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Masi releases sparkling from dried grapes

Amarone specialist Masi has released what is believed to be the world’s first sparkling wine made from dried grapes.

Masi has launched Moxxé is a bottle that is reminiscent of Champagne Ruinart’s Blanc de Blancs

Called Moxxé, the product contains 20% Verduzzo grapes that have been left to dry on racks for three weeks after harvesting, a process called appassimento that concentrates the flavours, sugars and acids in the berries.

The other 80% of the sparkling wine is produced from Pinot Grigio grapes, which have undergone the standard sparkling wine production process, and pressed gently to produce a juice immediately after harvesting.

All the berries for Moxxé come from vineyards in the Fruili Venezia Giulia region, and the sparkling wine has been made in the same way as Prosecco, employing the Charmat, or tank method, which sees a secondary fermentation take place in a sealed tank, trapping carbon dioxide. The sparkling wine is then bottled under pressure.

Moxxé has been made in a brut style with 9 grams per litre of sugar, and is available to the UK trade through Berkmann Wine Cellars with an RRP of £12.

According to Masi marketing director Raffaele Boscaini, the aim of Moxxé “is to produce a sparkling wine at an accessible price point that reflects the fruitiness of classic Italian Prosecco, but in a style that is less sweet with more structure.”

The sparkling wine’s official launch vintage is the 2015 harvest, in which Masi produced 40,000 bottles, although Boscaini told the drinks business at the London Wine Fair yesterday, where Moxxé was first shown to the UK trade, that the Italian company made 15,000 bottles of Moxxé from 2014 as a trial.

Speaking about the sparkling wine market in Italy specifically, he said that the situation was “crazy”, recording that “everyone is looking for sparkling wine.”

Masi is based in Valpolicella and has particular expertise in the appassimento technique, honed over centuries as a leader in the production of Amarone, a prized Italian dry red wine made from semi-dried grapes.

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