Saturday, July 17, 2010
An interesting twist on Pinot Grigio
Masi are recognised leaders in Amarone production.
I should say..I was in some lovely wine shops and restaurants in Venice last week and the Masi wines were very much in evidence, all over the place.
A few years ago the winery got the idea to use the Amarone “appassimento” method (drying grapes) on white grapes to make a white wine! The result is a fascinating little wine called Masianco.
Masianco 2009 is a blend of about 75 percent pinot grigio and 25 percent of a local grape called verduzzo. The pinot grigio is crushed and fermented as usual (when it's harvested) to retain freshness, but the verduzzo is picked later in the season, when it's fully ripe, and then put on racks to dry for about three weeks. The verduzzo is then fermented and the two wines are blended.
Pinot Grigio for all its popularity, is in the main hard to get excited about. Most of the cheap stuff is thin, watery, lacking flavour, body and alcohol but sells by the shedload! One of life’s little mysteries I guess.
The best Pinot Grigios I’ve tried come from Friuli or Oltrepo Pavese (in Lombardy), generally from the hilly terrain where it’s a bit cooler and where the exposure to sun is more favourable.
Anyway back to the Masianco. Simply put its fresh, rich and damn tasty.
I have to say I got a great kick out of this wine.
It tastes like a fresh juicy lemon, with tropical fruit twists and the slightest hint of coconut and vanilla. I had it with some spicy Indian dishes and it stood up really well.