We are honoured to have had the Daily Mail’s wine expert, Matthew Jukes, taste our rosé wines and these are his thoughts
2018 Rosa della Chiesa – It is brave to fashion a rosé from what I imagine is free run Sangiovese juice. First, the positives, and there are a few. I love the fact that this wine carries a fair degree of heft but that it weighs in at a featherweight 11.5% alc. I also like that it is identifiable as Sangiovese, with the trademark bitterness and tang which this grape has in spades. When rosé is fruit-driven this bitter edge counterbalances the exuberance, but your wine is slimmer than this and so the dry, skinsy finish is a little combative. I understand that this is a ‘food wine’, given it has such an actively butch finish, but the whole point of rosé is to glide across the palate whether it is a Tinkerbell or a Klitschko, and there is a little more traction than I find comfortable in this wine. When you bleed off juice from Sangiovese to concentrate the remaining fruit to make a more densely-packed red wine, you might want to consider using some of your white wine to eye-dropper into this Sangiovese Rosa. This is a rather radical, but little- known technique which adds slipperiness and gloss to the whole, while lengthening the palate, too. Knowing your white wine, and being cognisant of the various rules and regs, I am certain that this is permissible and it might work a treat. You can trial it when you have these two wines open, at the same time, on your dining room table. I would suggest only 10% white addition, so it will not take away from your lovely white in quantity terms. I remember you liking but not loving this wine. That about sums it up. With affettati misti it would work, but it’s probably a little too raw and punchy for finer dishes.
2018 Rosabella della Chiesa – This is a glorious rosé. There is so much misunderstanding about the colour of rosé wines. Clearly colour is derived from grape skins, and the current trend for heroin-chic, pale coral wines is rather baffling. The vast majority taste neutral and confected and, going further, they don’t smell like rosé and this is the first rule of this category of wines (still and sparkling). Richer coloured rosés look ‘heavy’ to the uninitiated, but what these drinkers should be thinking is that these wines are juicy and halfway between a white and a red, which is actually what they are supposed to be! Back to your wine – Merlot is the perfect grape from your estate and this in itself is a rare comment in the world of wine. The fruit tones of redcurrant, red cherry-stone and red apple skin are spot on and these flavours are all abundantly juicy but also refreshingly tart. This is what gives your wine such good balance. It is a slightly fuller-framed wine than expected, but it covers a vast array of dishes from crustacea, via lighter chicken and veal dishes to all things spicy and veggie. It is a globally talented wine in culinary terms! I would never refer to it as a rosé, but only use your term Rosabella – make it your own style of wine, impressing on people it is not a white nor is it a red, it is exactly in between. It is also the definitive, all-purpose ‘by the glass’ wine in a wine bar – it covers every base. I think it is a resounding success from a taste point of view but, more importantly, it makes a statement and delivers on the palate and this is truly impressive.