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Thursday, November 29, 2007


The Time and Date: Monday, November 5, 2007 11 AM to 1 PM

The Event: A horizontal tasting of Amarone della Valpolicella conducted by
Emilio Fasoletti (President of the Consortium of Valpolicella, now for 30
years) and David Lawrason (wine writer, now for over 20 years).

The Venue: the "stage" of Roy Thomson Hall.

The Target Audience: wine press and sommeliers.

The Availability/Catalogue: all the wines had agents, but availability is

The Quote: "Amarone has a DOC, but it still hasn't got a DOCG."

The Wines: we tasted six Amarones -

- Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2004 (Begali Lorenzo, 15.20 Euros FOB,
Regazzi agency): fresh, perfumey, youthful approach, ripe, but hot finish,
cherry-plum axis, some drying out on finish. 15.85% ABV.

- Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2003 Calcarole (Guerrieri Rizzardi,
34.50 Euros FOB, Vinexx): 16.99% ABV. Portly from a ripe year, but not a hot
finish, not a sipper.

- Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2003 Campo dei Gigli (S. Antonio, once
at Vintages for $79.95, Prevedello & Mathews): single vineyard, elegant, hot
year, great finish, 16 %ABV.

- Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2003 Case Vecie (Brigaldara, 25 Euros
FOB, Rogers and Co.): low nose, hot year, hot finish, 17.5% ABV, portly. 18
months in wood plus long term storage in wood. Some merlot and sangiovese
added for fruit (5% each).

- Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2003 Capitel Monte Olmi (Tedeschi, 38
Euros FOB, Noble Estates): 15.4% ABV, traditional amarone style, cru
quality, dried fruit nose, elegance upfront, hot tannins to resolve.

- Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2000 (Bertani, 34 Euros FOB Select
Wines): 15% ABV, dried fruit, sour cherries, good depth, aging well.

- Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico

The Food: bread and water.

The Downside: it started 20 minutes late.

The Upside: it was instructive, and showed us where Amarone was in 2003.

The Contact Person:

The Effectiveness (numerical grade): 90.

The Time and Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2007 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM,

The Event: a vertical tasting of Masi Costasera Amarones with Gordon Coutts,
Regional Manager of Masi Wines for Canada.

The Venue: Vaughan Estate

The Target Audience: wine press, private clients, sommeliers.

The Availability/Catalogue: some of the wines are private import, others are
consignment, and one is a General List.

The Quote: "This is the THIRD Amarone tasting in a month! It has been about
ten years since any other Amarone tasting in Toronto."

The Wines:

-Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2004 (+317057, $36.15): working its way
through the system, with some 2003 still remaining. 15% ABV, light nose,
light body, fruity, simple, off-dry, will be more complex later in life.

-Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2003 (+317057, $36.15): very Euro elegance,
with backbone, underbrush, cherry-choco tones, some spicy leather, nuts.
Dense, good length, needs some time, resolved tannins on the finish.

-Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2001 (private order): good fruit from the
year, some tannic complexity evolution, resolution of tannins in evidence,
lingering tastes, delicious finish.

-Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 1997 (consignment, $450 for case of six):
gets better with age, more typical of Amarone. First year it is called

-Masi [Costasera] Amarone Classico 1995 (consignment, $450 for case of six):
good aged complexity, a bit fragile, losing fruit.

-Masi [Costasera] Amarone Classico 1993 (consignment, $450 for case of six):
rich, rounded, still developing, my fave of the tasting.

-Masi [Costasera] Amarone Classico 1990 (no longer available): a classic
aged Amarone, all that it should be. This vintage year was rated Five Stars
by everybody.

The Food: water and bread (the latter arrived just as we were finishing!)

The Downside: we started late and had to finish on time because there was to
be a pinotage tasting in that same room in a few minutes. Thus, we were a
bit rushed.

The Upside: a great opportunity to taste Amarone.

The Contact Person:

The Effectiveness (numerical grade): 89.


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