Today I’ll look at a couple of wines from Italian producer Masi Agricola. If the name sounds familiar that’s no surprise as they’ve been around quite awhile. It’s likely you’ll recognize their labels too. With some wineries or brands their ubiquity on shelves isn’t necessarily a good sign. Not so with Masi Agricola, they have been a quality producer of Venetian Wines for several hundred years. Like many people I first became aware of them as a producer of Amarone. I’ll be looking at one of those in the next few weeks. Today the focus is on two other wines in their portfolio. First up is the Masi 2009 Masianco. Fruit for this offering was sourced in at the Stra Del Milione at Castions di Strada in Friuli. This wine is primarily Pinot Grigio (25%), with Verduzzo (25%) also blended in. Each varietal is picked, fermented and aged separately. It’s blended together prior to bottling. The suggested retail price for this wins is $18.
Lemon ice with an undercurrent of vanilla both emerge in the fresh, vibrant nose of this 2009 wine. The lemon theme continues through the palate where it’s accompanied by other citrus elements as well as tropical fruit such as pineapple and a gentle wisp of mango. Minerals and spice emerge on the finish which is impressively lengthy, layered and marked by crisp and savory fruit. Those flavors come together to form a thirst quenching and mouth watering wine. This selection is quite lovely on it’s own, but truly shines when paired with lighter bodied foods.
The next wine is the Masi 2006 Campofiorin. The fruit for this offering comes from vineyards in the hills of Verona. This selection is a blend of Corvina (70%), Rondinella (25%), and Molinara (5%). 25% of the grapes are dried for 6 weeks and then fermented with the fresh grapes that have already undergone their own fermentation. This wine sees 18 months in oak. 2006 represents the 36th vintage of this particular bottling. The suggested retail price for this wine is $20.
The nose of this 2006 red blend shows off dried red fruits, violet and lavender aromas. The dried fruit characteristics continue on the palate where they become plush and velvety. Cherry plays a lead role and some darker notes creep in as well along with a range of spices such as pepper, vanilla and hints of clove. Earth and dark, dusty baker’s chocolate flavors all emerge in the finish. Fine acidity keeps this wine perfectly balanced. This offering really works best when paired with food. Hard cheeses, pasta with red sauce and a charcuterie plate would each work perfectly.
Both of these wines from Masi Agricola represent excellent values in their categories. In each case they over deliver quality and complexity at a price many wine lovers can afford on a regular basis. Their long history and wide availability means you should have no trouble finding these wines.