An engaging exercise of allowing a little bit of age to accumulate on a bottle meant to be enjoyed young, it was interesting to observe the metamorphosis from lively fruit and fresh herbs to velvety dried fruit and exotic resins with time.
In Coastal northwestern Italy, the Rossese grape with its unique combination of bright fruit and profound savory herbs and resin notes, is the predominant red wine grape. Rossese di Dolceaqua is a tiny DOC in Liguria just inland of the Italian Riviera near the French-Italian border that produces only a small amount of wine, most of it is enjoyed locally and never leaves Italy, so it is well worth picking up when you happen upon them.
Estate: Azienda Agricola Rondelli is a family estate founded two generations ago by Mary Rondelli. Today her grandchildren maintain her traditions, and have acquired more parcels of land. They also cultivate olives and vegetables that they sell in the local markets.
Winemaking: 30% of the wine was aged in barrique, 10% of which was new barrels.
Tasting Notes: Brick orange in colour with charming aromas of cherry, earthy barnyard and traces of smoke. Dried strawberry and cherry flavours were underscored by engaging elements of sandalwood and fennel, whilst smooth tannins carried thru to a lightly spiced finish. Enjoy with a slight chill.
Rossese [I could not confirm varietal percentage, but according to DOC laws it must be at least 95%]
Rossese di Dolceaqua
Produced and Bottled by Azienda Agricola Rondelli Agriturismo ca Farò
For my sister’s birthday we planned a fun evening of dinner at one of our favourite restaurants, Otto Enoteca followed up by the NY Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. In addition to its delectable [and affordable] pizza, pasta and all sorts of sides, Otto has a phenomenal 1000+ wine list. Usually it takes me at least 15 minutes to pick a bottle out, but not this time. In reading Vino Italiano, The Regional Wines of Italy by Joseph Bastianich [incidentally one of the partners/owners of Otto] I arrived with a list of grapes that are nearly impossible to find in the States that I couldn’t wait to try. Ever since reading about Liguria’s predominant red wine grape Rossese with its bright fruit and savory herbaceous flavours, I had my heart set on a bottle. So I enthusiastically selected Lupi Rossese di Dolceacqua 2011 to accompany my cheese plate and the rest of the varied antipasti everyone ordered.
The family estate of Lupi di Massimo is located in the coastal region of Liguria in northern Italy and contains about 21 hectares of vineyards. Founder Tommaso Lupi’s 3 children have imparted “new energy” to the vineyards within the past 10 years, increasing the research and experimentation of winegrowing in the steep terrain located right between the mountains and the sea. One of the cornerstones of the family’s approach to winemaking is the respect for nature and land; this is reflected in their homage for family tradition and the practice of organic viticulture.
Transparent cranberry with light pink edges, exuberant aromas of cherry, strawberry and wet slate rose from the glass. Wild strawberry and fennel flavours were underscored by earthy elements of summer woods and a bright acidity. Savory herbaceous notes mingled with traces of warm sandalwood in the crisp finish. Fresh and light, with bright fruit and a wonderful savory rustic nature, this is a perfect companion to light dishes and appetizers.
Rossese Nero [I could not confirm varietal percentage, but according to DOC laws it must be at least 95%]
Estate bottled by Societa Agricola Lupi di Massimo Lupi
$17 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2014