A dear friend visited recently and brought some lovely wines. We enjoyed grilled pizzas on our back porch, comparing the heat of Davis summer evenings to those of Calistoga. A Ridge Three Valleys ($22) helped us through the evening. The wine worked very well, but was not particularly remarkable. Perhaps it was overshadowed by the quality of our conversation.
We might have done better with the other bottle our friend brought. We enjoyed it recently while reminiscing over the visit. The wine was Allegrini 2007 Valpolicella, which as near as we can tell retails for about $17 and is widely available for about $12. This is a wonderful wine. Beautiful and voluptuous, it is ripe without being over the top or overly alcoholic. Tannins are present but well-balanced, and the acidity is refreshing and not out of line.
In fact, our only complaint is that the wine is bottled under a synthetic stopper. We are all for alternatives to cork, but in our experience wines with synthetic closures age too rapidly, and despite notable progress they remain difficult to open, and even more difficult to re-close. This certainly did not detract from our enjoyment. However, should you decide to give this wine a try, we recommend that you not cellar it. Drink up!