After the elegant rigors of Burgundy last month, it’s now the Italians’ more exuberant turn; the long build-up to Vinitaly begins to look like the awards season in Hollywood, although our progression may be more fun, for the journalists anyway. First up was the Gambero Rosso Road Show, a tasting of wines that have won the top awards from the magazine-and-book publisher’s panels. The format is a kind of once-over-lightly, eclectic grouping, too kaleidoscopic to get much meaning from, but there were two wines that stood out, worth reflecting on.
Both were Amarones, Masi’s “Riserva di Costasera” Classico 2004, and Allegrini’s Classico 2005, beautifully made, carefully polished, the sort of wines that just stop you in your tracks and command your attention and appreciation without effort. Both are made in a dry style, the Allegrini a bit more spicy, the Masi a bit more complex, the Allegrini a well-toned partner for some food (beef or pork cheeks slow-cooked a la bourguignon, say), the Masi a classic, companionable after-dinner wine, as welcome and comforting as an old friend. A good start to the campaign.