Masi Brolo di Campofiorin Oro, Veronese IGT, Italy, 2009, 14% abv

Made from Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes, this is an Appasimento or ‘baby Amarone’ meaning about a quarter of the Corvina grapes were dried for six weeks Amarone-style and then pressed. This style of wine jockeys for position between the high end Amarones and the entry level Valpolicellas.

In Italy, the counterpart to the French AC (Appellation Controllee) system is the DOC or (supposedly even better ‘garantita’ quality) DOCG terminology. The terms were introduced in Italy in 1963, tabled in parliament and were intended to guarantee a wine to be of elite quality.

Also known as ‘Law 930’, it was supposed to indicate quality level by dictating allowable varieties, fermenting rules, alcohol and acidity levels, extract, yields and winemaking practices. However, as time went by it became clear that the system was often hobbled by politics and inflexibility did not necessarily guarantee quality at all.

In fact, because of the often overly strict DOC and DOCG rules, many Italian producers have turned their backs on the designations and made wines ‘outside’ of the DOC/DOCG rule books. In addition, Italians themselves have simply refused to pay more for DOC/DOCG wines making it difficult for some producers to sell their products.

To combat this, in 1992 ‘Law 164’ was introduced to allow changes, one of which was a new category for Vino da Tavola wines – the IGT or Indicazione Geographica Tipica category. This is the most vibrant Italian wine category by far as it allows more flexibility with rules about varieties, blending, extract, fermenting, oak/maturation and winemaking methods.

The Veneto IGT was legislated in 1995 and its wines may be made in any one of several various styles – red, white or rosé, blend or varietal and still, sparkling or sweet.

This still, red wine is clear and bright, deep ruby with legs. The nose is clean and developing with medium plus intense aromas of deep red fruit (raspberry and plum), dried prune, tar, dried leaf.

On the palate, it’s dry with medium acidity, medium plus alcohol, medium body and medium smooth tannins. The medium plus flavour characteristics include cherry, plum, dried leaves, tar, leather and black peppercorn along with a medium plus finish.

The high end of WSET ‘good’, drink now or may hold for 3-4 years. Food friendly with a moderate finish, complexity and balance.


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