As the leaves are falling, in tandem with the temperature, it is the perfect time of the year for a hearty wine. I tend to move towards smooth, crowd-pleasing, heavier, red wines that reflects the change in our weather.
This month’s selection is a delicious, dry, concentrated, red wine called Masi Campofiorin IGT from Veneto, Italy. This trailblazing wine began its legacy in 1964. It is the original Super Venetian and is a cross between the iconic Amarone and cheerful Valpolicella wines of the area. All three wines are blends of three local and indigenous varietals, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara.
Amarone is a premium, iconic DOCG red wine made from partially dried grapes. The ripe grapes are placed in chambers and are dried for about 120 days. During this time, the grapes lose almost 50% of their weight. These dried grapes are then pressed and fermented for up to 50 days. Campofiorin is made using the appassimento technique and is considered a baby Amarone for a variety of reasons.
To make an appassimento wine, the pressed pomace of the semi-dried grapes used to make the iconic Amarone, are repressed and blended with fresh Valpolicella wine. This clever process results in a wine which is often referred to as baby Amarone because it has similar, although less concentrated, characteristics of Amarone, and is sold at a third of the price.
The Veneto region of Italy is in the northeastern area of Italy and about an hour and a half drive west of Venice. The famous city of this region, Verona, is a lovely, small medieval city, with romantic winding streets. It has a small colosseum, where concerts are still held. It is often referred to as the city of love. Many fans of William Shakespeare are lured to Verona, as two of his plays are set in Verona, and is considered the hometown of Romeo and Juliet.
The Veneto also produces popular white wines, including the ever-popular Prosecco and Soave, making Verona a wonderful springboard to visit all the vineyards and taste the delicious wines of the area.
At $21.95, Campofiorin offers a consistently good value. This hearty red wine is full-bodied, fresh, rich and very smooth. It has a lingering finish of silky tannins. The bottle is very distinct and elegant.
As a versatile food wine, serve with strong cheeses, grilled meats and pasta with rich, or creamy, sauces. This also an ideal wine to offer as a hostess gift or for a red wine lover.
Enjoy this wine now, or add to your cellar and taste its’ evolution in 10-15 years.
Masi Campofiorin, IGT | 750 mL bottle | 13% alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | +155051 | $21.95
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