by Fred McMillin
for March 31, 1997

Refosco Stops the Show

Prologue: "Refosco, a red wine grape of northeast Italy, reputedly produced the favorite wine of Livia, the second wife of Augustus Caesar".. from Jancis Robinson's "The Oxford Companion to Wine."

The Rest of the Story: A few years ago the Robert Mondavi Winery decided to make a "serious" rose (roh-say). It would be completely dry, have vibrant fruit flavors, bitterness would be avoided by very gentle pressing, complexity added by fermenting a third of it in oak barrels, all grapes would be examined during hand picking, etc. So, what grape to use? Both Pinot Noir and Sangiovese were strong candidates. However, the team found a patch of Refosco (reh-FOHS-coh) in southern Monterey County that proved best of all. The result is a pink wine that's lovely to look at and delightful to sip.. Livia would have loved it!

1995 Rosato, entirely from Refosco grape, Monterey
Robert Mondavi Winery
Oakville, CA
Contact: Nancy Light, Ph. (707) 259-9463

Category: Recommended

Postscript: Good with grilled chicken, baked ham, poached salmon. My party liked it as an aperitif with spicy jalapeño corn stix at S.F.'s Fog City Dinner.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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