Tasting note: Masi Campofiorin 2005, Rosso del Veronese IGT

It’s always interesting – and often fun – to re-taste wines you enjoyed often, a while back, but had somewhat set aside and forgotten.

That’s what happened to me when a good friend of mine brought me a bottle of Masi Campofiorin, a unique wine from the Veneto, in Northern Italy. When I first started drinking wine seriously, in the early 90s, the Campofiorin had been a true discovery: a wine that tasted different from everything else I’d had before, with a richness and depth that felt remarkable, especially at such a reasonable price.

The wine’s unique profile comes from the unique way in which it’s made, a mix between a “regular”, dry wine and an amarone, the wines made from grapes that are partly dried on straw mats after being picked. The Campofiorin is first made from freshly harvested grapes, and then refermented with an addition of grapes dried using the appassimento method (see this great article on the Buzz blog, from Bastianich winery).

The mixed method for this “poor man’s amarone”, as some people call it, provide the wine with an interestingly complex set of flavors and aromas, at once fresh and concentrated. The 2005, when I tasted it last week, provided red cherries and red berry jam, spice and tobacco, with good intensity and balance. Accents like tawny port or amarone mixed with elements closer to a barbera or a regular valpolicella. I’d serve it with veal chops, pasta with a meat ragu or a roast chicken.

Beautiful now, the wine should likely age well for several years, providing a good occasion for cellaring several bottles and watching them evolve, without spending a fortune.

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  1. Posted April 14, 2009 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the props about THE BUZZ… It’s an honor that you mentioned my blog here…

    Apassimento is such a mythical and delicate process, that gives something special to wine. Campofiorin was also one of my first Italian favorites… I remember selling tons of the stuff at BECCO in the 90s…

    I’m not sure if Campofiorin uses the RIPASSO method, which is worth an article in and of itself…

    Thanks again for the great post.

  2. Posted April 14, 2009 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the comment. It’s always a pleasure reading your blog, which has a nice take on winery and vineyard work.

    Interesting comment about the ripasso. Now that you mention it, I seem to remember that Campofiorin may have been a ripasso once. I’ll have to investigate.

  3. Posted April 14, 2009 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I know you should never believe everything you read on Wikipedia, but…



  4. winecase
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I think in that case, it’s very believable. Interesting evolution of that method.

  5. Posted June 13, 2009 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    hmmm, cellaring a few bottles, that sounds like a good idea. but before i do that, let me have another sip … :)

  6. Ola from Sweden
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I am pretty sure Masi Campofiorin was a Ripasso until around 1990 when Masi switched to the apassimento method for the second fermentation of the wine.

    Value for money either way.

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