Posted by: tomciocco | June 2, 2011

A RARE ROSATO FROM ITALY’S CANAVESE

Post before last, I wrote a bit about a Provencal rose’, and with the re-ascension of the warm weather, we’re likely to see a few more of them, and…OH!  – here’s another one now. And a very nice contrast this one makes with the last, too.

These two wines in most ways could hardly be more dissimilar, and still be the same style of wine, and yet they are. The Provencal wine is a French Mediterranean, sea-kissed blend of grapes made in the saignee method. The Rubiconda is coming from another place altogether…The Canavese region is located in extreme northeastern Piedmont, just a stone’s throw from Valle d’Aosta, and is as Alpine as the Cotes de Provence is Mediterranean. This deeper-hued wine is made from only a single, local, and scarce variety called Neretto which possesses a very rare characteristic. Neretto, along with certain strains of Gamay, Saperavi, Alicante Bouschet, and just a couple of others, has red juice to match its red skin (these red-juiced grapes are collectively known as tinturier varieties). The Provencal rose’ (and many others as well) gets its color from a short skin maceration, while this wine’s pigmentation comes exclusively from the color of its juice, and it shows -not only in the wine’s charcoal rose color, but in the more “painterly” flavors and corpulent texture.

There were various and sundry items in the fridge that needed to be revisited, and ultimately they coalesced into some very thinly slice pork tenderloin (cold) spread with a chickpea and basil puree, and then a frittata with leftover spaghetti, roasted red peppers, and ricotta, and red leaf lettuce salad with celery.

Cantina Orsolani Canavese Rosato “Rubiconda” 2009

Dusty, brownish transparent red berry color. Layered aromas of minerally watermelon, woodsy spice, manure, wet earth, raspberry, red currant, and fresh ground coffee. The palate is sturdy and moderately fat but tart, with nicely developed flavors of violet, bittersweet cherry skin, brown sugar, and black tea. An unexpectedly complex and exotic wine that drinks more like a very light red than a rose’.

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