The Sterza family has been growing grapes in the Valpolicella village of Casterna for generations. But in 1998 young David Sterza got together with his cousin Paolo Mascanzoni, and they decided to make their own wine instead of selling the grapes. Valpolicella can be a light, easy wine, but ripasso, especially, can be much more than that. The term means "repassed"; the unpressed skins of the dried grapes used to make Amarone are added to the fermented Valpolicella to give the wine more body and complexity.
The 2006 is a subtle weave of black cherries and forest, rich and enticing. Serve it with pasta with meat sauces, roast birds, barbecue and liver.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Region: Veneto, Italy
Price: About $18
Style: Rich and aromatic
What it goes with: roast birds, barbecue, grilled calves' liver
Where to find it: Brentwood Village Market in Brentwood, (310) 476-0565; Star Liquor in Santa Monica, (310) 399-0149; Stump's Family Marketplace in San Diego, (619) 226-9575, www.stumps; Vendome Wine & Spirits in Fullerton, (714) 524-0800, www; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454 and (800) 76WINEX, www.winex.com; Wine Styles in Brea, (714) 255-1488 and Chula Vista (619) 397-5533, www.winestyles.netCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times