Posted by: tomciocco | October 24, 2013


My (very personal) approach to wine production cleaves to two ends of a spectrum of sorts. For me, winemakers should either dig deeply into their local grapes varieties, winemaking techniques, and traditions or they should create wines that break with all local traditions to create “fantasy blends” that build styles that while working with their terroir, present wines that are truly unique vini d’autore. Tonight’s wine perfectly splits these two approaches right down the middle.

Tonight, we find ourselves (viticulturally) in the Alps – Italy’s Austrian cultured, German speaking region of Sud Tirol to be specific. This is a region that, mostly via a series of super high quality co-operative wineries (the producer of this wine comes out of a recent merger of two co-ops), produces an almost shocking array of wines from a really wide range of local and “International” grape varieties in every color of the oenological rainbow. Tonight’s wine happens to be a dark rose`made from a somewhat unusual triumverate of red grapes.

The blend under this cork is composed of 60% Zweigelt (an Austrian-created cross of two other Austrian staple red grapes: Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent whose genesis dates to the 1920s), 20% Lagrein (a local deeply-colored red grape with a spunky acidity), and 20% Merlot (no explanation necessary on this one). None of these varieties are oddities in this sunny, cool, and vertiginous region, but there is little precedent for blending them together, much less in these proportions, and least of all in the form of rose`. This a wine that very successfully illustrates what a confluence of tradition, innovation, and clean, technologically advanced winemaking can yield.

So in keeping with the stylistic eclecticism of this wine, I served a somewhat divergent yellow squash, chive, and basil fritters as an appetizer, and then a main course of fried eggs with fried polenta and hash of sliced and smothered Brussels sprouts with tomato and savory.












Meran Rosalie Festival Sud Tirol-Alto Adige Rose` 2012

Slightly brownish very pale red/deeply pink color. Cleanly bold nose of mixed wild berries, fig paste, grape jelly, asian spices, sweet chestnut puree`, fresh pink roses, with a slight smokiness underlying it all. In the mouth the wine is quite plump, rich and ever-so-slightly sweet, but with an overall lovely balance and an elegant acidity and salty minerality that springs bold flavors of raspberry, blood orange juice, maraschino cherry, and pine sap. Perfumed, slightly peppery finish.


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