In a market now flush with pink wines, the best and most intriguing bottlings must not only refresh one’s palate but also speak of its grape variety and region in order to set themselves apart. In the best Bandol rosés for example, one can taste the wild edge of the Mourvèdre grape that sets this tiny village’s wines apart from the rest of the region’s primarily Grenache- driven cuvées. In sub-alpine Piedmont, home to two of Italy’s most revered wines–Barolo and Barbaresco–one can assuredly make more bottling traditional Nebbiolos than rosé versions. Nonetheless, these folks need something light and refreshing to drink in the summer just as we do! The Manzone family has been crafting traditional Piedmontese wines since 1843 and their Langhe Rosato is a real treat. The resulting Nebbiolo rosé is fresh and alive with serious varietal character.
Manzone’s Rosato is dark and deep in the glass with aromatics of dusty red cherries, orange marmalade, and roasted herbs. On the palate, you’ll find notes of juicy tangerine, chalky minerals, and rose petal. You’d be forgiven for taking this one for a light red at first glance, but it is definitely at its best drunk cool like a serious white. Drink it all on its own or, even better, try it with a Savory Dutch Baby.
Nebbiolo is often compared to the world-famous Burgundian grape that we all know well–Pinot Noir. Like great Burgundian Pinot, classic Nebbiolo wines offer up dynamic aromatics and flavors of rose petal, tobacco, blood orange, violet, and earth. These two grapes are capable of producing wines of incredible finesse and delicacy, while still having intense concentration of flavor. Nebbiolo sets itself apart, however, with its serious tannic character. With only limited contact with the skins, this rosato has only a gently tannic, grippy structure, yet it presents itself more strongly than mose rosés. As with most rosé, this rosato spends all its life in stainless steel and is bottled quite young to preserve freshness.