2/12/15 8:06 AM
Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Costasera is my favorite of all red wines, it has a sweet, fruity, yet it consist of a dry woody flavor, very smooth but rich to the pallet. The grapes are picked in whole bunches and kept in drying rooms (with warm temperatures and low humidity) where they stay for anywhere from three weeks to three months. Traditionally the grapes were dried on straw mats (they are a member of the 'straw wine' family) in the warmest part of the house or winery, but modern technology has replaced straw with steel and lofts with pallets. It is a partial drying process (known as appassimento in Italian) is complete, the grapes are gently pressed and the must is fermented to dry. The grapes' high sugar content means a higher potential alcohol, so a complete fermentation results in a strong wine of 15% or 16% alcohol by volume. This is then aged in barrels (traditional large botti are now being replaced by smaller Slavonian oak barriques) for at least two years before commercial release.