Saturday, February 27, 2016

Masi Modello Delle Venezie

Masi is perhaps the finest of the large Italian wine producers.  Modello translates into "mode" so Modello Delle Venezie could be translated as "in the style of Veneto".  Veneto, by the way, is not Venice but "Tre Venezie" or three Venices which are old administrative regions in northeast Italy dating from the early twentieth century.

This wine is an IGT (Indicazione Geographica Typica) red "delle Venezie" which means it is typical of the region of production.  In today's wine map of northeast Italy, delle Venzie overlays Veneto, Friuli-Venezie Giulia, and Trentino-Alto Adige, basically covering the whole northeast corner of the country.

The IGT category was created in 1992 to provide cover for the state when the success of Super Tuscan wine producers called into question the basis for the existing Italian wine law.  At the time, Super Tuscans were commanding prices significantly higher than the DOCG Tuscan reds.  Because they used grapes disallowed in Tuscany, those Super Tuscans had to be labelled as table wine, the lowest quality level at the time.  The IGT creation allows the inclusion of grapes in blends that favor a uniformity of style under the natural conditions of a region.

In the case of our Masi wine, the grapes are Rabosa, Refosco, and other indigenous types so the IGT may be gratuitous in favor of Masi's prestigious bearing or considering that the international varieties are allowable up to 10% in IGT Delle Venezie red blends, Masi may be getting state leeway to alter the blend if need be.  The list of state sanctioned grapes here is long.  To keep things in perspective 70% of wine production in this region is Pinot Grigio so a red blend like this might require some flexibility.

Masi possesses 170 hectares in seventeen hillside vineyards in Veneto.  They have had the same ownership since the eighteenth century and because of that longevity, Masi has historic relationships with neighboring grape growers.  Because this is Valpolicella country, they favor the "appassimento" method to concentrate wine flavors and that seems to be in evidence here in this medium bodied, ruby colored red.

The flavors here include ripe cherry with plum and delicate spice.  Like all Italians the flavors are long and the finish is dry.  The Masi winery is thoroughly modern so this wine is made in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks using a malolactic fermentation.  This is a "drink now" pizza and burger wine but being what it is, it may complement soup, sausage, pork, and pasta.

No comments:

Post a Comment