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JUNE THIRST – VIGNETI MASSA ROSATO TERRA SIC EST 2017

Posted by Chris LaBranche on

STORY Though less known for it than their French neighbors, Italy produces some of the most exciting rosés on the market today. Often made in a fuller-bodied style than their French counterparts, Italian rosés are made to go with food. Vigneti Massa is one of Piedmont’s very best producers of Barbera, and their Barbera-based rosato showcases all the best of this underappreciated variety, all the while focusing on drinkability and freshness. TASTING Massa’s Rosato is made primarily of their most important variety–Barbera–with a bit of Cortese and Freisa, white grapes, blended in. The result is a structured and full-bodied rosé, verging on the border to a lighter-bodied red. Categories aside, this is just pure Italian refreshment at its best. You’ll get notes of fresh herbs, spring flowers, and tart strawberries on the nose. Moving to the palate, you’ll find a hint of tannin on this rosé framing its supple and ripe fruit character. This is rosé you can sip on its own but also pair it up with a meal when you’d otherwise choose a red. Try it with our recipe for Sweet & Sour Pork Tenderloin. MORE Vigneti Massa is located in a nearly forgotten corner of Piedmont in the village of Monleale Alto. Their vineyards, comprised mostly of clay, chalk, and sandy soils, sit at over 200 meters in altitude. Though in most parts of Piedmont Barbera is an afterthought–planted only on parcels not quite good enough to grow Nebbiolo, in Monleale Barbera is king. ‘Sic Est’ is an expression of sustainably-farmed grapes fermented with native yeasts and aged in tank for several months. Because the portion of the blend that comes from Barbera sees longer than normal time on the skins, it has a deeper color and more tannic character than most rosés–especially those from southern France.

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