Tommasi 2005 "Vigneto Rafael" Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($13.99)
Very dark garnet. Characteristic Valpolicella dried-cherry flavor with a not-so-characteristic edge of smoke and grilled meat. A load of cherries on the palate, a mix of dried and red Maraschino, bold and fresh; there's a core of mouth-watering acidity, but it stays in the background behind all the bright cherry fruit. Tart dried cherries and a whiff of smoke linger in a long finish. Intriguing but a bit offbeat, on the fruit-forward side for a Valpolicella. US Importer: Solar Wine Imports Ltd., Great Neck, N.Y. (Nov 13, 2007)

FOOD MATCH: Its bright cherry fruit made a particularly appealing match with a fancified "Welsh rabbit" made with sharp Cheddar, chicken, broccoli, green peppers and onions.

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