To speak of Ligurian viticulture without mentioning Rossese di Dolceacqua would be to do a wrong to the prestige of this wine, all founded on the incredible elegance it can express in Val Nernia, a handkerchief in the first hinterland halfway between the Western Ligurian sea and the Mountain. Although, since the 1950s, there has been the depopulation of those lands, with the reduction of the hectares of vines from 3,000 to just 80, there are still figures like that of Giovanna Maccario, who with tenacity and conviction carry on the tradition of this wine.
The Maccario possessed lands in the area already at the beginning of ‘900, lands passed over the years by his grandfather, to Giovanna’s father, and by his father, in 1991, to Giovanna herself who grows them with the help of her husband Goetz Dringenberg, a cellar assistant and Giovanna’s cousin, as well as the same oenologist who was already collaborating with his father.
Initially Giovanna had just one and a half hectares of vine, but with time and determination she came to possess seven, all cultivated following an uncertified organic philosophy, modified according to the needs of the individual plots. The breeding form adopted is that of the Alberello Provenzale that, unlike the Alberello traditionally known in Italy, develops a greater number of branches (up to seven against the three typical), each of which produces few grapes rich in glycerin that will give softness to the wine without losing acidity.
The processes in the cellar are simple, short and essential: all the phases of the vinification take place in steel trying to keep the temperature of fermentation and maceration below 27 ºF. C. Another characteristic of this winery is the choice of labelling because, in addition to the color that differs depending on the crus of origin, the back label shows the altitude of the vineyard, soil composition, farming system, selection of grapes, method of vinification, type of aging and suggested serving temperature.
Among the most important labels of the winery is Rossese di Dolceacqua Posau Riserva Biamonti, a wine that comes from the highest part of the Posau vineyard and bears the name of Francesco Biamonti, a very famous writer of those lands. In this case we could speak of a “Cru of a Cru” obtained from a handkerchief of land of just 30 ares (less than half a hectare) in which insist centuries-old plants that produce few sparse and rich clusters. After the manual harvest (in the last 10 years it has passed from early October to early September) conducted exclusively on the best plants, the wine macerates, ferments and ages in steel for a period of time that does not reach 12 months, since August is already time for bottling.
The 2017 vintage shows a ruby color of good intensity and consistency, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of Ravenna chetty, sour cherry, orange and pomegranate, followed by pot-pourri of violet, tobacco Latakia and Mediterranean scrub, with final echoes of vinyl and Mount Athos’s incense. The palate shows a slender body, refined and fresh, with silky tannins just hinted and a pleasant recall to the iodine note; all enriched by the return of red fruit and the more austere spices that accompany, in symbiosis, the sip, to a long and deliciously juicy finish.
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