Masi Riserva di Costasera Amarone Classico 2015


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“The 2015 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Costasera displays exotic brown spices, hints of fresh coffee grinds, crushed cherries and a lifting note of camphor. It’s a round and silky expression with a cooling wave of ripe purple-tinged fruits. Vibrant acidity maintains energy, as this comes across as elegant and harmonious. Dark chocolate, raspberries, licorice and pretty inner florals linger on and on and on. The 2015 is remarkably pretty and should excel through medium-term cellaring. 70% Corvina, 15% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta, 5% Molinara. Drinking window: 2022-2034. 93 points

Masi acquired the Serego Alighieri estate and vineyards in 1973. This is also, arguably, the most historic estate in the Valpolicella, with a history that goes back over 650 years, which is when the son of Dante Alighieri (the poet) purchased the property. While wine was always part of the family traditions, their vast holdings also included a large amount of agriculture, including cherry trees. It was these same cherry trees that would go on to form one of the signatures of Serego Alighieri Amarone, that being the period of aging which takes place in cherry wood casks – a practice that continues to this day. In fact, it was explained to me by Raffaele Boscaini, general manager of Masi Technical Group and seventh-generation family member, that when the original purchase took place, it was suggested that the Serego Alighieri family do away with the cherry wood casks, but they refused. This may have been fate, because to this day, the Amarone of Serego Alighieri is a standout within the Masi Portfolio. Another trademark of the estate is the reliance on botrytis (noble rot) in most vintages of Serego Alighieri, which adds to the wines’ glycerol-like textures and a perception of sweetness, in spite of their average residual sugar leveling out between four and six grams per liter. These are Amarone that perform beautifully upon release, but they also age at a glacial pace. This fact was proven to me by a mini-vertical of late-release, reconditioned bottles that spanned 1988 to 2008. Only one vintage out of six was even starting to decline, the 1990. It’s important to note that while Serego Alighieri remains under the umbrella of the Masi Technical Group, it operates as its own entity. One recent change at the winery was the introduction of a new selected yeast in 2012, which was developed from three separate ambient yeasts from the estate. In the end, if you’re looking for a classic Amarone that can stand the test of time, Serego Alighieri should be on your shortlist.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (02/21)