It’s no surprise that we never tire of esoteric Italian varietals here at FPWM, as you may have noticed with our wine club repertoire in the past! And this month, we’ve chosen another unique red grape that we are thrilled to introduce to all of you called ‘Rossese’. Hailing from the dramatically stunning appellation of Ligure di Ponente DOC in northwestern Italy, west of Genoa and wrapped above the glimmering Ligurian Sea, Rossese makes for a very light-bodied and “crushable” wine.
One of the reasons you have probably never heard of Rossese is because very little of it exists! There are only a few dozen full-time producers of Rossese, due to the extreme challenges that the dauntingly steep hillsides rising up from the sea pose to viticulture. The region’s terraced vineyards can reach up to 2,100 ft. in elevation and call for laborious and costly hand harvesting, as tractors cannot access such precarious sites.
Rossese offers a transparent, crimson hue, low tannins and crushed summer fruit notes as in raspberry, pluot and strawberry. A pretty, floral fragrance can be found in the best examples along with a pronounced saline note. Bright, lip-smacking acidity makes the wine conducive to a slight chill and a lovely match for a picnic of cured meats, olives and mild cheeses or even seafood ie: steamed mussels with pesto and tomatoes or grilled octopus! Cheers to yet another intriguing Italian grape! -Jayne