2013 Cantele, Negroamaro Rosato, Salento IGT, Puglia, Italy
The Wine of the Week by Annette Tomei
Rosé, rosado, rosato – the name may vary by place of origin (France et al, Spain, and Italy, respectively), but the concept remains the same. A classic rosé is made from the juice of red wine grapes that was removed from skin contact after a brief extraction, then handled similarly to a white wine for the remainder of the vinification process. Once, most rosé was a byproduct of the red wine making process, it is now most commonly made for its own sake.
Within the pink wine category, as with red and white wines, there is a great range of styles as well as quality. Though some are quite sweet, the majority of rosés are dry (no residual sugar). Flavor profiles vary with grape variety, region of origin, and winemaking, as do hue and color intensity.
Negroamaro is a very dark-skinned grape that has a 1500-year history in southern Italy. Depending on the growing conditions, wines made from this grape can range from savory earthiness to rich, sun-baked berries, accompanied on either end of the spectrum by dark spices. Negroamaro grows best in its home region of Puglia (the heel of the boot), especially on the hot, dry Salento peninsula where it shares the number one position with another dark red favorite, Primitivo. Salento holds an IGT designation – the category added in 1992 to accommodate experimentation and creativity in the vineyards.
This wine has an intense rose-pink color that draws the eye of rosé lovers who seek a cold weather version of their summertime favorite. The promise of a taste of warm, sunny, southern Italy is alluring, as well. Aromas of strawberries, fresh herbs, and roses lead to an almost-full bodied wine. Dark cherry and black pepper flavors are balanced on refreshing acidity and a hint of tannins. This is an ideal match for seared duck breast, or even with duck confit atop a warm lentil salad. Also, try with roasted beet farrotto (risotto made with nutty farro), or pasta with a southern Italian-style fruity tomato sauce.
Annette is the founder of VinEducation, where she is a food and beverage educator and consultant. She is also a professional chef who frequently contributes delicious recipes to EatSomethingSexy.com.
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