May 26, 2008

Masi Campolongo di Torbe Amarone Classico 2001

Bill Dowd photo

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Masi Campolongo di Torbe, the first-ever single vineyard Amarone created. Masi pioneered the concept in the Venetian region in the early 1950s

Masi Campolongo di Torbe Amarone Classico 2001

This is an utterly brilliant Amarone, only 15,200 bottles of which were created. It is a big, fruity, dry Italian red -- 16% abv -- with a bold nose that immediately excites the palate.

It is made from grapes harvested before their peak, then dried to concentrate the sugar -- a process called appassimento.

The wine's plummy richness exhibits somewhat nutty overtones that give the drinker the option of savoring it with roasted meats or bold sauces, or enjoying it on its own when more of the nuances can be explored -- plummy notes, along with hints of leather and tobacco.

Retails for about $145.

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