CASTAGNA Allegro Rosé 2009
“They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time…it works every time“
That may be a quote that I stole from the movie Anchorman – The Legend of Ron Burgundy , but such a highly intelligent saying could also be applied to the wine style rosé. We are in the midst of a Rosé revolution that hosts events through the month of November. However according to my standards of rosé appreciation and ridiculously good mathematical calculations, it is actually a beverage that has the capacity to be consumed during two thirds of the year, if not more. Melbourne weather permitting, I am referring to the period from the end of October to the start of May. “60% of the time…it works every time”.
On November 10th, I celebrated the beginning of the revolution with this rosé from Castagna called Allegro, which easily confirmed its position as one of Australia’s top rosé wines. What can I say? It is difficult to dislike such a pretty peach, salmon, blush hued wine. Well actually no. That was a blatant lie because if the wine did not perform and do wondrous things in my mouth then I would not speak of it so highly.
Fear not, Julian Castagna has created a wicked rosé mistress of layered complexity like no other.
She beckons you forth by opening with a perfume of sweet pink musk followed by a gentle puff of smoke. Soft and playful on the palate, she kisses you with sugared almond lips dusted with vanilla icing. Texturally, Madame rosé has got curves in all the right places and in the right proportions with that final flavoured flush of rose water pinning you down for another glass. She brings an impressive 14.00% alcohol to the table, but with such a vivacious personality, it is no wonder that you are more than tempted to have a bit of a play with the alluring rosé.
NEBBIOLO IS REGARDED AS THE ‘KING OF THE LANGHE’ WITH THE BEST – BAROLO AND BARBARESCO – POSSESSING OUTSTANDING AROMATIC COMPLEXITY, TANNIC POWER AND EXCEPTIONAL AGEING POTENTIAL. WHAT GIVES THIS GRAPE VARIETY ITS UNDENIABLE DISTINCTIVENESS IN ITS HOMELAND AND CAN IT ACHIEVE SOMETHING SIMILAR IN AUSTRALIA? DISCUSS WITH REFERENCE TO THE VINE, SOIL, CLIMATE, VINIFICATION, MATURATION AND SENSORY CHARACTERISTICS.
Ancient Greeks referred to Italy as Oenotria – the land of wine 1. It is an apt description for the geographical ‘boot’ of Italy, which embraces a variety of climates and soils allowing for diverse opportunities in grape cultivation 2. The native grape of particular fame is Nebbiolo from the Barolo and Barbaresco zones, which herald from north-western Italy in the Langhe hills of the Piemonte region 3. Ample reasons exist for its elite status, but discussion will also be directed towards how Nebbiolo fares in Australia, where the illustrious qualities of Italian Nebbiolo wines convinced many Australian winemakers to plant the fickle grape, perhaps not always in areas best suited to the representation of its classic tar and roses character.
Oh dear, I was glancing through photos and realised I hadn’t even written up the trip to see Luke Lambert and his wines in the Yarra Valley back on November the 1st.
My cousin Amanda is a massive cheese geek and overall foodie. We complement one another perfectly because I’m the massive wine nerd who also loves to eat food. Do you see how we mesh so well now?
After little debate, I convinced Amanda to take the day off work for health reasons and to accompany me on a visit to the Yarra Valley. First stop? Madden’s Rise Winery off the Maroondah Highway and also Luke Lambert‘s hideaway where he weaves his own magic.
After a home-brewed coffee in the lab, a tour through the vineyards to see his nebb (nebbiolo vines) and a sip through and comparison of the Heathcote and Yarra Valley Nebbiolo in barrel, we were met with this: