, plus 10% Molinara, made using the traditional Ripasso method. Ripasso literally means “passed over again” and is a technique whereby the unpressed skins used for Degani’s Amarone della Valpolicella are added to fermented Valpolicella thus adding more body to the wine and giving it fuller, richer, dried fruit aromas and flavours.
Cicilio is also a Superiore wine, and means the wine is slightly higher in alcohol and has been aged longer than regular Valpolicella.
The grapes are softly crushed while removing the stalks. The must is left for 12 days to macerate, with manual punching down the cap at regular intervals (20 minutes, 3 times daily). The fermentation temperature ranges from 22° to 28° C. Once the fermentation is complete, the wine is stored in stainless steel tanks until February when it is poured over the lees of the Amarone grapes for 15 days at a temperature of 15° C. The wine is then transferred to French-oak botti (small barrels) to age for 24 months, and is then bottled.
Alcohol content: 14% alc./vol.. (11g/L residual sugar)
Our tasting note: Deep ruby colour, with rich fruit aromas and flavours – dark cherry and plum – with mocha and pepper notes. On the palate, balancing acidity and well-integrated tannins, dry, medium-bodied, and nicely balanced, with a medium to long finish.
Pair with red meat dishes (grilled or braised) including meat-based pasta dishes, but also a good pairing with salumi and aged cheese.
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