The development of Appassimento grape drying technique originates with early
Roman wine making experiments. Initially aimed at creating various sweet wine
styles such as Recioto della Valpolicella, it was gradually adapted to create a
broader range of drier, though still immensely rich variants such as Amarone,
Ripasso and this week’s DéClassé recommended 2010 vintage of Campofiorin.
Here in the hilly vineyards of Verona, numerous generations of vintners at Masi
have been refining the so-called ‘Super Venetian’ first released in 1964: yet
another variant of the traditional techniques, this has also gained the winery the
deserved reputation for being the leading innovators of a regional style boasting
a Latin subtitle “Nectar Angelorum Hominibus” (“Nectar of the angels for men”)!
The artisanal process begins with pre-selected, optimally ripe grape bunches
being harvested long after the main picking has been completed. These are then
laid out to dry on bamboo racks known as ‘Arele’ and left to wither for a portion
of the early winter months. Once having reached the desired concentrations for
both sugar and glycerin content, they’re slowly pressed and allowed to gradually
ferment for an extended period – also in the cold.
The extracted juice from this complicated process becomes Amarone wine; the
residual grape pomace that’s left over is re-purposed by being added to young,
partially aged wine. This promotes a secondary fermentation, adding richness
and becoming a Ripasso-style wine. For the Campofiorin version, a small batch of
whole dried fruit is added. In all cases, the typical grape varieties include the local
stars of north-eastern Italy such as Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara.
This bottling is several dollars above the traditional DéClassé price-point, though
with an appreciation of how much effort has been invested by the winery – it’s a
real bargain for what should be a classy dinner wine addition to your go-to list.
Remarkably, this has so much body, it could stand up to 15-20yrs. of cellaring!
MASI CAMPOFIORIN IGT
LCBO Product #155051 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 18.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Veneto, Italy
By: Masi Agricola S.P.A.
Has a distinct and layered set of aromas and flavours including cherry, currants
and spice. As expected from a Ripasso wine, it’s velvety smooth and extremely
versatile with a broad range of food pairings. Try as apéritif with appetizers
such as steak tartare, salsa verde or also ideal with well-aged cheeses.