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wine of the week 17/05/2009

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   Masi Tupungato (Argentina) Passo Doble 2007
The Boscaini family has owned Agricola Masi since the late 18th century, their winery and vineyards based around the city of Verona in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. It is an ambitious and expanding company, but that expansion took an unexpected twist when it created Masi Tupungato in Mendoza, Argentina, making wines that fuse Italian and Argentinian grapes and thinking. Passo Doble is a blend of Malbec, a touch of Merlot, and 30% of the wine is the Italian Corvina grape, semi-dried on mats prior to fermentation in the appassimento style of the Veneto. The wine is aged nine months in French oak. It has a dark, liquorice and chocolate nose with deep cherry and plum fruit and a touch of leather. There is a lot of interest aromatically, and that kirsch-like, cherry lift carries through to the palate where a keen, spice and chicory edge to the fruit combines with freshening acidity to leave this savoury and moreish. The 2006 is still drinking very well too if you find it on the shelves. 10.99, Oddbins, but widely available in independents too. See UK stockists on wine-searcher.com.