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  Wine Tasting Issue 168, December 2017   
Contrasts of Rossese and Uva di TroiaContrasts of Rossese and Uva di Troia Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 167, November 2017 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

Contrasts of Rossese and Uva di Troia

Liguria and Apulia compared in the glasses of our tasting by contrast of this month. Two grapes with a unique character and making wines of interesting personality

 Liguria and Apulia are the protagonists of this month's tasting by contrast, by means of comparing two red berried varieties typical in the respective regions. Having coastlines for all of their land extension, the influence of sea climate is frequently evident in the wines produced in these two regions in different ways and expressions. Liguria and Apulia make quite different wines and with distant characteristics, both because of climate and grapes generally cultivated in their respective vineyards. In general terms, Apulia wines - both white and red - have an evidently more strong character than those made in Liguria, a characteristic particularly true for red wines. Sun and temperature play an evidently significant role: we should in fact notice that Apulia is one of the regions in Italy having the greatest number of sunny days as well as high temperatures.

 Rossese and Uva di Troia are the protagonists of this month's tasting by contrast. Two red berried varieties very different one from each other, with evident differences in every aspect of the sensorial evaluation. They are in fact this kind of differences to let us to better understand, thanks to the immediate evidence of contrasts, their respective qualities and wine making peculiarities. Structure in wines obtained from Rossese and Uva di Troia represents a substantial difference, of course not the only one as we will detect remarkable differences in other organoleptic aspects as well. One of these certainly is the olfactory profile in which the impact of aromas recalling fruits expresses different characteristics of intensity and quality. At the taste Rossese and Uva di Troia reveal distinct and different characteristics, in particular astringency and structure, last but not the least, the effect of alcohol.

 

Rossese


 

 Rossese is a red berried variety found in the territory of Liguria and it is mainly known for being used for the production of Denominazione d'Origine Controllata wines of Rossese di Dolceacqua and Riviera Ligure di Ponente Rossese. This varietu is mainly associated to the village of Dolceacqua, in province of Imperia, not so far from Provence n France. Rossese has always been considered the main red berried grape of Liguria and its presence in this region is known since many centuries despite its origin is not completely clear. For a long time it was in fact believed Rossese was a grape originating from Greece, however it is a supposition having no concrete proofs. This theory was also supported by the typical cultivation method adopted for Rossese - Alberello, that is “bush” - a very common technique used in areas with a hot climate, such as South Italy. This ancient cultivation method has in fact supported the idea of a possible introduction of Rossese in Liguria by Greek colonizers.

 Indeed, the adoption of the alberello is a forced choice because of the steep and difficult land of Liguria, something also ensuring a good keeping of humidity at the base of vines thanks to the covering provided by the leaves. Today we can say, thanks to the research done on Rossese's DNA, this variety corresponds to Tibouren, a grape common in French Provence, therefore proving its Greek origin or, maybe, from the Middle East. If in France this grape is mainly used for the production of rosé wines, in Liguria Rossese is mainly used for the production of reds and with extremely interesting results. Rossese, in Liguria, is vinified both in inert containers and in wood containers, including the barrique. Its wines can evolve for some years in bottle, while giving results of interesting complexity, however they are mostly consumed in youth in order to better appreciate their organoleptic finesse.

 

Uva di Troia

 Among the most representative and significant red varieties of Apulia, Uva di Troia has been successful - in particular in recent times - to prove its wine making value by giving wines of good quality. In the past, something also happened to other varieties of Apulia as well, Uva di Troia was frequently used to give color and structure to wines with a light body, a usage shared in past times with other grapes of South Italy as well. Uva di Troia is mainly found in the provinces of Foggia and Barletta-Andria-Trani and it is very likely the grape originates from this territory. This variety is in fact found in many Denominazione d'Origine Controllata wines of this land, including Castel del Monte and Cacc'e Mmitte di Lucera. In these wines Uva di Troia is blended to other varieties of Apulia, however it is also successfully used and with remarkable results in mono-varietal wines, proving to be quite versatile in the aging in cask and with good longevity over time.

 There are many suppositions about the origin of Uva di Troia, however there is no certain proof for any of them. The most common hypothesis support the idea this variety comes from Greece, introduced in these lands in past times. One of the theories, although we should better talk about legend, believes it was Diomedes - a mythological hero of ancient Greece who participated to the Trojan War - to introduce this grape in the territory of Apulia. A more probable theory believes this grape takes its name from Troia, a village in the province of Foggia, not so far from Lucera, and where it is still found today. Another theory believes the grape comes from Kruja, in Albania, in the prefecture of Durrës, known in ancient times as Croia then adapted to the dialect of Apulia in Troia. The hypothesis about the origin of the Apulian grape could also be supported by the alternative names used to call Uva di Troia, including Uva di Canosa, Vitigno di Barletta and Nero di Troia, all being villages and towns of Apulia. Wines produced with Uva di Troia are characterized by intense and deep colors - this explains why this grapes was used in blends - pretty high in alcohol and a quite low crispness, as well as appreciable astringency.

 

The Tasting


The color of Castel
del Monte Nero di Troia
The color of Castel del Monte Nero di Troia

 In our tasting for contrast we will evaluate, as usual, wines respectively and exclusively produced with the grapes subject of our study, Rossese and Uva di Troia. Choosing wines exclusively produced with these grapes could not be simple as in the disciplinary where their use is allowed can also be used other grapes as well. As for Rossese, our choice will be made for Rossese di Dolceacqua, area in which are certainly produced the best wines from this variety. The wine produced with Uva di Troia we will choose for our tasting belongs to an important Denominazione d'Origine Controllata area of Apulia: Castel del Monte Nero di Troia, not to be confused with the Riserva style which is a DOCG wine instead. We will make sure both wines are vinified in inert containers, such as steel tanks, in order to ensure the best organoleptic expression possible and belonging to the last produced vintage, having no more than two years of aging. The two wines will be served in tasting glasses at the temperature of 17 °C (63 °F).

 After having poured the wines in the glasses, we can start the tasting by contrast from the appearance, that is color, nuances and transparency. The first wine we will examine is Rossese di Dolceacqua, by observing the color at the base of the glass and holding it tilted over a white surface. The wine from Liguria shows a brilliant ruby red color and if we put an object between the glass and white surface, we will notice a moderate transparency. Nuances, observed at the edge of the glass towards the opening, reveal a ruby red color, sometimes having a light hue. Let's now pass to the evaluation of the appearance of Castel di Monte Nero di Troia, also in this case by holding the glass tilted over a white surface. The Apulian wine shows an evidently more intense and deep color than Rossese and transparency, by putting an object behind the glass, is evidently lower. Nuances of the wine produced with Uva di Troia, observed at the edge of the glass, where the wine is thinner, shows an intense ruby red color.

 Rossese and Uva di Troia make wines with quite different olfactory profiles. Aromas expressed by Rossese are generally fresh and direct, whereas in Uva di Troia are mainly perceived more complex and fuller aromas. Wines produced with the red grape from Liguria are generally appreciated for the aromas of red fruits in which are perceived cherry, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry. In Rossese wines we also have, of course, aromas recalling flowers and, on this regard, we can usually perceive aromas of violet and cyclamen. The olfactory profile of Uva di Troia are quite different and here we perceive fuller aromas with a darker character. Wines produced with the red from Apulia generally express aromas recalling black cherry, plum, blackberry and blueberry, usually being complex and mature. As for the expression of flower aromas in Uva di Troia, in its wines we mainly perceive violet.

 Let's proceed with our tasting by evaluating the olfactory profiles of both wines, starting from Rossese di Dolceacqua. By holding the glass in vertical position and without swirling, let's do the first smell in order to evaluate the opening of wine, that is the initial aromas emerging from the glass. We can perceive pleasing and intense aromas of cherry, raspberry and strawberry to which follow cyclamen. After having swirled the glass, in order to favor the development of the other aromas, the olfactory profile of Rossese di Dolceacqua is completed by blueberry, plum, black currant and, sometimes, rose. Let's now pass to the glass of Castel del Monte Nero di Troia and evaluate the opening of the wine. From the glass we will perceive fuller aromas of black cherry, plum and blackberry followed by violet. After having swirled the glass, the olfactory profile of Castel del Monte Nero di Troia is completed by blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, frequently a pleasing touch of carob.

 Let's now proceed with the evaluation of the gustatory profile in both wines by starting, just like the previous phases, from Rossese di Dolceacqua. Take a sip of this wine and evaluate its attack, that is the preliminary gustatory sensations perceived in the mouth. We will perceive a pleasing astringency, not so intense however balanced with the other sensations, a moderate roundness and a non particularly intense crispness. Alcohol is well perceptible and in the mouth we can perceive flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. Let's take now a sip of Castel del Monte Nero di Troia and evaluate its attack. Here roundness is clearly more evident and astringency more aggressive, acidity is not so perceptible also because of the effect of alcohol giving an evident warm sensation. Correspondence to the nose is very good: we can in fact perceive intense flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum.

 The last phase of our tasting by contrast is about the final sensations left in the mouth by both wines after having swallowed them. The finish of Rossese di Dolceacqua is persistent, leaving in the mouth pleasing flavors of cherry, strawberry and raspberry, with a good clean sensation and sometimes a slightly bitter touch, very agreeable. In the mouth can also be perceived the good balance between roundness and astringency of tannins. The finish of Castel del Monte Nero di Troia too is persistent, however in this case the sensation of roundness and body is stronger than in the wine from Liguria. It will be clearly perceived flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry, as well as a pleasing astringency, however balanced by alcohol and roundness. Let's finish our tasting by taking a last sip of both wines, Rossese di Dolceacqua first and then Castel del Monte Nero di Troia: differences are evident on every aspect.

 



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  Wine Tasting Issue 168, December 2017   
Contrasts of Rossese and Uva di TroiaContrasts of Rossese and Uva di Troia Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 167, November 2017 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

Wines of the Month


 

Rosa Rosae 2016, Guerrieri Rizzardi (Veneto, Italy)
Rosa Rosae 2016
Guerrieri Rizzardi (Veneto, Italy)
Corvina (80%), Rondinella (10%), Marcobona (10%)
Price: € 10.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense onion skin pink and nuances of onion skin pink, transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of cherry, raspberry and strawberry followed by aromas of cyclamen, rose, plum and peach.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry.
3 months in steel tanks.
Pasta with fish, Fried fish, Fish soups, Sauteed white meat



Fiano di Avellino 2016, Villa Raiano (Campania, Italy)
Fiano di Avellino 2016
Villa Raiano (Campania, Italy)
Fiano
Price: € 15.00 Score:

Pale straw yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of apple, plum and citrus fruits followed by aromas of pear, peach, hazelnut, hawthorn, broom, pineapple and mineral.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, plum and peach.
Aged in steel tanks.
Fried fish, Pasta and risotto with fish and crustaceans, Sauteed fish, Sauteed white meat



Taurasi 2012, Villa Raiano (Campania, Italy)
Taurasi 2012
Villa Raiano (Campania, Italy)
Aglianico
Price: € 15.00 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of plum, black cherry and blackberry followed by aromas of violet, blueberry, vanilla, chocolate, mace, tobacco and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Marsala Superiore Garibaldi Dolce Baglio Baiata, Alagna (Sicily, Italy)
Marsala Superiore Garibaldi Dolce Baglio Baiata
Alagna (Sicily, Italy)
Grillo, Catarratto, Inzolia
Price: € 10.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense mahogany and nuances of mahogany, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of rancho, dried fig and citrus fruit peel followed by aromas of caramel, almond, date, leather and nail polish.
Sweet and round attack, however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of dried fig, date and caramel.
At least 2 years in cask.
Dried fruit tarts, Confectionery



Marsala Vergine Baglio Baiata, Alagna (Sicily, Italy)
Marsala Vergine Baglio Baiata
Alagna (Sicily, Italy)
Grillo, Catarratto
Price: € 13.00 Score:

Brilliant amber yellow and nuances of amber yellow, transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of rancho, hazelnut and dried fig followed by aromas of citrus fruit peel, vanilla, leather, licorice, honey and nail polish.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of dried fig, hazelnut and honey.
At least 5 years in cask.
Aperitifs, Hard and piquant cheese



Franciacorta Rosé Extra Brut Millesimato 2010, La Montina (Lombardy, Italy)
Franciacorta Rosé Extra Brut Millesimato 2010
La Montina (Lombardy, Italy)
Pinot Nero (85%), Chardonnay (15%)
Price: € 28.00 Score:

Brilliant salmon pink and nuances of salmon pink, transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of cherry, raspberry and bread crust followed by aromas of strawberry, tangerine, apple, yeast, blueberry, cyclamen and hazelnut.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, raspberry and tangerine.
Refermented in bottle on its lees for at least 30 months.
Stuffed pasta with meat, Roasted white meat, Roasted fish, Mushroom soups



Franciacorta Pas Dosé Riserva Baiana 2008, La Montina (Lombardy, Italy)
Franciacorta Pas Dosé Riserva Baiana 2008
La Montina (Lombardy, Italy)
Chardonnay (55%), Pinot Nero (45%)
Price: € 40.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Pale golden yellow and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of apple, banana and bread crust followed by aromas of plum, hawthorn, praline, orange, croissant, yeast, raspberry, butter and honey.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, apple and praline.
Refermented in bottle on its lees for at least 70 months.
Roasted white meat, Roasted fish, Stuffed pasta, Stewed meat



Alto Adige Sauvignon Blanc Castel Giovanelli 2013, Kellerei Kaltern - Caldaro (Alto Adige, Italy)
Alto Adige Sauvignon Blanc Castel Giovanelli 2013
Kellerei Kaltern - Caldaro (Alto Adige, Italy)
Sauvignon Blanc
Price: € 25.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant straw yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of gooseberry, elder flower and nettle followed by aromas of peach, pineapple, mango, pear, apple, broom, tomato leaf, grapefruit and mineral.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of gooseberry, peach and mango.
Fermented in cask, 10 months in cask.
Mushroom soups, Vegetable soups, Pasta with fish, Stewed fish, Broiled crustaceans



Alto Adige Moscato Giallo Passito Serenade 2013, Kellerei Kaltern - Caldaro (Alto Adige, Italy)
Alto Adige Moscato Giallo Passito Serenade 2013
Kellerei Kaltern - Caldaro (Alto Adige, Italy)
Moscato Giallo
Price: € 38.00 - 375ml Score:

Pale amber yellow and nuances of golden yellow, transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of grape, white rose and passion fruit followed by aromas of lychee, candied fruits, mango, apricot, date, quince, sage, almond, citrus fruit peel, honey, lavender and hints of vanilla.
Sweet and round attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of grape, passion fruit and mango.
Made from dried grapes. Aged for 24 months in cask.
Confectionery, Dried fruit tarts, Hard and piquant cheese



Il Rogito 2015, Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Il Rogito 2015
Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Aglianico
Price: € 12.70 Score:

Intense cherry pink and nuances of cherry pink, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, blackberry and strawberry followed by aromas of raspberry, cyclamen, blueberry, rose, plum and hints of vanilla.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and blueberry.
12 months in cask.
Stuffed pasta, Roasted fish, Fish soups, Roasted white meat, Legume soups



Aglianico del Vulture La Firma 2012, Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Aglianico del Vulture La Firma 2012
Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Aglianico
Price: € 31.20 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, blackberry and violet followed by aromas of plum, blueberry, vanilla, raspberry, tobacco, chocolate, cinnamon and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum.
12 months in cask, 12 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese






 Editorial  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 168, December 2017   
Contrasts of Rossese and Uva di TroiaContrasts of Rossese and Uva di Troia Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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