The MASI Winery, located in the area surrounding the romantic and historic northeastern region of Veneto, is very much a family operation with a long and storied history. The use of native grapes, experimentation and a real commitment to high quality all have combined to make this winery one of the premier producers
in the region, in the country and, in fact, in the world. The history dates back to the year 1772, when the Boscaini Family acquired some of the precious land in the “Vaio dei Masi” from where the company got its name. And after better than 200 years, the company is still owned by the descendants. However, they have never been shy about collaboration, and have in fact welcomed it as it brought a different character, a higher quality to their original products and over the years they have joined direct descendants of the Renaissance Poet Dante Alighieri, the Fedrigotti, a prestigious brand from Trentino as well as Caneval, known mostly as producers of sparkling wines.
Over the years the Valpolicella has drawn high praise world-wide. Hemingway referred to it as a light classical wine, “as friendly as the house of a favorite brother.” It is a medium weight wine, I imagine somewhere a Sangiovese and a Chianti, that satisfies even the most discerning palate. With a slight aroma of dark cherries and a cherry red color this wine is very beautiful in the glass as well as in the decanter. In fact, I would recommend some time in a decanter, maybe 2 hours or so, to allow it to settle to a related room temperature and also settle. Allow the wine to familiarize itself to its surroundings, so to speak, for the flavor to intensify and the bouquet to call you to it. This is an excellent Sunday dinner wine that is a perfect accompaniment to your gravy or your expensive roasts, the kind you reserve for really special company. But, don’t limit yourself here. This wine also pairs well with a New York Pizza (Sicilian or thin crust), soup or risotto. Or it can be enjoyed with an appetizer like goat cheese, a slice of parmigiano reggiano or ricotta impastata, all rich tasting cheeses. I promise it will not disappoint and will also become a favorite.
Understand that there is a wide difference in Valpolicella wine. Only the finest grapes are used in the making of the CLASSICO version, which this is. The difference is a reflection of the growing terrain, drainage, tighter restrictions and ultimately, the price. Valpolicella kind of fell out of favor during the nineties, mostly due to overproduction which had rather an adverse effect on the finished product. Four different but local grapes are used, with the Corvina, the highest quality grape grown in the region, being the highest concentration. The 2018 vintage consistently scores with a respectable ranking of 86 points, an exceptional ranking for a wine in this price range, around $15.
In addition, I have now tried several wines from this family owned and operated company, both red and white. I have found them all to be superior quality, reasonably priced wines with good flavor, body and intensity. Once again as I have written in the past, a product of which your ancestors can be proud. This family, not only throughout the years, but for better than two centuries now has been committed to just that, a quality product with a nod to history and an eye to the future.