Monday, August 13, 2018

A Rosato Between Friends

Dining with friends is an all-too-rare pleasure in Los Angeles.  Some will say, "What's he talking about? All we do is get together with friends!"  For Denise and I, we find that it's difficult to arrange time with our friends, because of our schedules and theirs.  One couple, dear friends, used to live less than a half-mile away and we saw them once a year.

One guy we rely on a lot for good company is our pal Guido, whom everyone except us calls S.J.  We often meet, though not often enough for me, at a restaurant up in the hills above Bel-Air.  It's way up there, just off Mulholland, so it's a nice ride up the canyon road and always a nice lunch.  As you might imagine, I had the rosé.

Actually, it was the Tenuta La Badiola Acquagiusta Tuscan Rosato.  It's made in the IGT of Maremma, on Italy's western coast, on the Tyrrhenian Sea.  The area includes parts of south-western Tuscany and northern Lazio.

The wine is made from 100% Alicante grapes from the Levante Vineyard on the La Badiola estate. Rosato is a great change of pace rosé, assuming you need a change of pace from Provence or California.  Italian pinks are often made from interesting indigenous grapes, and they usually offer a slightly different flavor profile.

A Forbes article by Susan H. Gordon gets lengthy while trying to figure out the Alicante grape's beginnings.  Summing it, there's a study that indicates the grape came to Italy from the people of Spain's Aragon region, and it's a biotype of Garnacha.  What little planting of the grape that remains in Italy is located mainly in Tuscany and Sicily.

This rosé's color is that dingy pink usually called onion skin.  I had it at the restaurant that serves my favorite salad in Los Angeles, the calamari and scungilli at Fabrocini's Beverly Glen.   Aromas were typified by earthy strawberry and cherry, which is where the palate lived, too.  There was a slightly dark angle which I'll call pomegranate since a better descriptor doesn't come to mind right now.  A nice acidity was useful, but I wouldn't recommend this wine for anything tougher to handle than cephalopods or mollusks.

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