SEPTEMBER THIRST–SQUADRA TERRE SICILIANE ROSATO 2018
Our good friends Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Peterson founded Scarpetta Wines years ago with a simple goal. That was, to produce classic Friulian wines that were accessibly priced for the US market. These two hospitality professionals had fallen in love with this niche region after many jaunts across this Eastern Italy. They contracted with local growers to produce simple but excellent wines that could be poured by the glass across America to get us into this region’s wines. Fast-forward to today and Friuli has finally caught on, thanks–in part to Bobby and Lachlan. They’ve recently expanded their operation on a case-by-base basis to include one of our favorite growers in all of Italy, Sicily’s Vito Lauria. This month’s selection, our last club rosé of the season, comes as the product of this partnership.
Though Vito grew up where he now tends his vines, in northeastern Sicily, it’s no coincidence that he studied wine in Friuli. Afterward, he moved back to the island, and began producing simply excellent wines from the region’s native varieties–Frappato, Nero d’Avola, and Grillo. His co-operative rosé is made from Nero d’Avola, farmed sustainably, and picked early to preserve acidity. It is fresh yet concentrated with supple fruit and a distinctly Mediterranean earthy character. It is just lovely with our recipe for Wine Braised Rabbit with Olives.
Nero d’Avola has the reputation in the wine world of producing reds that are big, rich, and often overly jammy. The warm Mediterranean climate of most of the island, combined with the natural ripening of Nero often make for wines that are not particularly well suited for warm-weather drinking. Vito, though, makes all of his wines with freshness in mind, and the grapes for Squadra are picked early to preserve acidity. The result is a deep, rather full-feeling rosé at a meager 11% alcohol. Now that’s impressive!