Sunday, August 06, 2006

Nebbiolo makes a great rose

Piedmont doesn't have a rose tradition. In the heat of summer, Torino and Milan are drinking frizzante (semi-sparkling) red wine. Made with the fruity Fraisa and Bonarda, those wines needs to be served chilled because of their residual sugar. To get residual sugar, just stop fermentation before all the sugar becomes alcohol.

So no rose tradition in Piedmont but Polaner imports a great Rose "El Mimo" from the Ghemme region. This wine is made with Nebbiolo grapes which is the noble grape of Piedmont. You may not know Nebbiolo but you surely tasted Barolo or Barbaresco made from this varietal. Nebbiolo produces wines with strong scents of rose and tar (at best) with rough tannins and acidity. Yes they need a lot of ageing in the bottle…
That’s the subject of another post.

With a 24 hours fermentation, Il Mimo collects the floral aromas and the acidity of the varietal, avoiding the rough tannins. So in the bottle, you are getting strawberry flavors, a nice acidity and some light tannin allowing the wine to get this "grip" in your palate. This grip combined to the acidity makes the fruits linger longer and give you a good mouthfeel.

A great rose with or without food. Perfect with kebob or grilled chicken.

I am still looking for a minerally rose on the US market. Any idea?


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