2014 Cesari Mara Valpolicella Ripasso – LCBO 506519 – $18.95 – **** – A nice black currant note climbs out of the glass with layers of cocoa mixed in there. For a bottle that comes from the general list there is nice structure and a bit of dustiness that takes a minute to blow off when you open the bottle. This is nice, ripe and juicy with red and black fruit. This definitely the overlooked cousin to Amarone with how concentrated the fruit is in your glass. But the lower alcohol keeps this approachable and easy drinking. A perfect bottle to pair with bolognese or lasagne – but, to be frank, I enjoyed this bottle on it’s own without food.
2014 Pasqua Romeo And Juliet Val Ripasso Superiore Doc – LCBO 476903 – $18.95 – **** – Juicy and ripe on the nose with ripe cherry and blackberry. Ripasso is the little brother to the rich and concentrated Amarone wines. Amarone can be a little heavy and high in alcohol so it’s something you need to be careful about when enjoying. The alcohol on this wine rings in at 13.5% making it approachable and relatively easy drinking without sacrificing concentration of fruit. The fruit is so rich and concentrated that it fills your mouth from cheek to cheek with ripe fruit flavours. Pair this with roast or grilled beef or lamb. I’ll be honest I enjoyed this wine without a food pairing to match and I plan on enjoying my next bottle without food too.