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Sporting an uncommon robe of deep ruby with purple highlights, the 1997 Luigi Righetti "Campolieti" Valpolicella Classico Superiore is a tour de force in winemaking for this pretty DOC. This wine combines the aromas of violet, black cherry and herb with woodland scents all of which carry through on the wine's palate, adding the power and weight of a good Bordeaux to this delicious Valpolicella. Surprisingly flavorful, deep and round, this wine reflects the gustatory pleasure wrought by the highly touted "Ripasso" method, whereby this young, fresh, single vineyard Valpolicella undergoes malolactic fermentation inside casks containing the lees of Amarone. Yum! And waiting for you in the finish of this ample, yet elegant wine, is the telltale hint of bitter almond, which characterizes all genuine Valpolicella. Enjoy!
An antipasto consisting of fried olives, stuffed mushrooms, and calamari recently made for a hearty, flavorful accompaniment to the 1997 Righetti Valpolicella. Veal Piccata and a savory veal stew are other winning combinations worthy of this Veronese beauty. Gnocchi, in either a marinara or Bolognese sauce is another fine choice with this full-character red. The atypical weight and depth of flavor of the Righetti, along with the quality of the vintage (1997 is one of the finest vintages ever in northern Italy), provide a wide range of food choices and preparations for the single vineyard Campolieti. The array of pungent, hard cheeses for which Italy is renowned also make for a terrific way to consume a bottle of this Valpolicella.
The Luigi Righetti Winery has always been a bonafide azienda agricola, or family run estate. Angelo Righetti first earned a reputation as an outstanding winemaker over 80 years ago, and commenced a long-standing tradition of quality and distinction in wine. The estate is located in Valgatara, a small part of Marano Di Valpolicella, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico zone of production. The winery takes pride in its two most beloved wines: "Campolieti" Valpolicella Classico Superiore and "Capitel de' Roari" Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico. Righetti's most popular wine is his "Campolieti" Valpolicella Classico Superiore. The name "Campolieti" means "happy fields" and refers to the vineyard from which this excellent wine is produced as well as the joyous reaction of the many loyal Luigi Righetti customers upon their first taste of this estate's wine. The fields are lean and dry, giving the wine an intense bouquet with a distance scent of bitter almonds. "Campolieti" is made from a traditional blend of Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella grapes, which are carefully picked during the harvest in October and undergo the most modern processes for winemaking. Once the wine is re-fermented on the lees of Amarone, it is aged in oak barrels for one year. The result is a full-bodied, velvety and harmonious wine. In addition to its excellent Valpolicella and Amarone, Righetti also produces an outstanding Soave Classico called "Campochiaro" and a unique Corvina, Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese blend named "Valsoia".
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