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Wine of the Week from O'Briens: Porta Nova Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2013

Wine of the Week from O’Briens: Porta Nova Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2013

In the pages of horror stories there are many types of villains and evil creatures with plenty of unnerving feeding habits. Vampires, werewolves and zombies… They all could be consider humanitarians, but among them, one of the most scary and legendary characters is actually a man, and in fact, a doctor.

This Halloween Bank Holiday Weekend calls for a scary wine and we have taken inspiration in Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s red of choice. While he goes for a Chianti in the film Silence of the Lambs, it was an Amarone on his glass according to the book.

Wine of the Week from O'Briens: Porta Nova Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2013Porta Nova Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2013 might appeal to lovers of both, so instead of deciding over the superiority of the movie or the novel, we are going with our own Italian red for this week’s recommendation. Not as fruity and light as a plain Valpolicella, but not as intense and deep as an Amarone; Ripasso gains complexity from its time in contact with Amarone’s pomace but retains plenty of the fruit characters than a Valpolicella Superiore usually features.

This bottle showed a medium intensity garnet colour and clean aromas of ripe red fruit, mostly cherries and cranberries, with a hint of strawberry jam.

On the palate, the fruit was enhanced by a refreshing sour-cherry acidity, moderate tannins and a medium to full body. The presence of cinnamon and a hint of black pepper as well a pleasant taste of toast contributed to its complexity. A solid 13.5% ABV feels balanced and gives the wine more punch.

Halloween nod aside, this is a wine that will work very well with food. It has the acidity to contrast nicely with fatty dishes and tannins that can hold a rich sauce, so you can pair it with Stew of Clonakilty Black Pudding with Flageolet Beans and Sausages, or perhaps with a venison stew.

Porta Nova Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2013 is available at O’Briens Wines, and it’s currently on special offer until the end of the Bank Holiday Weekend: 2 bottles for only €25 (40% off). This office is in-store only.

Find your nearest store:

Read more about Ripasso or about Valpolicella wines here.


Gaby ProfileGabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.

Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.

Gabriela Guédez Gabriela Guédez


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