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Vibrant strawberry and cherry aroma, full-flavoured but refreshingly dry and crisp. This really shows how good the rosés of Italy's south can be.
Product Code: IT31421
View all products by Casa Vinicola Roxan
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is the seldom overpriced but frequently variable wine made from the eponymous red grape variety on Italy’s Adriatic coast. At its best it is flavoursome, deeply coloured and delightfully fruity. Most of the wine here is produced at winemaking co-operatives. The Society’s version is made by the Roxan co-operative, known for their special relationships with 700 individual growers who, unusually in a co-operative set-up, are given a significant amount of input into the final wines. While up to 1,000 hectares of land is farmed, less than 10% of the grape yield in each vintage is actually bottled by the co-operative which keeps quality control reassuringly strict. These are smooth, stylish wines at the price. The winery itself is located in the town of Rosciano, near Pescara, and each bottling tends to be drawn from vineyard-specific sites. Buyer Sebastian Payne MW recalls that The Society first looked to buy wines from the Roxan co-operative after Edoardo Valentini, the brilliant but eccentric local winemaker and one of the most influential figures of his generation, sold his surplus grapes to it. Valentini was fiercely secretive, shunning wine critics and the wine establishment in general, yet this particular co-operative was the only one he trusted to turn his grapes into good wine. He died in 2012, but his son continues his estate, and upholds his father’s trust in the Roxan co-operative.
In ancient times this was the main source of high-quality wines from the peninsula of Italy The Greeks had introduced viniculture through their colonies there and named the bottom half of the peninsula ‘Oenotrai’ or land of wine, and the Romans expanded on the tradition, particularly in the Campania where many wealthy citizens owned vast estates and some of the most famous wines of the empire were made, such as Falernum. Some grape names appear to reflect the Greco-Roman influence (greco, aglianico), though this may be more about folk-memory than fact as there is no ampelographical evidence linking these varieties to any Greek ancient forbears. Campania itself is the area around Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Naturally there are volcanic soils in the vicinity and as the vineyards climb the Apennines there is altitude to cool the grapes as they ripen. As such there is a balancing freshness to the fruity wines. Greco di Tufo, fiano (especially from Avellino) and falanghina are among the best white wines, characterful and perfumed. Of the red varieties it is aglianico that makes the most impressive examples on the volcanic soils of Taurasi, though there is potential promised and realized in other varieties like piedirosso. There are excellent aglianico wines from Basilicata, the once impoverished region on the instep of the Italian boot. Inland on the border with Puglia, round the extinct volcano of Monte Vulture, the aglianico grape performs admirably to produce powerful ageworthy red wines that retain a thread of finesse. Calabria is the toe of the boot, and another region of limited economic development in recent decades. From one end of the province to the other mountains form a spine and, unlike in Campania, the vineyards producing the best wines are on the flat. In particular the DOC of Cirò on the Gulf of Taranto in the east of the province produces perfumed red wines from the indigenous gaglioppo grape.Across the Apennines on the Adriatic coast lies Puglia, a region that has begun to overcome a longstanding reputation for producing wines for bulk export but is now producing a range of fascinating good-value red wines from varieties like negroamaro, primitivo (aka zinfandel in California) and uva di troia. In the right hands all of them are capable of making very fine wines with plenty of ripe fruit, concentration and structure but without the overpowering alcohols that a hot climate and indifferent winemaking once routinely produced. They are also often excellent value. Puglia is largely flat, almost table-like lacking the softening effects of altitude must rely on the air conditioning of the sea and the skill of the winemaker to make balanced wines. Vines are consistently bush trained to retain shade and moisture. The best wines come from the Salento peninsula where the sea is on three sides and the best producers reside. Full-bodied negroamaro from Brindisi and Copertino and primitivo from soils underpinned by limestone in Manduria can be excellent Whites tend to be greco, fiano and minutolo, and there are some well-flavoured rosé wines as a speciality of the region. Whites too are now catching up in quality.Sicily has shown itself to be one of the most forward thinking Italian regions in recent years, with an awakening pride in the quality that can be achieved on this hot, socially complex and culturally saturated island. Sicily was once famous for the fortified Marsala wines that Nelson bought to victual his Mediterranean fleet, but as this fame and the sales that went with it dwindled many producers recognised that there was a need to produce table wines of greater quality. Bulk wine still leaves the island in tankers but there has been something of a revolution in viticulture and viniculture and Sicily now produces some of Italy’s best and most interesting wines. Nero d’Avola has been a conspicuous success, and makes everything from fruity entry-level reds to powerful, ripe and structured reds that can age and is often a major component in high-quality blends with syrah, cabernet and merlot. Mount Etna is a source of fine reds and whites of depth, finesse and zest, grown on the slopes of the famous volcano. Altitude and volcanic soils provide excellent conditions for the local nerello mascalese, nerello cappuccio and carricante (a white grape) vines. The white former mainstays of Marsala production cataratto and grillo are being given their head by winemakers who want them to shine alone and shine they do. Finally there has been a renaissance of interest in the intense, sweet muscat wines of the island of Pantelleria, an island closer to Tunisia than Sicily.Sardinia, until 1708 a Spanish possession, grows several vines that reflect an Iberian heritage. Graciano and mazuelo grow here as bovale sardo and boval grande respectively. Cannonau is grenache/garnacha by another less Spanish name. The grape that the island has exported to other parts is vermentino from which its finest, aromatic and flavoursome whites are made. Mazuelo, better known as carignan, makes the islands best reds called carignano del Sulcis.
2020 will always be the year that winemakers, and owners spent the year in the vineyards. As lockdowns around the world prevented travel many of our Italian suppliers talked of the silver lining of suddenly being able to get fully hands on again focusing time in their vineyards, tending to vines and reflecting on the year. The vintage will be special for this, with a level of scrutiny that can’t often be afforded to each vine, and an ability to manage vineyard processes with micro precision. The generally warm, dry season has led to good levels of concentration, albeit on slightly lower than average yields, promising good reds and securing Italy as a good choice for members looking for character and interest delivered at all price points. Looking at Tuscany in a little more detail, winemakers have spoken very positively about the 2020 sangiovese harvest which showed wonderfully intense aromatics from early on. In Piedmont, winemakers were very positive about how 2020 played out with warm but not too hot weather through August and September, allowing for a low pressure October harvest. The diurnal temperature fluctuations on the warmer days is also being credited for the highly aromatic nature of wines that will need time to develop. Expectation were and remain high.
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"This is a cracking rosé for the price. It has a great colour, lovely summer fruit flavours, good balance and a nice finish. It’s delightful to drink without food but has enough presence to stand up to strong flavours. An ideal wine for a barbecue or picnic. Recommended "
Mr Bob White (07-May-2021)
"Delicious. A lovely rosé, fruity but not sweet."
Dr Philip Frampton (02-Apr-2021)
"We ordered this for a summer party in the garden between lockdowns and it went down well, there were a couple of bottles left and they have been drunk this winter when we wanted something a little lighter but not white. It's a good dry medium bodied rose which tasted good with a light seafood pasta."
Mrs Julie Mabberley (08-Feb-2021)
"Really nice Summery wine.
Deep raspberry pink with quite simple but clean aromas and flavours of strawberry, raspberry, cherry & plum. 13% alcohol is well integrated and it’s fully dry with medium + acidity. Intensity & finish both medium "
Mr Simon Heape (16-Jul-2020)
"This is excellent. Beautiful deep colour, tons of flavour, rounded, but dry and refreshing. Frankly dangerous on a sunny day. Would go a treat with some veg antipasti or light fresh tomato dishes."
Ms Katy Benson (07-Sep-2019)
"OMG! I forgot to tick the ‘no substitutes’ box when I ordered 3 cases of the (excellent) Society’s Rose for our holiday in the Scilly Isles. Now I have got 3 cases of this Le Ralle. The less said about it the better. I’m selling bottles at £5 each to anyone who will buy them. Good luck if you ever make the same mistake...."
Mr Edward A P Sells (13-Aug-2018)
The Times (18th Aug 2018)
"… delicious, rich,
inky, sweet berry-fruited, dark rose-red ... Jane MacQuitty"
joannasimon.com (14th Jun 2018)
"Provence rosés have done such a clever job of persuading people that pale rosés are both drier and more sophisticated than dark rosés that deep pink wines are beginning to look like an endangered species. Don’t let it happen! There’s room for all shades of pink, and vibrant pinks aren’t necessarily less dry. Take this amply proportioned, dark rosato made from Aglianico and Montepulciano grapes in southern Italy. It’s dry but not bone dry and delivers a mouthful of strawberries and cream, tangy cherry and crunchy pomegranate. It has enough body and flavour for a barbecue, whether prawns or lamb cutlets, and works well with spices, herbs and chargrilled or roast veg such as red peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and shallots. - Joanna Simon"
Manchester Evening News (9th Jun 2018)
"One of The Wine Society's many excellent rose wines. This is great value with cherry aromas in spades and strawberry scents chiming in. The style is rounded but there's a tangy twist to the finish which gives the wine real character. A great match for barbecues prawns but it will also stand up to olives or tapenade. - Andy Cronshaw"
The Guardian (2nd Jun 2018)
rosato that would go with a barbecue. - Fiona Beckett"
The Daily Telegraph (2nd Jun 2018)
"With a deep, rich hue
of squashed raspberries, this full-bodied pink is made in southern Italy from
aglianico and montepulciano grapes. It blooms in the mouth, sweetly round, all
rosehips and cranberry juice. - Victoria Moore"
"Not normally on my agenda. But this was fresh and appetising and has gone some way to convert me to rose. Red cherry colour and plenty of cherry taste. Lovely on a warm summer evening"
Mr Tom Rodger (07-May-2018)
"We enjoyed this rosé, for its strawberry- as well as its herbaceous bouquet. It was off dry to taste, with generous fruit and an interesting bitterness on the finish, which reminded us a bit of the Sardinian Mirto. Pleasant rosé for sure, though it did not leave a lasting impression."
Mrs Inbar Galinsky-Johnson (01-May-2018)
independent.co.uk (29th Apr 2018)
"If the heatwave
returns, it’s a good excuse to open a chilled rose, a joyous match for
strawberries – just make sure the wine is colder than the fruit – as well as
other summer fruit based desserts or tarts. Bone dry, lean Provencal roses are,
of course, fine, but for puddings, a fuller bodied, not quite to so dry and
much fruitier rose is a better choice, so try [this], made in Basilicata in
southern Italy from the aglianico grape, which will give you the taste of
strawberries in the glass, as well as the plate. - Terry Kirby"
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