This year's Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Red Blend under £15 went to Morrisons Signature Valpolicella Ripasso, Veneto, Italy 2012 (13%)
- Domaine Bousquet, Gaia, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina 2013
- Ktima Pavlidis, Thema, Drama, Macedonia, Greece 2011
Another stunning victory for the UK high street via this great-value supermarket wine from the Morrisons Signature range. Fierce competition came in the form of a pair of brilliant wines from Argentina and Greece, but they were kept at bay by a wine that our panel applauded for being ‘silky, vibrant, generous and long’.
This Trophy-winner was made for the UK’s Morrisons supermarket group by Cantina di Soave, a co-operative that is a significant player in Verona with more than 6,000 hectares of vineyards, winemaking facilities in six separate locations and an output of more than 30 million bottles a year.
Cantina di Soave was established in 1898 by a band of growers and winemakers who wanted to pool their knowledge and resources to lower production costs and increase profits.
One of the Cantina’s most significant developments came in 2005 when Cantina di Illasi came into the fold. With its potential to process 20 million kilos of grapes, this gave Cantina di Soave another 900 hectares of vineyards at its disposal. This means that it is now responsible for 49% of the entire production of Valpolicella.
Ripasso is the method of taking young, simple Valpolicella wine and macerating it for a short period with the fermented pomace of dried grapes previously used to make Amarone or Recioto. ‘The maceration should not be too long,’ says Cantina di Soave, ‘because the pomace contains a lot of tannins which can give the wine a sensation of dryness.’
The co-op is very keen to promote a team ethic, believing this is central to its past successes as well as its future growth: ‘For Cantina di Soave, the value of our people and their work has always been of strategic importance,’ it says. ‘Everyone forms an integral part of the team, whether they are a grower, agronomist, oenologist or taster.’
Written by Decanter