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Italy’s northern territories are a source for wine lovers wanting something off the beaten path. And perhaps nowhere is that more in play in evidence than in the northeast, where awe-inspiring mountain-ringed valleys give way to highly favorable terroirs in the Trentino and Friuli regions.
The Bollini label was created to showcase the area’s unique Alpine foothill territories. The label’s first wine was a Chardonnay from the Trentino DOC, and with its success, Bollini expanded with two Pinot Grigios: one from Trentino, and the other from Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Bollini also produces a Merlot and a Pinot Nero Riserva from Trentino.
This year, Bollini will release a wine—Bollini Rosato—that not only celebrates the brand’s 40 years of quality winemaking in northern Italy but offers a new take on both rosé and Pinot Grigio: a crisp, structured ramato from the Vigneti delle Dolomiti indicazione geografica tipica (IGT).
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Designated in 1997, the Vigneti delle Dolomiti appellation is prized for its alpine climate and temperature shifts between day and night that allow for the development of ripe fruit flavors and aromas yet preserve the fruit’s natural acidity, explains Tara Empson, who represents the second generation of ownership of the Bollini brand. “The mineral freshness is the hallmark,” she says, “but what makes [the appellation] very specific is that it’s completely surrounded by mountains.”
Sourced from vineyards ranging from 200 to 600 meters in the Dolomites’ IGT territory, grapes for the Bollini Rosato are hand-harvested. After two to three hours of skin contact, the wine is produced from the free-run juice. The resulting wines are dubbed ramato—Italian for “copper”—and are reminiscent of a Venetian-area tradition. Empson points out, though, that it’s not quite a rosé or an orange wine. “It falls into the category of rosé,” she says, “but has another authenticity to it.”
Also differentiating the Rosato is that it’s not like any other Bollini wine—or any other Pinot Grigio on the market. “We’ve upgraded it in every way,” says Empson, “by giving it structure and minerality, and then getting a new twist on Pinot Grigio. It’s a whole different take on rosé.”
The Bollini Rosato is vinified with grapes that are cultivated on a patchwork of mineral-rich calcareous and alluvial soils. The wine is matured on fine lees for a short time before bottling. At only 2.5 percent residual sugar, this is a dry, elegant wine suitable for a variety of occasions. While ideal for by-the-glass programs and drinking as an aperitif, the wine’s structure makes it a good partner for a range of dishes, from grilled fish and roasted white meats to Asian and spicy cuisines.
“It’s a very structured rosé that gets away from the concept that rosé can be without character,” Empson says. “This could give something extra throughout the year.”
Bollini Rosato makes its U.S. debut in February, with a suggested retail price of $17.99.