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Italian Producer Masi Bottles First Argentinean Wines

The Veneto winery is making red blends from Malbec and Corvina under the Masi Tupungato label.

James Molesworth
Posted: May 4, 2002

Despite Argentina's recent economic turmoil, the country's wine industry continues to move forward. Masi, one of the top wineries in Italy's Veneto region, has bottled its first set of wines from its Argentinean project, called Masi Tupungato.

The two wines are made from blends of Malbec, Argentina's signature grape variety, and Corvina, the grape used to produce Valpolicella in Italy. Masi is also making the wines with the same appassimento method -- naturally air-drying the grapes to increase the proportion of sugar to water before vinification -- that it uses in the production of its Amarone wines.

The wines draw fruit from Masi's own vineyards in the Tupungato area of the Mendoza region. The 1999 Corbec is a blend of 70 percent Corvina and 30 percent Malbec, using all dried grapes. In contrast, the 1999 Passo Doble contains 62 percent Malbec, 30 percent Corvina and 8 percent Merlot, while receiving just a partial appassimento treatment.

There were 1,500 cases of Corbec and 2,080 cases of Passo Doble produced. Though the 1999 wines will not be exported to the United States, Masi Tupungato plans to release its future vintages here.

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Check our recent ratings of Masi wines from Italy.

Read James Molesworth's previous tasting reports on South American wines:

  • March 31, 2001
    Coming of Age in South America

  • March 31, 2000
    South America's Peaks and Valleys

    Read recent wine news from Argentina:

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  • Sept. 1, 2001
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