Quintarelli, Valpolicella Classico Superiore (Veneto, Italy) 2009

($85, Kermit Lynch):  Valpolicella originally was an inexpensive delightfully light red wine, not an “important” or prestigious one.  Over the last several decades, many producers have ramped it up by performing a “ripasso,” adding either dried grapes or the leftover must from another fermentation to the fresh pressed juice, which increased the alcohol content and the overall weight of the finished wine.  Usually, but not invariably as this wine shows, the term “ripasso” will appear on the label of wines enriched by that method.  Quintarelli is by most accounts the leading name in Valpolicella, which explains the price tag for this wine that carries a less than famous DOC.  Though the term ripasso does not appear on the label, Quintarelli has, indeed, co-fermented dried grapes with freshly pressed juice for his Valpolicella Classico Superiore.  They also opt to delay release until they think the wine is ready, which explains why this 2009 is the current release.   Not surprisingly considering the technique, the wine is rich and ripe — 15% stated alcohol — even with a trace of sweetness in the finish.  Fine tannins, a suave texture and bright acidity makes it a good choice for full-bodied fall fare, such as a roasted leg of lamb. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 3, 2017