Marion Valpolicella Superior 2006

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I’ve written about the wines of Marion before. For me, they are making some of the best wines in the Veneto, in the same vein as Dal Forno and Quintarelli, though at a far friendlier price point.

Ripasso Wine Making

Marion is a fairly new winery, only converted to grape growing in 1994, though is built on an old plot of land associated with Veronese nobility in the Renaissance. This conversion happened at the behest of Celestino Gaspari, winemaker at Dal Forno and now consulting wine maker at Marion. I think his stamp shows in the wines, though I also find the Marion wines less densely packed and a bit more aromatic than the Dal Forno wines. In other words, they seem far more approachable and perhaps even a little more feminine and elegant.

Marion uses highly traditional techniques for drying its grapes in the traditional Veronese Ripasso style. In making this Valpolicella, Marion picks half of the grapes earlier than the other half and places them in small wooden boxes which are moved to highly ventilated rooms. Only the best bunches are selected for drying in “arele” – low wooden racks lined with bamboo mats.

The remaining half of the grapes is left on the vine to achieve very high ripeness. The two grape sources are then vinified separately and blended together to make the final wine. It’s an amazing process that, with wineries like Marion, manages to achieve both balance and incredible richness. In my opinion Marion’s wines are particularly noteworthy for their aromatic expression and completely integrated alcohol, a factor that often overwhelms other Ripassos.

The wine is made with a blend of 10% Corvina gentile, 60% Corvina Grossa, 20% Rondinella, and 10% Teroldego and other varieties.

The Wine

A nose of blue fruits and chocolate/mocha goodness. This is a wine with amazing density and power coupled with elegance and freshness. This is impressive wine: it’s got terroir, but also extreme deliciousness. It is aromatically impressive and a wine that easily draws you in and forces that additional sip from sure hedonistic joy. For souch a young wine made in the Ripasso style, the expressivity was exceptional. This wine reaffirms Marion’s extremely consistent quality across its offerings and I would highly recommend it, particularly for the price.

Excellent
$60 at Kits Wine / $50 at BCLDB

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