Asa Nisi Masa is a nod to the 1963 Italian surrealist comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini, called 8 1⁄2. In the film, there is a fictional secret language that adds -sa and -si to the end of syllables. Asa Nisi Masa is ‘Anima’ with this language game applied to it, anima meaning ‘soul’ in Italian. Asa Nisi Masa represents the soul of Mari Vineyards—utilizing red wine grapes that are unexpected for our region.
In contrast to past years, the 2021 vintage features majority Nebbiolo rather than Malbec, creating a more structural blend. This tannic skeleton is filled with complex berry and licorice aromas rounding out the blend. Lush strawberry and supple leather flavors lead to a lingering finish with tingling acidity.
Enjoy with rich dishes such as fresh burrata over tomato sauce with prosciutto, wagyu beef with truffle mashed potatoes, short ribs, or meat ragu.
The Malbec was harvested on October 22nd, 2021, with the Schioppettino and Nebbiolo following on November 2nd. All three grapes were fermented in open top bins separately. Hand punch downs were completed daily for the first two weeks, tapering afterwards for extended skin contact to help round out present tannins. All three varieties were pressed on December 7th into neutral french oak barriques where they aged on their gross lees for one year and six months. The varieties were blended on June 5th, 2023 before bottling on June 28th.
This vintage is ready to enjoy now and will peak around 2025.