Friday, September 12, 2014

Still Blazing Hot In L.A.: Italian Rosato Helps Out

A warm September Saturday evening, al fresco at Fabrocini’s Beverly Glen, one last rosé before the memory of summer slips away.  Aaah.

Wait a minute, who am I kidding?  It’s early September in Los Angeles.  The really hot weather hasn’t even gotten here yet.  October’s Santa Ana winds and brushfire hell still awaits.  Screw it.  I’ll have the rosé anyway.

Acquagiusta Rosato 2012 is made completely from Alicante grapes, harvested in the Levante Vineyard on the La Badiola estate right in the center of the Acquagiusta Farm in Maremma.  Alicante is also known as Garnacha Tintorea in Spain.  The farm is a 19th-century land management project initiated by the Grand Duke of Tuscany.  With a title like that, one might be expected to do a lot, but could also probably get away with doing very little.  I like to think this particular Grand Duke was a beehive of grand activity.  He was at least smart enough to name the farm after the underground spring located beneath his property.

The grapes of Levante Vineyard are described on the website as vigorous, rigorous and salubrious - descriptive in the peculiar way only a digitally translated text can be.  Alicante grapes are red through and through - not just in the skins - and this rosé is the result of an attempt to make a white wine with them.  They are gently and quickly pressed to minimize color extraction.

The effort to minimize the color leaves the wine a pale salmon tint.  The color may be minimized, but the smells are not.  Big strawberry and melon fruit aromas come forward, along with some of the green stems on which they grew.  There is a beautiful and refreshing acidity which joins the great fruit flavor - light and a bit tart, with a touch of watermelon candy.  The wine feels quite full in the mouth, owing to the vigorous, rigorous, salubrious nature of the Alicante grape.

It goes well with my penne and mushroom marinara.  So well, I’ll keep it mind for that late summer L.A. weather yet to come.


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