Rosso @ Craft and Cru
Updated: Feb 25
Today we want to talk about rossi from Italy (spumante and fermo) and some American reds made from grapes you would otherwise almost always find coming from Italy's Piedmont region. A little random, as has been our wont of late, but the thread is in there somewhere. Saluti!
We're big fans of sparkling red wine, thus Lambrusco is a fave. When it comes to Lambrusco, Cantina della Volta has stolen our hearts. It is not a relationship without its quirks: their chosen bottle shape is inconvenient to us, we find their labels kinda tacky and in need of updating, but the juice, the juice in the glass is pure magic! This is love. Their 2018 Rimosso, a Sorbara made with the oldest method of sparkling wine production, now often referred to as petillant naturel or the ancestral method, is a fresh and juicy wine for all occasions. Aromas of sweet red berries, blood orange, spice, herbs and flowers, precede a frothy and vivacious palate. Finishing dry and refreshing, with lots of crisp fruit notes lingering, it's all about fresh juiciness, yet in the context of Lambrusco, quite serious.
Cantina della Volta Lambrusco di Sorbara 'Rimosso' 2018 - $23
Get to know Day Wines. Brienne Day is making some of the most interesting and reasonably priced wines in Oregon. Brienne only sources fruit from organic and biodynamic vineyards, and all of her wines are fermented with natural yeasts. Intervention in the winery is kept to a minimum, the goal being to express the beautiful fruit she harvests. We didn't know she made a Dolcetto, but when we got the opportunity to buy some, we jumped. It arrived on Tuesday, and we tried it immediately. Fruit is at the fore, with gorgeous dark berry notes wafting around with nuances of licorice, herbs and violets. A blaze of acidity keeps its intense fruitiness in check, and it finishes refreshing and dry. This stuff is delish. Why aren't there more Italian grapes in America?
Day Wines Rogue Valley Dolcetto 2019 - $19
Ruth Lewandoski is a name you should remember, as it appears on bottles made by Evan Lewandowski, creator of several of the most successful "Zero Cuvee" wines we've tasted. A "Zero Cuvee" is a wine made with nothing added, just grapes, not even sulfur added at bottling. Many wines are made with nothing added right up until bottling, at which point sulfur is introduced to help the wine stay fresh and stable for transportation and aging. Evan's Feints 2019 is an exceptionally fresh and fruity Cuvee Zero, and it is a welcome distraction from California's mainstream grapes. A blend of 31% Arneis (a white grape), 40% Dolcetto, 18% Barbera and 11% Nebbiolo, it is fruity and savory at once, with lots of juicy berry nuances accented by herbs and a delectable yeasty note. A little funky and tangy, some of you will love this, others may find it a bit too unusual. We recommend having it with food, and we think it will be versatile, though a veggie pizza or something else with tomatoes (a ratatouille sounds great) might be high on our list of appropriate pairings.
Ruth Lewandowski Feints 2019 - $25
Found only in certain pockets (and going under the name Bonarda in Lombardia) the Croatina cultivar is not found in the famous regions of the Langhe, but instead here and there around Piemonte, often blended with other grapes. In the southeast of Piemonte, in the Colli Tortonesi, La Colombera makes an example quite worth your while. Aromas of berry compote, flowers, honeycomb, mint and herbs are fresh and engaging. On the palate it is fruity upfront, with chunky tannins competing with ripe fruits on the finish. Just a little rustic, we were charmed and believe it will make a great companion to all sorts of hearty fare. It is also notable that this wine shows very well after 24 hours of air, just keep it cool and you can enjoy its beautiful fruitiness the next day.
La Colombera Croatina La Romba 2018 - $16