Masi - led today by Sandro Boscaini - claims to be located directly on the cutting edge of wine technology. The appassimento technique is used by Masi to dry the grapes before fermenting, resulting in greater concentration of color, aroma and flavor. It’s actually an ages-old technique, applied in a 21st century environment.
The 2012 Masianco is not a 100% varietal wine - it is made from 75% Pinot Grigio grapes and 25% Verduzzo Delle Venezie grapes, a local variety in this “supervenetian” blend imported by Kobrand. The Pinot Grigio grapes are grown in the Castions di Strada vineyard in Friuli, while the Venetian Verduzzo is the grape which undergoes the appassimento process. It also gets some time in barrique after tank fermentation.
At 13% abv, the alcohol is quite restrained. The retail price is $15. I was given a sample for the purpose of review.
The wine's nose is very attractive, and it shows the dried side of the fruit, especially apricot. There is almost a petrol angle to the minerality. Masianco is tinted light gold, a little darker than the usual shade for a Pinot Grigio. The palate is a whole lot more complex that your usual Pinot Grigio, too. The dried fruit flavor is quite intense, but it's the minerality that really carries this wine. That and a zingy acidity that refreshes completely. The finish lingers with traces of lemon and orange peel lasting long beyond the sip.
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