Masi Tupungato Passo Doble really is an Argentinian / Italian crossover – Argentinian soul & Venetian style. It is a project by Masi, one of the very best wine producers in the Veneto wine-growing region of Italy. Their first planting of grapes was in the 1990s. The estate – Vigneti La Arboleda – consists of 140 hectares, of which eighty are currently planted with both Argentine varieties (Malbec and Torrontés) and Venetian grapes (Corvina and Pinot Grigio). Vineyards are situated at 950-1050 meters elevation in the Tupungato valley, with organically poor soil composed of many stones, sand and chalk, with good mineral content.
Masi are famous for making fantastic Amarone (amongst other wines) using the Apassimento technique. Not only have they bought their wine-making techniques to Argentina, they have also bought, probably the most famous red grape variety from the Veneto region, Corvina and blended it with Argentina’s most famous grape variety, Malbec.
Masi Passo Doble gets its Argentinian qualities of generosity, strength and exuberance from the Malbec grape, while its Corvina component gives it the style, elegance and warmth typical of wines from the Veneto. It is made using the Apassimento technique, a double fermentation process using fresh Malbec grapes with a percentage of lightly dried Corvina grapes which brings full aromas, good structure, and soft tannins to the blend making for a quality wine with the potential for long ageing.
After soft pressing of the Malbec grapes, on-skin fermentation lasted 16 days in stainless steel tanks at a constant 23-27°C. The second fermentation was induced with selected yeasts and uses whole Corvina grapes given a brief appassimento treatment before pressing. This fermentation lasted 15 days at 18-20°C and was followed by the final fermentation and the malolactic. Masi Tupungato Passo Doble is then aged 9 months in French oak barriques prior to release. The blend is usually around 85% Malbec and 15% Corvina.
Masi Tupungato Passo Doble is bottled as a Rosso di Argentina and is organically certified.