The Masi Amarone is a full-bodied wine designed to be paired with red meats, game, and tasty and piquant cheeses, like Parmesan. Generally considered a wine for meditation, it is a great after-dinner wine.
Amarone is the product of the ancient wine-making method called “appassimento” (drying of the grapes). At the end of September or the beginning of October, the best clusters of grapes from the hillside vineyards are picked and placed in wooden boxes or on bamboo racks. The grapes are left to dry for 36 to 48 hours in rooms with controlled atmospheres (controlled humidity and forced ventilation) and then in large rooms in the old farmhouses in the hills until about the middle of January. There are large openings or windows to allow the free flow of air which is vital to the drying of the grapes.
By January the grapes weigh 35-40% less and have a naturally enhanced flavor and a higher concentration of sugar. Just the Corvina is attacked by botrytis (“noble rot”). After a delicate pressing and partial de-stalking of the grapes, they ferment for about 50 days in large Slavonian oak barrels at low, natural temperatures (natural cold fermentation). The wine is racked off its lees, and transferred into barrels of 30-40 hl where the alcoholic fermentation continues for a further 3-4 months, encouraged by selected “Saccaromices BayanusÔøΩ yeasts. In the meantime malolactic fermentation also takes place.
Once the wine is completely dry, it is again rached off its lees and then continues its aging for another 20 to 30 months, partly in large oak barrels and partly in small Allier and Slavonian oak barrels of 600 liters (maximum 3 years old). The wine is then filtered, bottled and aged in bottle for an additional 6 months or more before release.