Masi Amarone Vertical tasting – Tuesday May 26, 2015

Lisa Zinck
Tuesday May 26 2015

This was a rare opportunity to taste some back vintages thanks to our agent, Authentic Wines and Spirits.

Often you will find that wineries will hold back vintages and then release them as a mixed vintage pack or a single release.

We snatched up this offer as soon as it came available, as we find these opportunities are important  for  tasting  and for understanding how an aged wine develops.

On average, a person buys a bottle of wine and has it open within 45 minutes of purchase.  If you can buy and resist opening your wines, the later benefit of that bottle is a wonderful experience.  Last Tuesday we enjoyed such an experience with two single vineyards owned by Masi .

We began with the Cru Vaio Amaron wines.  An historic vineyard, whose name has such a coincidental assonance with the name “Amarone”,  some scholars believe it is the original source.  One of the most prestigious vineyards in the Possessioni dei Conti Serego Alighieri, the family (descendants of the poet Dante) has cultivated their lands here with love and dedication since 1353.

The other 3 wines were from Mazzano, an historic vineyard with a centuries old reputation for making fine wines. Located in the Valpolicella region in the eponymous suburb of the district of Negrar, the land is dark in hue and composed of marly limestone and basaltic toar from the Eocene era. The soil is deep, loose and rich in schist and natural humus. The classic Amarone grapes: Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, are grown here to make Mazzano, a majestically austere and elegant wine with great personality.

This was an amazing experience tasting. After being opened the wines were changing by the minute.

The overall favorite of the evening was Serego Alighieri 1997, followed by the Mazzano 1995 and then the Mazzano 1997.

What a pleasure. Everyone who attended were huge Amarone fans, so this was indeed a treat for all .

Andreola Prosecco Verv $24.99
What a pretty example of Italian sparkling wine! Andreola Orsola is located at Col San Martino, a hamlet in the province of Treviso situated in the hills of the production zone for Prosecco di Valdobbiadene. This Prosecco is made from the ancient Glera grape. Light, crisp and dry, it makes a wonderful aperitif. Serve slightly chilled. An unbeatable price and beautiful packaging. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

Masi Serego Alighieri  Vaio Amarone 1996 $ 177.99

92 points WS – Big and raisiny, with loads of exotic dried fruit, toffee and coffee. Full-bodied, with ripe, round tannins and a long, delicious aftertaste. Fabulous finish. Clearly outstanding. Drink now through 2008. 4,400 cases made.          –JS

Masi Serego Alighieri  Vaio Amarone 1997 $ 177.99
92 points WS – Big, old style of Amarone, with stemmy, petrol and cedar aromas and lots of fruit. Full-bodied and balanced, with a fine tannin structure and a long, spicy finish. Seriously good. Drink now through 2008. 4,400 cases made. –JS

Masi  Serego  Alighieri  Vaio  Amarone 2000 $ 177.99
91 points WS – An elegant, mineral-driven Amarone, with rich, dark color and lots of dried cherry, berry and mineral aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a long finish. Best after 2007. 3,250 cases made.           –JC

Masi  Mazzano Amarone 1995 $ 234.99
This dark, ruby red wine has bold, elegant and austere aromas of violets, plums, incense, vanilla, candied fruit and cocoa. Palate flavors of plums, bitter and sweet cherries, candied fruit and hazelnut chocolate are full-bodied, soft and dry, before a long finish. Pairs well with red meats, game, quail and full-flavored dishes, as well as strong cheeses like parmesan and pecorino. Is also a great after-dinner wine.

Masi Mazzano  Amarone 1997 $ 234.99
93 points WS – Well-defined red, bursting with fresh black fruit and clean mineral aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, with firm tannins and a long, fresh finish. Tempting now, but best to wait awhile. Best after 2003. 1,150 cases made.          –JS

Masi Mazzano Amarone 1999 $ 234.99
Complex nose, with soft raisins, earth, dried herbs, Indian spices and chocolate. Full-bodied, with loads of spicy fruit coating the tannins and a very long, distinctive mineral finish. Powerful, but remains fresh. This is what Amarone is all about. Irresistible now, but will age very well. Fantastic. Best ever from Masi. Drink now. 1,150 cases made.        –JS

Bussola Recioto 2009 $ 67.99
A blend of Corvina, Corvinone, 60% Rondinella, 10% Cabernet Franc 15% Dindarella 7% Croatina 3% and other old varieties 5%. The grapes used to produce this wine are dried on racks from the middle of September until the middle of March. They achieve a degree “Babo” of 39 (almost 430 g/l). In order to produce one litre of this Recioto 18 kilogrammes of grapes are required. The fermentation was induced immediately after crushing by means of a small addition of Recioto “bg” of the same year, already fermenting.

The wine was racked with 260 g/l residual sugar and was placed in new barriques of Allier and Vosges oak. It remained on its own yeasts and batonnage was carried out several times over a thirty-month period until December 2004 when the wines was racked, assembled and bottled. It was given four months rest in bottle before being put released onto the market.

Approximately 1.700 500-ml bottles of this wine were produced. The wine has a deep ruby hue, impenetrable, with a spicy floral scent. In the mouth it is round and harmonious, full-bodied, beautifully balanced, with a notable tannic structure and an imposing concentration. It goes well with sweets, even chocolate, but is particularly felicitous with Pandoro and fine pastries.

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