Spreading the good news of Amarone

This robust, dry red wine offers a complex mix of aromas and flavours that will keep you...

This robust, dry red wine offers a complex mix of aromas and flavours that will keep you interested. Its generous fruit and full-body make it a mouth-filling wine that's made for hearty meals, such as meaty or mushroom pastas, stews or braised meat. (Supplied)

Christopher Waters, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:11 AM ET

Sandro Boscaini has been dubbed Mr. Amarone for his tireless efforts to elevate the signature red wine from his region to become one of Italy’s most iconic products.

The seventh generation of his family to farm grapes in Verona, the managing director and president of Masi Agricola sees Amarone della Valpolicella as the product that best reflects the culture and tradition of his home and the land that produces it.

As the person who spearheaded the Masi Technical Group to inspired research and development at the winery, Boscaini is also aware of how Amarone is shaped by the know-how of the people who make it. “In this sense,” he says, “it tells an ancient and unique story — the story of a people and their culture.”

Amarone is a rich red wine made from grapes that are picked from the vine and partially dried prior to fermentation. This process, called grape appassimento, is a traditional method to concentrate aromas and flavours through dehydration that dates back to Roman times.

Innovation has led top producers, like Masi, Tommasi and Dal Forno Romano, to create special drying chambers with controlled conditions that minimize the handling of the fruit and ensure they are keeping the fruit clean and free from rot.

The resulting wine is much more powerful than other reds made with the region’s native grape varieties. It is also more expensive, making buying a bottle of Amarone something of a splurge.

But as the temperature drops and the holidays approach, there’s bound to be an occasion in the coming weeks that could make splashing out for a bottle a worthy investment.

Alternatively, you can get a sense of the robust power of Amarone by trying a more affordable Ripasso, which sees the skins and seeds left over from making Amarone added into a red wine to juice up its flavour intensity and character. It’s a wine style that was perfected by Mr. Amarone and the team at Masi.

Wines of the Week:

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Masi Agricola 2009 Campofiorin Ripasso, Veneto, Italy

BC $19.99 (155051) | AB $22 | MB $19.99 | ON $18.45 (155051)

This robust, dry red wine offers a complex mix of aromas and flavours that will keep you interested. Its generous fruit and full-body make it a mouth-filling wine that’s made for hearty meals, such as meaty or mushroom pastas, stews or braised meat.

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Masi Agricola 2008 Costasera Amarone Classico, Veneto, Italy

BC $49.99 (317057) | AB $45 | MB $42.99 | ON $39.95 (317057)

Masi Costasera is a powerful red wine that packs a wallop. It’s bold and warm, with a mix of fruit, spice and meaty notes. The higher alcohol content and ripeness of the fruit impart a slight sweetness to the flavours. It’s a great match for grilled beef or game.


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