Italy's Masi elevates native grapes with modern winemaking

(Image courtesy of Kobrand)

(Image courtesy of Kobrand)

Masi Agricola Campofiorin Rosso del Veronese IGT 2010, $18

This dry, complex red beauty with the ornate label is dark as night and packed with flavors. Aromas are dark plum, ripe cherry, dark chocolate and spice. In the mouth, fruit is intense berries framed in supple tannins and firm acidity. It’s like biting into a piece of dark chocolate candy filled with cherry liqueur. This is a storied wine from the Veneto region — yes, home to the coastal city of Venice on the Adriatic. Masi has produced this wine since 1964 using local indigenous grapes and a special process. They twice ferment the grapes — the second time with grapes that have undergone a drying process, which makes them more intense. It spends a minimum of 18 months in barrels. Masi classifies this wine as a “Super Venetian.” Masi is a family-owned estate run by seventh-generation vintner Sandro Boscaini and is famous for saving and cultivating indigenous grapes and using modern techniques — some of which they invented — to make their wines. Scroll through the great Web site for an eyeful of this beautiful property in Northern Italy. Masi is imported by Kobrand and is widely available.

You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@hotmail.com.