Wine region / Country
Costaripa Valtènesi Molmenti 2015 (2 bottles)
Cirelli Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Anfora 2017 (2 bottles)
Rosa del Golfo Vigna Mazzì 2017 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £121.54
Club Discount Price: £107.23
You save: £14.31 (11.77%)
That Italy is a land of rosé is certainly not news. But it has not been many years that rosé aged in wood or similar containers have risen to the limelight. Yet the results are extraordinary. When it embraces a touch of wood, the great tradition of northern clarets, above all from Garda, becomes sublime and majestic. Rosés of character but always subtle, without invasive vanilla, and indeed of class and verticality enhanced by complexity and grace.
In the South, where the rosé, by tradition, are born as "small reds", things are not rosier. Already muscular and infinite by nature, the rosés aged in wood assume here, between Abruzzo and Salento, an even more intriguing and multifaceted character. Spice is added to the ripe fruit, to the violet flower a beautiful toasting. Montepulciano and Negroamaro, the main grapes of the typology, assume in this role a character with unlimited potential.
Yes, because the resting in wood (generally not more than a year and never invasive) or even in amphora (new splendid frontier of an evolved and healthy rosé) produces wines which are not only multi-faceted, but also long-lived. Wines that have achieved the potential of many Provencal Chateaus and which are just waiting for large-scale success.
We'll get the ball rolling, by recommending you put these wines to the summer pleasure test, but also to keep them a few years in the cellar to appreciate an even more complete evolution. And to pair them with complex dishes, challenging their prime excellence, and their expression which is perhaps better and more characterful than the territory and the vines from which they come.
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Rosé. Costaripa Valtènesi, Italy Groppello, Marzemino, Sangiovese, Barbera
Bottle: £23.37 club members / £26.40 non-members
This is due to the Mediterranean climate of the lake, of course, but also to the skilled hands of a generation of winemakers who owe much of their training to Vezzola. The heart of the Valtènesi di Costaripa is Moniga del Garda, halfway between Desenzano and Salò. Twenty kilometres of coastal lakes that benefit from 3000 hours of sunshine a year and breezes that perfectly regulate daily and seasonal temperature changes. In this area, which is among the most northerly in which citrus fruits can be cultivated, the subtle elegance of native vines, a mosaic of polished perfumes, is a natural fact. And Molmenti, one of the greatest rosé wines in Italy, is certainly its sublime expression.
Molmenti is produced out of the morainic-glacial soils of the lake, but clearly benefits from a very complex texture, the product of a heterogeneous terroir. Dedicated to the name of Pompeo Gherardo Molmenti, who introduced claret to Moniga in 1896, it fits perfectly into the golden tradition of that great rosé, born of Provençal inspiration well before this type of wine became a pure summer pleasure.
Produced with the refined but meticulous “teardrop” maceration, extremely soft and naturally rosy, Molmenti comes out – and this is almost unique in Italy - after two years of resting in the cellar, during which it ferments and ages in large oak barrels used from 4 hectolitres each. A full-bodied red-wine treatment for a rosé that preserves class and grace intact.
Of a classic light pink coppery colour, extremely bright and bewitching, Molmenti has a rich and complex texture of peony and rosehip, currant and citrus fruit peel, with more tense vegetal and balsamic notes of basil and mint, and with a nice iodized subtext. On the palate it is incredibly elegant in its structure, yet broad, crisp and enveloping, with returns of citrus and red fruits, but above all with a splendid mineral flavour that accompanies the very long persistence.
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Rosé. Cirelli Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo, Italy Montepulciano
Bottle: £19.30 club members / £21.93 non-members
The Cirelli style has for years embraced the terracotta amphora, which confers typicality and character to the native Abruzzo wines. The choice is to vinify and age a line of wines entirely in these containers, to optimise their contribution and convert their organoleptic profile into a clearly appreciable way. Montepulciano, Cerasuolo and Trebbiano are therefore subjected to this practice.
The Cerasuolo Anfora represents an original and personal interpretation of this great Abruzzo rosé from Montepulciano grapes. When the bunches are subjected to an extremely delicate pressing, the must is fed directly into an amphora, where it ferments with indigenous yeasts. Maceration is short and normally lasts no more than six hours; after that, the skins are separated from the must and the wine continues fermentation and aging in amphorae for about a year. Also in amphora, malolactic fermentation takes place, another element that defines the superior level of this rosé.
With a strong cherry pink colour, the bouquet releases inviting aromas of cherry, pomegranate, orange peel, strawberry jam, with deep spicy and smoked scents. Juicy, fresh and very savoury, the palate is continually intrigued, exhorting you to drink it with its excellent balance between softness and acidity. Versatile, it should be tried with fish appetizers, pasta dishes with vegetable sauces, fish soup and local cheeses.
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Rosé. Rosa del Golfo Salento, Italy Negroamaro, Malvasia Nera
Bottle: £10.96 club members / £12.44 non-members
The soils of the Mazzi locality, just south of Alezio, the hinterland of Gallipoli, are calcareous, clayey and rich in red earth. This is where the winery has created the magic of a supreme rosé: Vigna Mazzì. Ancient Negroamaro vines in sapling, dated more than forty years, give what, to date, is undoubtedly one of the greatest Italian rosés.
The very fact that the family has decided to dedicate the best cru to rosé vinification clearly tells of the winery’s orientation towards enhancing the territory and its traditions. A significant choice, which is not at all obvious in Italy. The flower must is obtained from grapes with the so-called "a lacrima" maceration: very soft, from which comes a nectar with very low yields (no more than 30 litres per 100 kg of grapes) of a natural pinkish colour.
A painstaking job? Sure, but it's worth it, given the result. And given the resting time that awaits the wine in formation, so the wood comes into play. Firstly, but in a small part, in fermentation, and then, for ten months, in aging, for which oak, cherry and chestnut tonneaux are used.
The colour of Vigna Mazzì is a splendid intense and brilliant cherry pink, with coral and ruby reflections. The bouquet is multi-faceted, intense and complex: notes of sweet spice and jam softly yield to a smoky texture and fragrances of undergrowth, cherry, citrus fruit peel, rhubarb and even coffee. The taste, soft and elegant, does not disappoint. Of superior class, it has a persistence that many reds would envy, with echoes of toasted hazelnuts and mineral and mineral and toasted scents. It pairs well with grilled fish with strong flavours, velvety first courses, perhaps based on fine fish sauces, white meats and medium-aged hard cheeses.
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