The wine of the month
Masi, Costasera, Amarone, Classico, 2018
3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP
February 2024: Masi, Costasera, Amarone, Classico, 2018 (31 EUR/33 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Amarone della Valpolicella, Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (11-02-2024 by Nenad Jelisic)
The wine's producer declared the vintage of this wine to be exceptional. This can be seen on the upper part of the bottle's label, where it says five stars. I myself have so far, including this vintage, tasted 30 vintages of Masi Costasera Amarone Classico. And thus I can conclude that this vintage is undoubtedly the one with the most prominent tartaric acidity and most noticeable tannins. If you like wines with prominent tartaric acidity and noticeable tannins, you can open the bottle now and if you do not like such wines, then you should age the wine for at least 5 years i.e. until at least 2029. But here I want to add that with suitable food, see below, you do not have to wait for 5 years. Masi Costasera Amarone 2018 is a spicy, concentrated, juicy, fresh and tannin-rich wine. In the aroma, one finds dried prunes, tobacco, dried dark cherries, cocoa, vanilla, bay leaves, currants and dried herbs. In the taste, one finds dark cocoa-rich chocolate, coffee, currants, dark cherries and blood orange. The wine's prominent tartaric acidity, noticeable tannins and optimal fruitiness with a wonderful balance between these three give the wine a really good aging potential of at least 20 years, i.e. until at least the year 2044.
Such a tasty, spicy, fresh and tannin-rich wine as this goes perfectly with grilled beef fillet/entrecôte with cafe de Paris sauce and potato gratin or with reindeer stew with buttery mashed potatoes or with grilled pork chops with grilled red peppers, yellow onions and tomatoes and béarnaise sauce or with grilled duck breast with port wine- and cherry sauce and potato stoemp (roughly mashed potatoes with vegetables and cream) or with pasta carbonara or with hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Svecia, Västerbottensost, Parmesan and Grana Padano. Masi Costasera Amarone 2018 should be served at 18 to 19°C in Bordeaux-glasses, if possible, from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel. Another option is to serve it at 16°C (when room or outdoor temperature is above 23°C) and then enjoy it as it begins to grow in the glass.
Masi Costasera Amarone 2018 consists of three different grapes: 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Molinara. The soil on which the grapes grow consists of limestone and calcareous soils. The grapes are harvested and selected by hand. The special thing about Amarone-wines is that their grapes (whole bunches) go through the so-called appassimento process, the process during which the grapes are dried for about 90 to 120 days. The grapes for this wine have been dried for around 90 days. The drying does that the grapes' water content decrease, while the grapes' sugar content, concentration and richness of taste increase. After the drying, the grapes are (partially) destemmed and pressed and their grape mass, which consists of crushed grapes, grape stems and grape juice, is macerated/fermented in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature between 25 and 30°C for 25 days. After the maceration and the fermentation, the wine is aged in 3,500 to 6,500 litres Slavonian (Croatian) oak barrels between 28 and 36 months and finally a few weeks in bottles.