MASI Vintage Tasting
March 1st, 2016
With its deep roots in one of Italy’s best wine regions, Valpolicella, Masi makes quality wines that are an expression of the values of their territory of origin. Principally using native grapes and indigenous methods for the Venetian territories, Masi makes what Sandro Boscaini, the guiding light in the company, likes to call “modern wines with an ancient heart”, using constant technological updates. Today, Masi is a leader in the production of Amarone and has acknowledged expertise in the Appassimento technique.
We have been quite lucky to be able to showcase some of the vintage wines from several of MASI’s vineyards all the way back to 1996.
The favourites were the 1996 Serego Alighieri and the 1999 Mazzano with the 1997 Aligieri very close behind. The integration of fruit to tannins was flawless. My personal favourite was the 1996.
The wine tasting was great and the wines tasted great after decanting for about an hour and evolved throughout the tasting!
Masi Vaio Amarone Vintage Mix (1996, 1997, 2000)
“An important Amarone with extraordinary power and complexity: a classic in the Italian winemaking portfolio. This is the icon wine of the historic Serego Alighieri estate and comes from the eponymous vineyard, the source it seems of the very name Amarone itself,” – according to the Masi winemaking team. “This noble wine is produced using time-honoured practices in the vineyard, in the ancient drying lofts and in the cellars.” $179.99/btl
Masi Costasera Amarone Mixed Vintage 6-pack (1997, 1999, 2001)
Proud, majestic, complex and exuberant: this is Masi’s gentle giant. A benchmark for the Amarone category, which, together with Barolo and Brunello, makes up the aristocracy of the Italian wine world. The product of Masi’s unrivalled expertise in the appassimento technique, whereby traditional grapes for the Valpolicella Classica area – Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara – are laid out on bamboo racks to concentrate their aromas during the winter months. $99.99/btl
Masi Mazzano Amarone Vintage 1999
A very famous Italian red wine, from one of the legendary producers! “I wouldn’t assign a terribly long drinking window to these wines (five years or maybe more) but there is no doubt that they are drinking beautifully right now,” according to Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. “The Boscanini family has recently been aggressively promoting Amarone as a cellar-worthy wine. Critics contend that wines made thanks to the appassimento process do not boast a long cellar life because the air-drying process (in which grapes lose about 30% of their water weight) erodes and desiccates the chemical substances inside the grape skins that help a wine evolve over extended periods of cellar aging. Sandro Boscaini argues this is not true and he has set out to demonstrate his point through a series of high profile vertical tastings and the commercialization of older vintages like the two I tried this year. Sandro has a point: Amarone is a long-term wine and I found that the onset of tertiary aromas is arguably slower thanks to the fact the wine is made from raisins. You never perceive that sudden gap between fresh and dried fruit with Amarone as you do with other Italian reds.” $234.99
Masi Angelorum Recioto
“The historic, red dessert wine of the Valpolicella region,” according to the legendary Masi winery. “The ancient traditional grapes, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, are picked in hillside sites to be laid out for Appassimento on bamboo racks in drying lofts during the winter months. The grapes shrink in the drying process to make aromatic, fruity wines that are smooth and refined, with a wonderful balance of alcohol, sugar and structure.” $31.49