Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Masi “Campofiorin” Rosso del Veronese IGT (2009)

Masi’s “Campofiorin” was one of the first wines reviewed by The Independent Wine Review when it was established just over two years ago. Since then each vintage that we’ve come across has been reviewed, with the result that this 2009 Masi “Campofiorin” Rosso del Veronese is the fourth vintage of this wine to be written about.

Always one of the most commonly viewed wines on the website, Masi’s “Campofiorin” was first produced in 1964 and was the first wine to be made on a commercial scale that utilised the now highly popular “ripasso” process. Actually a wine that could be classified under the newly created Valpolicella Ripasso DOC classification, Masi opt not to label this “Campofiorin” as Valpolicella due to the negative connotations that they believe the term “Valpolicella” brings to a wine in the modern era.

Whereas Valpolicella Ripasso has historically been made by passing a young and fruity Valpolicella over the dried grape skins left over from the production of Amarone della Valpolicella (thereby kicking off a secondary fermentation that results in additional concentration, structure and alcohol) Masi have re-invented the Ripasso process for this “Campofiorin”.

Instead of utilising “second-hand” grapes from the production of Amarone, Masi instead dry a portion of grapes (a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara) specifically for the purpose of kicking off the required secondary fermentation. The advantage of this is that a fruitier and less overtly structured style of “ripasso” can be produced.

Having undergone both fermentations, this 2009 Masi “Campofiorin” (a blend of 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella and 5% Molinara grapes) was then matured in large oak barrels (with a mix of capacities from 600-9000 litres) for 18 months. 

The current iteration of this “Campofiorin” available to the UK market, this 2009 Masi “Campofiorin” is a moderately intense ruby red colour in the glass, with the merest hint of garnet towards the rim hinting at the time that this wine has spent in oak and bottle before tasting. The alcoholic content of this 2009 “Campofiorin” is the same as for the 2008 “Campofiorin” at 13% abv.

Stylistically similar to the high scoring 2006 “Campofiorin” on the nose, this 2009 “Campofiorin” offers a bouquet of red cherry and damson fruit, alongside sweet spices and a subtle oak-derived note of tobacco.

Showing a good depth of flavour on the palate, the ripe cherry and damson notes from the nose of this 2009 Masi “Campofiorin” are carried through and develop to become more savoury the longer they remain in the mouth. Hints of candied peels and sweet spice add complexity from the mid-palate. Exhibiting a robust but well resolved tannin structure, this 2009 “Campofiorin” offers a finish of impressive length and could either be consumed now, or cellared for up to a decade.

Masi “Campofiorin” Rosso del Veronese IGT (2009)

Score: 86/100 – The fourth consecutive vintage of this wine to achieve an enviably high score, this 2009 Masi “Campofiorin” maintains the reputation of this wine and winery for yet another year.

Value for Money: 8/10Priced from £12 per bottle in the UK, this 2009 Masi “Campofiorin” offers high quality at a price that is slightly less than typical for wines made in this way.