Tommasi 2000 Vigneto Rafael Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($14.99)
This is a clear, reddish-purple wine, not too dark, with a glimpse of bronze at the rim where wine meets glass. Subtle black cherries on the nose and palate, smooth and clean, snappy cherry fruit and an intriguing hint of bitter almond in the finish. It's clean and fresh, showing characteristic Valpolicella flavors, but a little muted, perhaps reflecting its four years of age ... Valpolicella, particularly when it's not made in the "ripasso" style, is a wine to drink young and fresh. US Importer: Rolar Imports Ltd., Great Neck, N.Y. (Aug 21, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: A fine companion with osso buco (veal shanks) in a light tomato sauce with a saffron-scented risotto Milanese on the side.



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