Two Italians walk into a bar

SOOOO many rosés here stacked up begging for attention. At the expense of sounding like #influencer, it almost feels like rosé season never really got off to a good start this summer. With no picnics and company and events and patio afternoons with friends, the rosé shelf has kinda filled up with bottles begging for attention. So here’s a American and Italian side-by-side–one PURE Italian from my visit to Bardolino last fall and one *kinda* Italian in varietal make-up.

Obviously, the color is a huge difference. The Santi the palest hue of pink–with the proper onion-skin orange depth–and the A-non-ah-mous a deep shade of almost-garnet.

The chiaretto is a couple years younger, and brings crisp acidity to the nose: bright watermelon and kiwi, mineral screaming, fresh and smoky, clean as a whistle. The rosato thick and viscous in bouquet, neutral barrels, roses, and buttery nectarine, salty and rich.

In the mouth, the Santi screams out its pale concentration. Incredible spicy fruit, bitter grip attacking almost instantly, tingly almost-spritz stinging the tongue, thick and rich in the finish, tiny tannins poking at everything they can in their diluted state, mouth-feel for ever and ever in the finish. Flat-out gorgeous rosé. One I would stack the finest of Provence up against with confidence.

The Santa Barbara brings a whole ‘nother set of cards to the table. There’s a seriousness to it. Aplomb. Varietal depth. Drinking almost like a light red. Gravitas and depth of spirit at every turn but still VERY much rosé in texture. I’m guessing the AL is a good point or two higher. It’s rich beyond its classification, and fruit runs into pear and elderberry. Acid is harder to find, and tannin in non-existent. Pepper and cola glide over the tongue, lubricated by concentration and ripeness.

2019 SANTI ‘Infinito’ Chiaretto Corvina Bardolino Veneto Italy 12.0
2017 A-NON-AN-MOUS Rosé Sangiovese Santa Barbara CA 14.4

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