Not just an everyday rosé: Cantele Rosato made from 100% Negroamaro

As for every vintage of this wine that I’ve tasted (since I first met Paolo and began to follow his winery in 2008), I was blown away by how lip-smackingly delicious Cantele’s 2010 Rosato (100% Negroamaro) was when I tasted it with him and winemaker Gianni Cantele in February.

And I found out why this rosé stands apart from so many others that crowd the field: it’s made from the winery’s top Negroamaro grapes, the very ones that go into its classic Salice Salentino Riserva.

In order to obtain a slightly more concentrated Salice Salentino (80% Negroamaro, 20% Malvasia Nera), Gianni racks off some of the Negroamaro during maceration. While the majority of Negroamaro continues to ferment with skin contact, the newly racked wine is bottled as the winery’s Rosato.

The 2010 was fresh and bright, with juicy red fruit flavors, groovy acidity, and just enough tannic structure to make this wine one of my favorite food-friendly wines for 2011. Ciceri and Tria paired with Cantele 2010 Rosato? Hell yeah! Chili dogs paired with Cantele Rosato…???!!! I can’t wait for the summer of 2011…

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