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Argentinian wines crafted for pleasure

Before the slight unpleasantness of Christmas day I wrote a [link2post id=”4643″]little piece about Masi Tupungato wines[/link2post]. I promised tasting notes would follow – finally they do.

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When the Elitistreview team tasted these wines we found ourselves thinking that, at the price points they go for, Masi Tupungato delivered wines of a high degree of sophistication and made with great attention to detail. Perhaps I need to drink more wines of this type, but I was really impressed by the depth of character they displayed – these are not cheap plonk but wines of real interest that will not break the bank. Much as I love necking Grand Cru Burgundy it is a distinct pleasure to be able to recommend stuff anyone can afford.

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Passo Blanco 2010, Masi Tupungato

A Pinot Grigio (70%)/Torrontes (30%) blend. This smells like a souped-up Italian white – it is minimalist but not totally bland. It has the peachy white fruit that Pinot Gris should show, but there is a scented, floral character which I suppose comes from the Torrontes. It is clearly better than most of those inordinately anodyne Pinot Grigio’s necked by the less discerning ladies who lunch. I like the floral fruity character on the palate, but it is perhaps a tad on the light side. Acidity is good. This strikes me as the kind of fresh, drinkable wine that would be easy to knock back during the day. I find German Riesling and Champagne tweak my luncheon-drinking-knobs more intensely but, as the saying goes, if this is the kind of thing you like this will be the kind of thing you like. That being said, I’d much rather drink this than almost any Italian Pinot Grigio. Good, but not my first choice.

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Passo Doble 2008, Masi Tupungato

A Malbec/Corvina blend. A delight to pop a bottle of this, since that happy first experience trying it on day release from the loony bin this has never failed to slap a grin across my face. There is an attractive collection of aromas here: ripe dark fruit that shows floral hints and a smooth earthiness. There is nothing over-blown or heavy showing, but it is a nose that is totally at ease with itself as a pleasure-giving entity. The palate is a lot of fun as well, with polished tannins and a lovely, crunchy fruit character which really persists. I like the fruit/tannin/acid harmony which marks this out as a very skilfully made wine. It is fresh, lively and, although not incredibly suffused with dimension, it just slips down a treat and begs you to keep on drinking. The back label tells us we can cellar this, but if I were you I’d broach yours whilst they are young and charged with vivacious energy. Sub-tenner red wine rarely provides this much enjoyment, or downright impressive style – even though I was barking at the time I am pleased to have spotted this as classy kit when I first tried it all of those years ago. Next time you see a bottle of this hand over some fun-tokens for it: for such a keenly-priced drop you’ll love it, I swear.

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Corbec 2008, Masi Tupungato

A Corvina/Malbec blend. Lawks, love that intense Corvina floral character that has flashes of bitter cherry fruit. The fruit and earthiness are deeply impressive, this is a profound, stylish nose that shows its dual-nationality origins with prepossessing panache. Even though it is a biggie it carries its alcohol level well and doesn’t seem remotely like inhalation anaesthetic. Yeah, good sniffing here. Crivens, it is pretty tannic. Whilst they are not harsh or rough there is that slight touch of bitterness one might expect to find in a Corvina from its homeland. The fruit has a slightly candied character, which is quite delicious, and it is charged with vibrant acidity. Even though wines of scale don’t often float my boat I am feeling rather taken with this: it is lively, complex and an absolute hoot to drink. It is also a total steal as far as pricing goes, for a wine that provides so much fun and interest you are not going to get much better for the money. Buy one of these too, you’ll also love it.


The UK agents for Masi Tupungato wines are Berkmann Wine Cellars who can be emailed at this address.

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