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
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.
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