2018 San Giovanni Pasini 'Il Chiaretto' Valtenesi Chiaretto, Lombardy, Italy

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Founded by Andrea Pasini in 1958, the Pasini San Giovanni Winery is now run by the third generation of the Pasini family. The family is simultaneously committed to tradition while actively maintaining and upgrading the winery to incorporate modern methods and best practices. Their modernization efforts extend to their commitment to sustainability: the entire winery is run on solar power and the farm is certified organic. The winery is located on the southeastern slopes of Lake Garda in Lombardy, which creates a warmer microclimate than surrounding areas. At about 1,100 feet deep, Lake Garda absorbs heat during the day and releases it at night. Furthermore, the Alps to the north protect the vineyards from cold winds. The result is riper fruit and a biodiversity of Mediterranean crops including citrus, olives, and cacti.

Chiaretto is used solely to describe rosé wines from Garda and comes from the word chiaro, meaning light or pale. While most Chiaretto is made from Corvina, the Pasini family makes their wine from several varietals: Groppello (65%), Marzemino (25%), and the remaining 10% comprises a blend of Barbera and Sangiovese. The Pasini family picks each varietal separately and uses different maceration techniques with each. Groppello, with its small, thin-skinned berries, spends about a day macerating on its skins, while Marzemino (late-ripening, with intense color) is pressed directly. The must is fermented in stainless steel and aged on its fine lees for about a year before bottling, adding texture and complexity to the wine. Aromas of ripe red raspberries, rose, and liquorice, along with crisp acidity makes this a great wine for food pairing. This Chiaretto is ready to drink now but will evolve further in the bottle and be delicious next spring!

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