Have you ever tasted a wine so magical that it made you hear choirs of angels sing?
Naah, me either.
But I’m here to tell you today about one that was good enough to evoke images of a pretty good garage band down the street, practicing a credible cover of a Beatles classic.
The Celebrated Cellar Clearance Starts Now!
We need room. You need savings. Treat yourself to highly rated wines at close-out prices. Plus, with $1 shipping, you’ll save up to $36 in shipping on every case. You do not need to be a member to take advantage of this sale.
The California Wine Club‘s Celebrated Cellar Clearance ends on June 12, 2015. (More info below.)
We didn’t really come to this wine with high expectations. True, it bears the attention-getting rhinoceros label of Giorgio Rivetti’s La Spinetta, best known as the producer of sought-after Nebbiolo-based Piemonte reds. But Casanova is Rivetti’s newish property in coastal Tuscany, near Pisa; also fine but occupying a distinctly lower price and perception tier.
What’s more, it was a rosé. Now, I’m not hating on pink wine here, but let’s be frank: When we’re listening for the sound of angelic choirs, most of us are more inclined to open classic red wines of majesty and power. Pink wine? Isn’t that intended for casual summer sipping, poolside or patio?
But Casanova Della Spinetta 2014 “Il Rosé di Casanova” Toscana Rosato is a mighty special pink, even at a high-for-rosé price tag in the $15 to $20 range.
A blend of equal proportions of the classic Tuscan red grape Sangiovese and Prugnolo Gentile, a Sangiovese clone usually prized in Vino Nobile di Mont, this wine may be labeled as a Rosé, but it looks an awful lot like a white: It’s pale-gold in color, showing just a hint of bronze.
And then you get your nose in, and along with delicious white fruit, golden raisins and green figs, there’s … something else. What the heck is it? Blackberries?
For me, one of the greater challenges in analytical wine tasting comes when a wine shows an aroma or flavor that’s unexpected for its color. When I smell blackberries, or blueberries or cranberries or blackcurrant cassis, I assume i’ve got red wine in a glass. Throw one of those “red” scents at me from a pink or white wine, and it takes a while to let go of disbelief and recalibrate my perceptions.
And then I realize that it’s delicious. Even at this price, I’m going back for more.
If this whets your appetite for rosé wine, grab a bottle and a glass and head over to our WineLovers Discussion Group, where we are tasting and talking about all manner of pink wines this month in Wine Focus.
The topic is wide open to the world of rosé. You’re welcome to bring rosé wine from anywhere around the world, whether it’s as white as this Casanova, nearly red, or any shade of pink in-between. Open, taste and talk about it … and be sure to let us know in particular when you find one that’s good enough to share.
To join in, simply click over to the WineLovers Discussion Group – you can quickly and easily log in via Facebook if you use it – and use this link for the conversation “Wine Focus for May: Rosé for spring!”
The Celebrated Cellar Clearance Starts Now!
The wines we feature are typically handcrafted in very limited amounts, and in many cases, we are down to our last few cases (or bottles!) of each, so please shop early for the best selection.
You do not need to be a member to take advantage of this sale. And, as always, every wine is guaranteed to be delicious.
The California Wine Club‘s Celebrated Cellar Clearance ends on June 12, 2015.
Today’s Tasting Report
Casanova Della Spinetta 2014 “Il Rosé di Casanova” Toscana Rosato ($19.99)
This Sangiovese-based pink wine may be labeled as a rosé, but it looks an awful lot like a white: It’s a clear, pale gold wine with only the faintest hint of bronze. Its fresh, complex aromas are light but appealing fresh fruit including golden raisins and figs, adding an intriguing, unexpected hint of blackberry. Mouth-filling and ripe, full fruit flavors amplify the nose. Crisp, palate-cleansing acidity and berry fruit linger in a very long finish; 12.5% alcohol. This is one excellent wine, whether it’s white or rosé. U.S. importer: Indigenous Selections LLC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (April 5, 2015)
FOOD MATCH: Treat this as a high-quality, balanced-fruit white wine and go with a broad range of “white meat” options from grilled chicken to pork or veal, or go meatless with egg, cheese or bean dishes. It would surely sing with fettuccine all’Alfredo. And, of course, its refreshing complexity makes it a natural for aperitif sipping.
WHEN TO DRINK: It would be very hard to resist drinking it up now, while it’s so delicious and fresh. That said, however, the winery suggests that it will do fine with “a bit of aging,” and still recommends the 2012 and 2013 vintages.
VALUE: The $20 point might seem a bit spendy for a pink wine, but this top-rank rosé more than justifies comparison with quality whites in the $20 to $30 range. That said, however, my local price is on the high side. Wine-Searcher.com reports a $17 average U.S. retail price, and it can be found for $15 with careful shopping.)
WEB LINKS Here is a link to Giorgio Rivetti’s La Casanova page in English. This winery fact sheet offers detailed information on the Rosé. For more information, check importer Indigenous Selections’ La Rivetta Tuscany page.
The importer also offers a directory of U.S. wholesale distributors. Although they can’t sell direct to the public in most states, they should be able to direct you to a local retailer.
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