Masi Vinos and One from the Golan Heights

Yonatan Sternberg was invited to a special wine tasting event called "Mama Itlaliana"

Several weeks ago I was invited to a special wine tasting event which was simply titled Mama Itlaliana. Israeli importers and Export Manager from the celebrated Masi Winery, invited a mother and daughter duo to prepare a traditional Venetian meal paired with Masi vinos. The dishes selected were very typical or tipici as they like to say in Italy and it was as close as one can get to eating a home cooked meal in a small village near Verona while sitting in a renovated industrial space in Tel Aviv. The duo did not necessarily opt for the fanciest dishes or most expensive products, but rather a hearty and very tasty home cooked meal, relying on excellent fresh-seasonal produce that pair well with the local vinos.

Anybody who has heard of Amarone, Valpolicella or Recioto dessert wines has probably heard of the Masi Winery. One of the bigger family owned wineries in the Valpollicela region, Masi is owned and managed by the 7th generation of the Boscaini family which were among those that contributed most to the international success and recognition of Verona wines, the Amarone in particular. Relying primarily on the traditional Corvina, Molinara, and Rondinella grapes to produce their red vinos, Masi has an extensive portfolio which also includes several white, rose and sparkling wines.

We sampled several vinos over the course of the evening with my two favorites being the Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella Classico, 2012 and the Costasera Amarone from the 2010 vintage. The Bonacosta was medium bodied with well-balanced aromas and flavors or red berry fruits, cherries and a good dose of supporting acidity. Not a big wine but quite enjoyable and easy drinking. The Amarone was everything that you would expect from a wine in its category, dark and concentrated with sweet aromas and flavors that bring to mind raisins, chocolate covered almonds, vanilla, plums and roasted coffee beans coming together nicely for a long-mouth filling finish. If you have not tasted an Amarone wine before, this would be an excellent one to start with. Photos of Masi wines and dishes by Matan Katz.

Golan Heights, Yarden, Petit Verdot, 2012 – the first varietal Petit Verdot vino from the Golan Heights and yet another indication that Victor Schoenfeld and his team are constantly experimenting with different varieties and styles aiming to produce interesting quality wines. 18 months in a mix of new and old oak barrels, the wine is medium-full bodied and a bit on the “heavy” side when first poured, suggesting notes of dark berry fruits, flowers, dry herbs and lightly toasted oak coming together for a long finish. The winery suggests pairing with rich lamb stews, grilled rib eye steak or flavorful aged cheeses.