I read a wine-writer over the weekend say it was rosé season, so figured I might as well break some out. Despite my preference for Grenache, I DO like Sangiovese rosé, and here’s two from opposite ends of the earth. One a Tuscan IGT, one a Chalone from Monetery Co. in California. Nearly identical in color, but there the similarities part.
The Californian expresses robust floral and pretty soft fruit in the nose–the Italian SMELLS Italian, with grainy vegetal springing to the forefront, mired in copious barnyard beauty. Plump peach and strawberry are the focus of Absolution, while the La Noce dedicates itself to savory salted plum and banana.
Tasting them exposes more disparities, and while the *theme* is obvious, differences abound. I feel the Italian might be slightly lower alcohol: ripeness doesn’t explode on the palate like the Californian, spicy, peppery burn exposes rampant acidity in an old-world wash of thin deliciousness where the fruit remains FAR anything lush and cloying. That is not to say the Central Coast is flabby–not at all. It merely feels *rounder* and possibly even neutral-barrel-aged in the way it transfers thick body onto the tongue in licorice and herbal ways. Peach-fuzz seems to be it’s calling-card: clean and distinctly fruited where Tuscany finds petrichor and basic beauty a base-line for classic–dare I say: Provencal–gravitas.
Each stunning versions of the style, neither falling prey to lush fruit or short-term sweetness. Clean and direct–both–the bitterness of the Chalone a charming beat–the cardboard-y earth of Fiesole making points in this interesting comparison. There’s no way to pick a favorite–rosé doesn’t work that way at these levels of professionalism–tinges of difference spark glowing favorite sections of each.
2019 POGGIO LA NOCE ‘Pinko Pallino’ Sangiovese Rosato Tuscany Italy 12.5
2021 ABSOLUTION CELLARS ‘Rosé Sangiovese’ Chalone AVA Monterey Co 13.2