Talking about Ligurian viticulture without mentioning Rossese di Dolceacqua would be wrong to the prestige of this wine, due to its incredible elegance. We are in Val Nernia, a small patch of land in the first hinterland halfway between the Western Ligurian sea and the mountain. Here, since the ’50s, we have witnessed the depopulation of those lands, with the reduction of the hectares of vines from 3,000 to just 80. Nevertheless there are still figures, like that of Giovanna Maccario, whom with tenacity and conviction carry on the tradition of this wine.
The Maccarios owned lands in the area already in the early ‘900, lands passed over the years by her grandfather, to Giovanna’s father, and by her father, in 1991, to Giovanna herself. Today Giovanna grows them with the help of her husband Goetz Dringenberg, a cellar assistant, of her cousin, and of the same winemaker who already collaborated with her father
Initially Giovanna had just one and a half hectares of vine, but with time and determination she came to possess seven. The cultivation methodology adopted is that of integrated control, modified according to the needs of each individual plots. The form of breeding adopted is that of the Alberello Provenzale that, unlike the traditional Alberello, develops a greater number of branches (up to seven against the typical three). This means that every branch produces few grapes, rich in glycerin, which 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 fermentation and maceration temperature below 27 ºC. Another characteristic of this winery is the choice of a precise labelling method. In addition to the colour, which varies according to the cru of origin, the back label shows the altitude of the vineyard, the composition of the soil, the farming system, the selection of the grapes, the vinification method, the type of aging and the suggested service temperature.
Among the most important labels of the winery is the Rossese di Dolceacqua Sette Cammini, a wine that was born in a historic vineyard of Ventimiglia, about 500m of altitude, overlooking the sea from the shores of Mount Grammondo. The name of this vineyard is linked to the fact that, in the past(pasths) the entire area (“nomeranza” in Ligurian) was beaten by several (paths) through which smugglers were shuttling between Italy and France.
After the manual harvest conducted exclusively on the best plants, the wine macerates 2 weeks with daily toppings and pumping over. The following fermentation takes place in steel, at a controlled temperature, and is followed by an aging period of 12 months (6 in steel and 6 in bottle) before marketing.
The vintage 2020 shows ruby color, both in intensity and texture, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of Ravenna cherry, sour cherry, red currant and pomegranate, followed by Rosa “Asso di Cuori”, Latakia tobacco and Mediterranean Scrub, with final echoes of iodine and cowhide leather. The palate shows a slender body, refined and fresh, with silky tannins just hinted and a pleasant recall to the iodine note. Everything is enriched by the return of red fruit and the most delicate spices that accompany, in symbiosis, the sip, to a pretty long and juicy finish.
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