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Musella (Italy) Valpolicella Superiore 1998
This is an absolute cracker. The handsome, super-heavyweight bottle is clearly out to impress, and reveals immediately the serious intentions behind this wine. The traditional northern Italian grapes Corvina, Rondinella and Barbera have been bolstered by a little Cabernet Sauvignon to produce a sumptuous red wine that heaves with plump, sweet fruit and generosity. Twelve months in new French barrels (Tronçais and Alliers oak) has imparted a toasty, smoky element on the nose, set against crushed blackberry and clove-scented fruit. On the palate it is rich and velvety, the broad-based cherry acidity and svelte, burnished tannins giving lovely support into a long, concentrated finish packed with fruit, spices and mellow, chocolaty depth. Sensational stuff. 13% alcohol. Oddbins 9.49