2008 Casa Defrà – Cent Anni Ripasso – Ripasso della Valpolicella DOC

Just recently I bought the Cent’Anni Ripasso della Valpolicella from Casa Defrà. Right away I want you to know that I have mixed emotions about this wine. The bottle was from the 2008 vintage. It has been a while since I had Ripasso della Valpolicella so it was about time to change that.

Mixed emotions

The first thing that puzzled me is the fact that Casa Defrà is located somewhere close to Vicenza. The wine however is classified Valpolicella DOC. The city of Vicenza is not located within the Valpolicella area. This only leaves one conclusion: The winery buy grapes which are grown in the Valpolicella and makes wine with them at their estate in Vicenza. It’s worth knowing that the area around Vicenza is not really famous for wine. The problem with making the wine in Vicenza is the transportation. If a wine gets bottled in the area where the grapes are planted then the transportation ways are short which usually results in better wines whereas long transportation (in this case probably with large trucks) might initiate the fermentation process of the grapes which of course is not good.

On the Internet there is very little information about the winery as well which I find a bit strange.

Knowing all of this, I still bought the wine. Probably because the wine was just 10.90€ which was an offer too good to turn down. We’re still talking about Ripasso della Valpolicella which usually are a good wines.  

Ripasso della Valpolicella

You might remember the definition from the solutions of wine quiz #3. Basically Ripasso della Valpolicella is a Valpolicella made from regular grapes and from the pomace of leftover grapes and seeds from the fermentation process. Ripasso simply translates to “repassed”. The DOC classification for the Ripasso della Valpolicella is rather new and was first introduced in 2009. The first winery to sell Ripasso della Valpolicella was Masi.

The wine

Ripasso Casa Defrà 2008 imageCent’Anni Ripasso from Casa Defrà is made from Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes. The label listed alcohol by volume was 13.5%.

The wine was served at 18°C. I didn’t decant it since it’s a rather young wine.

In the glass the wine had deep dark red color. On the nose the aromas were many but overall not very intense. Cherry, vanilla and blackberries as well a hint of cinnamon was what I found.

After taking a sip I noticed how extremely soft and smooth the wine was. Absolutely no aggressive tannins at all. Cent’Anni Ripasso was of medium body. I tasted red and black fruits and a bit of caramel. The finish however was short. Since the wine was pretty “light” on the palate the short finished encouraged to drink more. Have you experienced this scenario before where you had a wine with a short finish that was actually not bad?

To buy or not to buy?

The question now arises whether the wine is worth buying or not. In its price category it’s a decent wine. 10.90€ is a good price for a Ripasso della Valpolicella but it has to be said that there are much better Ripasso out there. Usually at a higher price.
All in all I probably won’t buy Casa Defrà’s Cent’Anni Ripasso again unless I’m looking for low-budget wine. The nose didn’t convince me. The palate was “not bad” which doesn’t mean that it was good. If you tried the wine then let me know if you liked it or not and if you would recommend it. Vino in Love does not recommend this Ripasso della Valpolicella.

On a side-note the winery Ca also sells an Amarone della Valpolicella for 28€ but since I wasn’t pleased with this wine I won’t buy it unless someone can recommend it (with tasting notes). 

7 comments on “2008 Casa Defrà – Cent Anni Ripasso – Ripasso della Valpolicella DOC”

  1. theducksong Reply

    sucks that you didn’t like the wine in the end! every now and then a wine is not good. let’s hope the next wine will be good again 😀

  2. wineking3 wineking3 Reply

    hmm sometimes wines from winery’s that bottle and produce their wine in a different area than the one where the grapes are grown is still good. so i wouldn’t say that in general these wines are bad.

  3. talkavino Reply

    short finish doesn’t mean that the wine is bad, does it? And at the price point (under $15), it didn’t sound like a bad wine to me?

    • vino in love Reply

      I personally tend prefer persistently long finishes with red wines. As always this is just my preference.
      What I know from Oliver over at “the Winegetter” is that wines in the US tend to be more expensive. For that price I can get wines from other regions (like a Sardinian Cannonau DOC from Meloni Vini) that please me more. The wine neither a bad wine nor a good one; it just didn’t convince me and I didn’t say in the review that it’s bad either. If someone wants to buy a low-budget Ripasso della Valpolicella then this is a good buy. Ripasso usually costs a bit more but usually also tastes better 🙂

  4. DonVino Reply

    Casa Defra is one of the holdings of Cielo e Terra in the Colli Berici region. They produce different bottling lines under various names. Recently tasted the 2011 “Cent’Anni” at a portfolio event and even though obviously young, there doesn’t seem to be enough there for it to be anything other than ordinary….so vintage isn’t the problem. Not as extracted or layered as others I’ve sampled.

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