With all the varietals that define Italy’s wine culture, one that is sometimes overlooked is Valpolicella from Verona.  The wine I tasted, Allegrini Veronese Palazzo della Torre 2008, has unique character and winemaking practices uncommon in most of Italy, and is available in large volume with only a $20 price tag.  The region’s traditional Corvina Veronese and Rondinella grapes are blended and vinified, with a portion sent to drying & fermentation rooms first to shrivel, or “raisin.”  The juice and raisined grapes are then blended all together months later for a second fermentation, and aged further in oak barrels to create very balanced, ripe fruit flavors, with blackberry and herbal spice on the nose.  The color is a deep ruby red with hints of orange clay on the edge.  The spice is in there, but it doesn’t overpower the fruit, and the finish is smooth like velvet.  Simple and pleasurable. – JT

ALLEGRINI Veronese Pallazo della Torre 2008


Related scores: WS-90 (#60 on Top 100 of 2011)
Market price: $20

Recommended pairings: Bigoli with Duck Ragu