This is a local wine, indigenous to the steep terraces of Liguria’s Dolceacqua (literally sweet water), unfortunately too-often overlooked by tourists seeking the beautiful hiking of the Cinque Terre. There the vineyards cling to the vertical rows perched high above the sea, where in a feat of super-human viticulture, they are tended by heroes such as Testalonga’s Antonio Perrino.
The result is a wine that speaks entirely of the place from which it comes.
Wild, herbaceous, saline.
This Rossese from Testalonga smells like the heat of a summer day radiating from the dusty scrub brush along the Pacific coast. It smells like pine needles, sage, rosemary and hot earth. Served traditionally with a slight chill, the fruit component is entirely bright cherry, with a lean streak of acidity that lifts the savory notes in the wine to another level. This is a real food wine- pair it with anything you’d want to eat on a hot summer day.
Liguria at its best- and in your wine glass.
*I tasted this in Portland, at the (also inimitable) Nostrana. Check it out.