*This is a collaborative post containing PR samples.
You may have seen that the lovely team from Independent Wine are helping to educate me on their wonderful wine, starting with the Montecillo Rioja Crianza 2016 which I wrote about here, and this week they’ve really upped the ante with a divine bottle Passito Valpolicella Superiore DOC 2013 from Massimago Profasio.
Independent Wine’s are the UK’s only supplier of this 100% organic, low-sulphite wine, that is not only wonderful to drink now, but it’s also perfect for ageing at home too for up to 10 years.
But before I share how the wine tasted to us, I’m going to educate you as I have been by the team at Independent Wines with a little info that relates to this style of making this wine and why it’s so special; To make a passito wine, grapes are harvested by hand before they are fully ripe, so they’re still full of natural zingy acidity. Then, they are dried indoors, in fruttaio, for thirty days to concentrate the sugars and flavours. Next, the grapes are crushed and macerated for four days, to extract more colour. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel tanks, to preserve the natural fruitiness and aromas. After that, the wine is left to mature for five months – again in stainless steel – and then aged in French oak barriques for twelve months. It is given twelve more months to mature in bottle, giving the flavours plenty of time to settle and integrate. This ultimately produces a complex wine with flavours of fresh berries, spices and herbs.
As you’ve guessed, with me being me, there was no way I was going to be waiting more than a few days of having this wine in the flat before drinking it. We’d been out for a very wholesome Sunday dinner at a local restaurant and we thought having nice full tummies, being super relaxed and with the weekend coming to a close, it was the perfect time to crack open our bottle.
The vineyard is one that I really love the sound of; 100% organic and sustainable and they generate 80% of their electricity from solar panels which is incredible. Camilla Rossi-Chauvenet, the winemaker at Massimago, has made her mark in the wine world by making such innovations and she always challenges herself to improve her wines. For example, with this Valpolicella, she decided to make it with richer and deeper flavours, as a more refreshing twist of Amarone.
And wow, did it pay off, even after one sip you can taste the rich flavours of red cherry, chocolate and spices. With a little hint of pepper and liquorice on the nose.
As mentioned, we didn’t eat with this bottle as we wanted to savour all of the flavours alone, but it would work perfectly with smokey meats such as BBQ goodness! If you’re not a meat-eater like myself, then I think it would work really well with charred vegetables that still have that smokey flavouring. It would also pair well with a strong cheese board, which gets me thinking… a charred veg pizza could be a great veggie option here!
We were both blown away with the complexity of this wine and the sheer amount of flavours packed into a glass. At almost £30 a bottle, it’s not cheap by any means, but we couldn’t fault it at all. In fact, I drunk it so slowly because I didn’t want it to come to an end!
If, like us, drinking Italian wines is a new thing and you don’t know your Barolo from your Barbaresco, don’t worry, the Independent Wine Knowledge Base has you totally covered for everything you need to know.