Friday, 10 October 2008

Leone de Castris Five Roses 2005

Salento, Italy, $98, cork seal

Yeah, OK I bought this because of the magnificently cool label, but with a little research I discovered it also has a very interesting story. With its inaugural vintage in 1943 Five Roses made history as the first rose wine bottled and sold in Italy; the marketing gimmick of the day was "an Italian wine, but with an American name". This bottle is the annual 'Anniversario' release that follows the original recipe and uses 80% Negroamaro and 20% Malvasia Nero grapes just as they did 65 years ago.

This is pink, but just; it's probably more 'coral' or something similar in colour as it has a pronounced orange tint. The nose is delicate and there's just a whiff of minerality and the faint aroma of strawberry fairy floss. Tasting this I'm certainly not bowled over by outrageous fruit. There's a nutty crispness to it that actually reminds me a bit of sherry, but sherry with a splash of raspberry cordial. A decent hit of acidity and integrated alcohol make this savoury drop rather refreshing and food friendly. I'm not sure that I'm totally convinced by this; though it's a wine that certainly needs to be drunk alongside food.

Visit winery website.

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