Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Masi Amarone Costasera

When wine writers are critical of alcohol levels of Australian Shiraz, they should also turn their attention to Amarone, the famous Valpolicella wine based on semi-dried grapes. Minimum alcohol level here is 15%.

I opened a bottle of the 1997 Masi Amarone Costasera. Masi is a famous producer of this style, with a number of different bottlings. However, this wine does not impress me much. The aroma is quite a pronounced raisin smell, which continues on to the palate. The wine is ripe and full-bodied, as it is supposed to be, but the alcohol overwhelms the fruit and makes this quite tough to drink. The wine might have been more lively 10 years ago.

Score: 87/--

3 comments:

Sean Mitchell said...

Your comment about shiraz and Amarone alcohol levels is a good one. The "high alcohol" concern appears to me to be inconsistently applied, as many wines are high alcohol. For example, it is presumably not the absolute level of alcohol that is being objected to. If so we can also routinely rule out sherry, port, zinfandel, madeira, grenache, Sauternes even (usually ~14%) and hot vintages, among others, as being "unacceptable". At its best, it is a comment on whether a particular grape variety is in balance at a particular level of alcohol, which it seems to me is a matter of judgement rather than necessarily the alcohol level of itself.

Alontin said...

Good to hear from you again. Your comment, as always, is well made. I just reviewed a Rockbare Shiraz with high alcohol, where the integration was fine, but the overall experience too overpowering for me.

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