2019 Vespa Flarò il Rosa dei Vespa Salento IGT
One thing you can probably guess about the Salento in Italy is that it’s hot. Yep, that’s right—the heel of Italy’s boot is a warm, sunny, and extraordinarily beautiful place.
The heat is what makes it perfect for growing robust red wines. Wines like you’ve tasted before from this winery – Primitivo. And Negroamaro. And even Zinfandel. They just love soaking up the sun, turning it into sugar, and making ripe, heady, and powerful wines.
So, what’s a Puglian family to do if they have a picnic on the beach? Would they serve their Pucce stuffed with olive oil-roasted aubergines and ricotta with a huge, savory red so they can be warm from the inside and outside while baking in the sun? Dio non voglia! They’ve got a better solution: drink refreshingly crushable rose.
All “red” grape varieties (winemakers call them black grapes) can make rose (or white wine for that matter). It’s all a simple question of how long you keep the grape skins macerated in the grape juice. After crushing grapes in the winery, you’re left with two things: juice and pulp (the skins). If you go ahead and ferment the juice straightaway, you’re making white wine. If you put the skins into the juice for a long time (week+) you’re making red wine. If you put the skins in for a short time (couple of hours to a couple of days), you’re making rose.
And that is how the sun-baked soils of Salento can create crisp, refreshing, beach-ready (or boat-ready) wine in such a searing climate. And the Cotarella family has made a scrumptious one:
The nose of Vespa’s Flarò il Rosa dei Vespa opens with beautiful aromas of freshly washed strawberries, fully ripened cranberries, notes of black cherry and just a hint of rosemary and seaspray. Just smelling it will transport you to that beach on the coast of Puglia. On the palate, it’s evident that this is from robust grapes (it’s mostly Negroamaro) – it has a satisfying weight to it, but at the same time it’s crisp and vibrant, and ever-refreshing. It’s perfect as a cocktail but consider this – roast a bianco pizza over the grill (or simply order one up) and then serve it with this. A stunning picnic twist! And oh so easy.
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