2011 Corvina Amarone ‘Costasera’ by Masi - 538 Wine Notes
To produce this unique Amarone, Masi combines ancient grape varieties of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. The small berries of Corvina are low in tannins and color extract but have thick skins that are ideal for drying and protecting the grape from rot. The Corvina vine ripens late and is prone to producing high yields which can negatively impact wine quality, cutting and pruning is a necessity. During growing season of the grape vine, the first few buds do not produce fruit. The vines need to be carelully trained along a pergola trellis which allows for a long cane stem of the vine that can produce more buds.
Amarone is made with the ancient Roman wine-making method of "appassimento” (vinifying grapes semi-dried on racks for 3-4 months) with the latest techniques: bamboo racks in temperature and humidity-controlled conditions induce natural drying. As the grapes dry on the racks on a single layer, they have selective exposure to botrytis cinerea (‘noble rot’). These strictly controlled evolutions and inoculation of Saccharomyces bayanusm a rare yeast, produces higher alcohol and complex flavors. Blending traditional and modern winemaking, Costasera’s unique personality is a complex, modern Amarone joined with an ancient, majestic pedigree.
The Costasera vineyard faces the sunset at a slope, making this the best terroir for producing high-quality Amarone in Valpolicella Classico. With a longer day, vines that face Lake Garda bask in reflected light, receiving more sunlight, with soft breezes. Since the 1960s, Masi experts have confirmed the superiority of west-facing sites. Aged for 24 months, 80% huge Slavonian oak barrels and 20% in smaller French oak barrels (40% new, 30% 1 year old, 30% 2 year old) before a minimum 4 months in bottle.
Amarone is a full-bodied wine for grilled or roasted red meats, game, and hard cheeses, such as parmesan. Considered a wine for meditation, to be quietly pondered over and sipped on its own, it’s also the perfect after-dinner wine.