Osar Rosso Del Veronese IGT 2007, from a rare single grape variety..

For me, the most beautiful thing about Italian wines is its diversity, especially of its grape varieties.  Here is a wine that is must be one of the most perfect embodiment of this concept.

Made with the grape Oseleta, it was "rediscovered" in the 1980's apparently by chance by Sandro Boscaini, owner of Valpolicella's Masi.  Realizing that, because of its very small berries with very thick skins, the grape yields very high tannins & acidity.  And so, he decided to use it in the blend of his Riserva di Costasera Amarone.

The magic of a good blend is for each one of the grapes to contribute synergy to the whole.  In the Riserva di Costasera, the Oseleta brings tannin, body, & color to the wine.  Thus contributing to structure & ultimately to ageing ability.  In an article for Spirito di Vino Asia to be published next month, I will argue that ageing ability is not always necessary to quality.  

However, there are quarters of the wine loving world who highly value this quality and these are usually the same who often denigrate that most Italian wines are not worthy.  Well, here might just be a grape that will contribute to make Amarone take its rightful place among the very best, long ageing, wines of Italy and one to prove them wrong once again (because there already are other examples from other Italian regions that do).

Masi makes an exceptional wine using 100% of the grape in their wine "Osar".  

Aged for 2 years in new french oak barrels, the wine barely showed any development that I could notice.  Of course, it was the 1st time that I tasted a wine exclusively made of this grape, but the striking 1st impression was its tannic power, still incredibly firm & w/ a crisp acidity.  Deep purple & full bodied, it displayed dark berry fruits & a touch of cooking herbs w/ sweet spices & a faint note of vanilla from the oak.  Delicious but certainly shouting for food, in particular the absolutely lip-smackingly wonderful shoulder of lamb that I saw coming out of the kitchen #BotegaDelVino as I was tasting at a tasting organised for us by the Amarone Families (http://bit.ly/1Fj3uDF) during #VinitalyAcademy

Fascinating experience!