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Appassimento, the key to Italy’s divine wines

After you try them, there is no coming back. This concentration of flavours and rich texture is simply irresistible both in dry and sweet wines.

Apassimento is an ancient method of vinification. Harvested grapes are laid on a straw mates to dry on the sunshine. During this process, that can last several months, water from the grape evaporates. This results in 40-70% reduction of grape weight, lowering the quantity of wine that can be produced from it significantly.

Vine made from this grapes (technically raisins) have less tannins, are richer in aromas, higher alcohol content and tend to have more toffee, nutty, brown sugar and fig taste. This way, the Vin Santo, Recioto, Amarone and some Malaga wines are made. Wines produced by this method can be both sweet (by interrupting the fermentation) or dry (by fermenting all the sugar content till the end).

Raisins, that are made by apassimento method, take very long time to ferment, typically about 35-50 days. By drying grapes thus reducing the amount of grape juice, that can be extracted and fermented, this method typically leads to smaller production and higher price tag that follows it in exchange of very concentrated aromas and flavours. Modern version of this method uses special rooms, with artificial heating to assure faster grape drying.

Apassimento method is autochthonous for Itally and there You can find the most wines made with this method.

Check my tastings of wines made with that method:

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Wine tasting #1 Malaga Anejo Rujaq Andalusi bodegas Dinobe

I brought back this rare Malaga from my trip to Spain. It is a great example, how middle aged malaga should be like. Clearly distinguishing itself from lots of cheap stuff.

Malaga Anejo Rujaq Andalusi bodegas Dinobe

Wine Info:

This special white wine comes from the region surrounding Malaga city in Andalucia, Spain. Grape, Moscatel , as a hot climate lover is best suited to grow here, resulting in very ripe, frolal and sweet wines. 15% of alcohol comes from the fortification (adding high proof of neutral alcohol to the wine). Produced with appassimento method that requires grapes to be sun dried in order to concentrate flavours, sugar and acidity. This wine spent 48 months in american oak barrels. The label design refers to arabic legacy of Malaga region. Producer Bodegas Dinobe has a wide range of wines, including lighter and heavier Malaga wines based on Muscat grape. Serve chilled.

Appeariance:

Clear wine with no sediment seduces me with deep amber colour, telling everyone around that it spent many months in wood barrels, that let it oxidise and develop complex aromas.

Smell:

Medium intensity aromas of orange and orange peel, some floral and citrus notes too. After some time, wine releases complex aromas that were developed during maturation in contact with wood and air: dates, toffee and honey.

Taste:

Clearly sweet but not cloggy. High acidity keeps big amount of natural sweetness in balance. Bull bodied with flavours of orange liquour, toffee and carmel

Verdict: 7,5/10

Very good wine that has a lot of potential to develop in bottle. Great as a dessert. For me it could be more intensive. Little alcohol is still not well integrated and attacks when wine gets warmer.

Pairing suggestions:

Cakes with nuts and honey. Cookies and creme brulee. Or as a dessert on it own 😉

Simmilar tastings:

My wine tasting method

Check out my article about appassimento

Cheers 🙂