Our super crunchy-yet-midweighty (extremely) light-colored rosé, virtually a white wine, of direct press and early harvested grapes, for those who like minerality and bright acidity with a bit of red-grape weight. Though this is a vin gris, pretend that it is a white wine, and just like like Pinot Noir-based blanc de noir, it will all make sense.
We have been through several rounds of “Bianco” over the years that have ranged from pure Sangiovese to Primitivo and Nebbiolo to Nebbiolo + Zinfandel and most recently Mourvedre & Zinfandel. Honestly, I have been happiest with Sangiovese as the base though with its combination of not-quite yellow fruits (you only get the Sangio red cherry when it starts getting red) straw tones and gentle spice. Somehow when picking and pressing Sangiovese early for this vin gris style rosé – crushing and pressing as fast as possible for minimal color pick up – the resulting wine always has more body and weight than I expect it to, even with pretty high acidity. This one has the addition of about 30% early-harvest Nebbiolo that was picked and pressed at the same time, which was about 2 months before it ripens for a red wine and had me worried about it being too salty, savory, or harsh. That can happen when picking too early, which we see with some overly-ambitious natural winemakers who don’t quite have vineyard knowledge, but here it dovetailed nicely and you get just a hint of the Nebbiolo tannin on the finish.
Though the color would make you think that it is a white wine, there is a little extra something something that says otherwise. I have had one other Sangiovese Bianco from Tuscany, and it was eerily similar with very light strawberry, melon, white cherry, and a pronounced hay tone that reminds me of blanc de noirs (Pinot Noir) Champagne after the bubbles have gone away. This wine only spent 9 months on its lees, but I get a familiar touch of yeasty ageing like with bubbles as well. And we are, of course, unfined and unfiltered, hence the late release waiting for it to clarify. Drink with salty appetizers and medium-to-hard cheeses. It does not have super high acidity due to 2021’s record heat, so if anything we should treat it like a medium-weight white wine. That Tuscan Sangiovese Bianco was had at Eataly in Manhattan with a bowl of cacio e pepe by the way. Bellisimo.
Label image: A fun departure from our more serious labels, the beloved Athanasius Kircher (whose artwork also features on our Grenache, Cab Franc, and Barbera labels) had made this charming dragon kite sketch in one of his notebooks around 1670. Somehow it survived and seemed a fine fit for this fun wine.
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