Masi 1999 "Serègo Alighieri" Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($12.99)
If you thought you recognized the family name of the Italian poet Dante on the label of this Northeastern Italian red, you weren't mistaken. According to the Masi Website, "Since 1353, when Dante's son purchased the property in Gargagnago, the family has farmed the same vineyards over an uninterrupted span of 20 generations." The label also notes that the wine is made with a special Alighieri clone of the Molinara grape and is put briefly in cherrywood barrels. Clear garnet in color, its aroma shows characteristic dried cherries with accents of vanilla, spice and a whiff of brown sugar. Full, juicy and bright in flavor, it offers fresh cherry fruit shaped by snappy acidity. Despite its unusual heritage, it comes across as benchmark Valpolicella, an excellent example of the fine, fresh reds from the Veneto hills above Verona, near Lake Garda. US Importer: Remy Amerique Inc., NYC (Mar 22, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Fruity but light and fresh, this is a red that can be put to work with lighter fare. It worked well with a quick, simple soup of chicken with carrots and celery.



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