An Italian Winemaker and a Canadian Artist Walk into a Bar…

Masi has tapped Musqueam artist Susan Point to design their next label.

May 3, 2018

By Neal McLennan

The year was 1945. WWII was finally over and Baron Philippe Rothschild wanted to do something special to commemorate. So he commissioned artist Philippe Jullian to paint an image of a V for victory on the label of the then second-growth Mouton Rothschild. In doing so, he initiated one of the enduring creative partnerships—that between winemaker and artist.

If you travel a few hundred kilometres southeast of Mouton, you’ll run into the historic Masi vineyards in Italy’s Veneto region. Here they make Amarone, the legendary powerhouse wine that employs the drying of grapes for a wonderfully concentrated result. The owners, the Boscaini family, share Rothschild’s love of art and (starting a few years back) likewise began commissioning famed international artists to create labels for their flagship Costasera Amarone. This year, they’ve partnered with acclaimed Musqueam artist Susan Point, whose work will adorn rare bottles of the 2000 vintage that have been aging in Masi’s cellars.

Unlike the small rectangle Mouton grants its artists, Point was given relatively free reign—and the result is a stunner. Even better? The ability to purchase aged Amarone is increasingly rare. Eighteen years means the wine’s brute power has softened and the more subtle notes of dried fruit can balance the wine’s natural acidity.

The wine hit the BCLDB this week and will be priced at $190 (but hey, the 2014 Mouton is $880).


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