Tuscan Nights

Beautiful onion-skin, just the vaguest traces of pink and not perfectly clear. Beautiful clean nose, no overt fruit, sweetness, spice or anything. See now THIS is what I want to smell in my rosé. I know there’s a good chance a bunch of you #roséallday folks are reading this and going HUH WTF but no. I’m serious. I don’t want my rosé to smell all pink and fruity. It needs to be crisp and dry and mineralific and smell like a winery and maybe a little yeasty bread and cut grass and wet DG. Thick calm celery-edged minuscule strawberry notes–FAR more herbacious than “fruity” drive a savory, salty beach vibe. Thick and chewy in the mouth, EXCELLENT mouthfeel with, again, no copious fruit, just complex diversification of spice, briar, earth, acid and tannin with JUST enough compelling rhubarb pie and crisp apricot to smooth out all the dryness. Bitter green loveliness encroaches late-middle, wrapping up the finish in obvious structure.

I just described a rosé in a way literally 90% of alleged rosé lovers are reading and going OMG??? WTF??? THAT SOUNDS POSITIVELY UN-FUN. But the rest of you–the people I really want to reach–you get it. This is stunning rosé. 100% Sangiovese and beyond gorgeous. Just like these people’s Chardonnay and Merlot.

The Sonoma super-tuscan? Deep deep garnet. Incredible ripe nose glaring with a bit of alcohol but laying out the spice and vanilla and crazy dark blackberry fruit in huge chunks. Like snorting fat lines of dense berry, cassis and Luxardo, the gravitational pull toward all things “OMG” is an easy drift, yanking down even the most critical. Sexy petrichor and thick peaty mint make this a brickyard barnstormer smelling up there with LOTS of Napa bling. Loyal readers know what a big fan of Parador I am, and recently experienced David Arthur’s version with similar results. Here we have another ridiculously good Napa/Sonoma Cab/Sangio blend.

The first thing about the mouthfeel you notice is how unslutty it is. Sure, it’s ripe and thick, but with that comes an acidity and briar impossible to ignore. Rich black cherry lays it on thick, backed up by sharp acid and the kind of back-stabbing structure you save for your closest friends. I love cab/sangio blends, and while Tuscany gets accused of selling out to the American palate for making them, Napa and Sonoma is just, like, “Hey, we ARE the American market, so ummm yeah, we will make them yummy and if you don’t like it, go away”. This is a ridiculously well-made, GORGEOUS wine, stupidly rich and opulent, able to stand up to world-class offerings of merlot and cab from Toscano. Drinks with ease and elegance and backed up by *bite* and tannin un-clumsy in their integration to the decadent fruit.
2017 INSERRATA ‘Inebrionte’ Sangiovese Rosato Toscano Italy 13.0
2013 MASTRO SCHEIDT ‘Superstrada’ Cab/Sango 55/45 Dry Creek Valley Sonoma California 14.1


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