Mad about Masi

Recently a Master of Wine friend said he wanted to try more Argentinian Malbec. As a classical drinker I though this a tad odd, until I recalled my first experience with fine Argentinian wine.

As long-time readers will know, I’ve been in loony bins far too often. Once, on an escorted trip outside, I spotted a small wine merchant. When scanning the shelves with increasing despair a dusty bottle on the bottom shelf caught my eye.

David modelling the madness-reducing wine Passo Doble by Masi Tupungato

It was an experimental Malbec/Corvina blend called ‘Passo Doble’ made by Masi Tupungato, the Argentinian venture of the great Veneto producer. It seemed like ideal, and appropriately bonkers, entertainment for the afternoon.

At a quiet spot in Highgate Park we popped and poured the wine. After weeks without wine the bitter cherry, earthy, compelling nose instantly transported me to a happier place. It had round, complex flavours. I found its suave, sophisticated structure impressive especially considering its price point. Clearly life had more pleasures for me to discover. I returned to hospital thoroughly energised.

Passo Doble at A La Cruz

Since then this wine has been a favourite. So much so that last week, at A La Cruz, a top London Asador, we got through four bottles. Each sip evoked that happy afternoon and how wine can illuminate even the darkest moments. I have been lucky enough to drink lots of amazing bottles but my first taste of truly inspirational Argentinian wine is a memory that will never dim.



Masi Tupungato’s agents are Berkmann Wine Cellars. Tasting notes of their whole range will follow soon.


4 Comments

  • ed tully wrote:

    On the subject of Berkmann, who can forget the fruity sidekick he brought to the beaujolais tasting?

  • David Strange wrote:

    You should try and taste a few Beaujolais 2009s, Mr T, it is a great vintage in which this most non-decent-wine-like of wines can taste like really proper stuff. Highly attractive and quite toothsome, for the most part. I’m not bringing any to our meeting in France, though.

  • Guy Dennis wrote:

    Which vintage, David? I need some modest red, and this might be a good choice!

  • David Strange wrote:

    Hi Guy,

    2008 is the current vintage of Passo Doble, I cannot recommend it highly enough.



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