WSI93 Aromas of dark berries, warm leather, baking spices, licorice. Fleshy, textured; flavors of black plums, cherry soup. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Grilled pork sausages; red-wine based beef stew with herbs; aged sheep’s cheeses.
BLEND: 80% Corvina and Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 10% Barbera VINEYARDS: The estate manages three vineyard areas, named ‘Monte del Drago,’ ‘Il Perlar’ and ‘Palazzina.’ All face west/southwest, and sit at altitude. Soils are varied: Monte del Drago combines white clay with “tufo,” a type of gritty, porous limestone; Il Perlar has iron-rich, red clay soils; and Palazzina offers red clay and tufo. AGE OF VINES: 20-50 years WINEMAKING: Hand-harvested. A small portion of Corvina grapes are dried naturally for four weeks, then vinified on indigenous yeasts. The young wine is “ripassato” or macerated with Amarone pomace for color and structure. Aged in French oak casks, ranging from 350L to 1.5HL, for 12 months.
Italy’s modern-day Garden of Paradise is found just outside the gates of Verona at Azienda Agricola Musella.
Encompassing more than 1,000 acres of forestland where olive and fruit trees share space with grape vines and ancient churches and cozy cottages dot the banks of a meandering river, this inspiring biodynamic estate is a regional treasure.
Since 1995, the Pasqua Di Bisceglie family has worked to return this grand estate to its noble viticultural past. Replanting historic hillside vineyards to native grape varieties such as Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella as well as rejuvenating the land through biodynamic cultivation, the family in two short decades has established the wines of Musella as the true benchmarks for Valpolicella and Amarone – and at very reasonable prices to boot.
The estate’s biodynamic credentials are serious. Certified by Demeter, Europe’s largest certification body, Musella’s team uses only naturally sourced fertilizer, among other solutions, to ensure that the natural beauty and health of their 60 vineyard acres remains in balance.
Often called a “baby” Amarone, Valpolicella Ripasso is a savory delight and a guilty pleasure (especially from Musella; quality/price here is out of this world). This traditional winemaking method dries Corvina grapes for a month then ferments them; then the juice is “ripassato” or macerated with Amarone pomace for added depth and complexity. Dark fruit, leather, spices; fleshy and sweet and very pleasurable.