Opening this bottle was a great experience, from nose to finish – and with dinner, too. There’s a lovely fruit component gained by this wine’s special production technique: the grapes are fermented, then that young wine is re-fermented with partially dried grapes of the same types. The Bertaini’s – the owners of Masi — are famous for inventing this technique in 1964 in the Valpolicella region; this wine is from the hills around Verona. It is aged in oak a minimum of 18 months; 2/3 in in Slavonian oak botti, 1/3 in new Allier and Slavonian barrels, and then it rests for at least 3 months in bottle before being released.

When just opened, the wine starts with spicy and earthy notes in the aroma. In the mouth there are nice, soft tannins and the wine has a hearty mouthfeel, with flavors of spicy cherry and other deep red fruits, cedar, coffee. A note of leather, too. Pair this with braised dishes like lamb shanks. Highly recommended — BSE

WHO: Masi Agricola

WHAT: 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Molinara

WHERE: Rosso del Veronese IGT

HOW MUCH: around $16 (media sample)

About The Author

Becky Sue Epstein

An experienced writer, editor, broadcaster, and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food, and travel, Becky Sue's work has appeared in many national and international publications including Intermezzo Magazine, Fine Wine & Liquor, Art & Antiques, Luxury Golf & Travel, Food + Wine, and Wine Spectator. She began her career as a restaurant reviewer for the Los Angeles Times while working in film and television. Epstein is also the author of several books on wine, spirits, and food, including Champagne: A Global History; Brandy: A Global History, and Strong, Sweet and Dry: A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala.

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