Our tasting impressions
Rust colored and very savory, this zesty Rosato walks a tightrope between fun and serious. The Nebbiolo imparts some tannin and the Barbera offers gregarious fruit. The balance is terrific and I dare you to find a dish you can't enjoy this with.
About this wine
Split evenly between Nebbiolo and Barbera from a southwest facing slope. The vines are trained in the Guyot Counter-Espalier system. Grapes are harvested in mid-September.
The grapes are pressed and fermented for 20 days at 13-15ºC in steel tanks. The lees are stirred back in for 2 months of aging in the tanks.
About the grape
Nebbiolo, the name believed to be derived from nebbia, Italian for fog, is a grape with one of the most protracted maturation cycles. It buds in early spring and ripens late fall (when the winter nebbia from the Alps reaches the vineyards).
Nebbiolo vines tend to grow upwardly with abandon, so management is essential to limit grape production and channel energy to them. They also are very particular about where they will thrive, which is why Nebbiolo is seldom found outside of Piedmont. Even there, it only is successful when planted on south facing slopes (much sun is needed for ripening), at elevations between 250 and 450 meters (lower there is too much frost exposure, higher the grapes won’t ripen).
Wines from Nebbiolo usually are pale-colored, high in acidity and very tannic. Common flavor descriptors are rose and tar. They tend to be highly aromatic.
Barbera is a dark-skinned grape from vigorously growing, easy to manage vines. Barbera wines are high in acidity, low in tannins and light-bodied - although they can give the impression that they are big and hearty because of their purplish-black hue and relative roundness.
Barbera has been experiencing a Renaissance over the last couple of decades due to greater attention from talented winemakers who have discovered how to better craft the wines.
About the vintage
2019 was a challenging vintage but ultimately an excellent one. Yields were down about 15% on average. Growers had to deal with heavy spring rain and some hail. The summer was very hot and rot was a very real threat.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Young, Maurizio Sanso is a third generation grape farmer but he is the first to make wine. His grandparents began as sharecroppers but eventually purchased the property. His parents, Leonardo and Silvana and his sister Lorena work closely with him on the 17ha sustainably-farmed estate producing about 50,000 bottles per year.
Maurizio is fluent in and respectful of the traditions in the Langhe - but he is not bound by them. The vast array of winemaking and aging vessels in his cellar is an indication that he has an adventurous spirit. He also believes in producing each wine in a way that will best convey what its terroir has to offer. Some of these practices might fit into a description of a modernist producer but it is hard to describe this young talent in such a confining and ultimately inaccurate way.
Already gaining recognition in Europe for his precocious talent, Maurizio seems poised for a wider stage. VDLT is pleased to play in role in bringing the wines of Cascina Sòt to the United States.