The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2016

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may 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  83 Tas�ing No�es by Winemaker Lucio Matricardi, Ph.D. Rotari 2013 Brut, Trentodoc, Italy (SRP $19.99) A persi- stent fine bead reveals complex hints of light tropical fruits, in a ful- ler-bodied style, with a main core of fragrant Yellow Delicious apple, honeysuckle and a thread of wet river rock; minerality leading to a rounded and mildly-toasty finish. An ideal apéritif! Rotari 2013 Rosé, Trentodoc, Italy (SRP $19.99) Wild mountain strawberry, raspberries and wild flower notes backed by a supportive mineral backbone. Elegant, finely-bubbled structure and length lead to a creamy and lightly yeasty profile, yet maintains a vibrant crisp finish that is fresh and inviting. A versatile and sophisticated sparkling wine. But why has Rotari made this bold, costly decision? Take a gander at its surroundings. The Trentino region looks like something out of a fairy tale—clean, crisp mountain air; clear, glacial powdery-blue lakes; and tall evergreen trees all framed by the Dolomite mountains, in the foot- hills of the Alps. It is here where estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive. Now more than ever, Rotari reflects the pristine Alpine valley in its winemaking methods, employing a more time-consuming version of the already laborious metodo classico, using their state-of- the-art, architecturally heart-stirring facility. Dedicated to sustainable winemaking, Rotari employs integrated farming and green management techniques to achieve the purity of character possible in a wine from Trentino. Even the wavy roof of the cellar was built to mirror the shape of the vineyards. Their aims in viticulture can only be matched by their viniculture. Hailing from Abruzzo with a Ph.D. in viticulture and enology from U.C. Davis, Winemaker Lucio Matricardi uses 100% hand-harvested, estate- grown grapes that go through a 100% cold maceration for eight to ten hours after de-stemming and crushing. No pressing occurs, so only the free-run must is collected. The wine goes through 100% batonnage, with a periodic re-suspension of yeast. The base wine then undergoes malolactic fermentation and, of course, a second fermentation occurs in bottle for a period of about a month and a half, after which, the bottle rests sur lie for at least 24 months. The results? The aromatic, rich and round Rotari 2013 Brut and Rotari 2013 Rosé—offering incredible value at the retail cost of about $20 a bottle. Mezzacorona CEO Fabio Maccari says, "These are premium wines and sophisticated luxury products, yet we produce them to be enjoyed every day. Everyone deserves an exceptional wine." A switch to vintage begs the question: What was 2013 like in Trentino? Says Matricardi, "The 2013 vintage showed interesting climatic condi- tions but allowed a more rational growth cycle. The fall harvest period was within the historical average. Winter was described as one of the most rainy and snowy seasons in the last 50 years. The second half of July, however, saw the arrival of a great heat wave, where the difference in temperatures between day and night created conditions for a long maturation and without a doubt the best of the two previous years." Maybe it was this incredible year that inspired Rotari to only produce vintage metodo classico. Maybe it's the pristine Trentino landscape. Maybe it was the effort they were already making raising their esta- te-grown fruit under the strict Trentodoc guidelines and their own self-imposed high level of sustainable vineyard practices. Whatever the reason, it's this harmonious, complete and total integration that produ- ces some of the best valued metodo classico that Italy has to offer. *Trentodoc is a collective regional trademark created in 2007 for the Trento DOC. The DOC was established in 1993. Rotari Winery, located in Trentino, Italy. The wave of the hilly vineyards built into the architecture of Rotari's facili- ties in Trentino, Italy. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROTARI

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