Italian wine: Rossese, One of Liguria's Top Red Grapes
- WTI Magazine #167 Sep 23, 2023
Rossese is a red grape found in the Liguria region of northwestern Italy bordering France and on the western side of Liguria itself. It is best known for the wines of the Rossese di Dolceaqua DOC. It can be found as single varietal, but also as a blending partner.
It is one of the top red grapes of the Liguria wine region along with Dolcetto. It is genetically identical to the French grape, Tibouren, from the Provence area of France where it is mostly produced as a rosé.
These wines are lighter in body with beautiful fragrant aromatics. They have lively acidity and express a fruit driven profile that is fresh with some pepper and spice notes along with a saline character, influenced by the nearby sea.
Rossese occupies a small piece of the Ligurian vineyards, only about 200 acres, so production is small and harvesting is challenging on the steep, terraced vineyards.
All the work is done by hand as using machinery is not an option due to the structure of the land. It may be a challenge to locate some of these wines, but that makes it all the more fun to try and explore either on a visit to Liguria or if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a bottle.