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A few weeks ago I was hanging out at Vino de Sedona, and I happened to tell Rebecca about my plans for exclusively reviewing Rosé for the month of June in this blog. “Oh!” she exclaimed, “The new vintage of Freitas Rosé is out!” She was kind enough to send me home with a bottle. This is a good thing, as rosé wines made from grapes in the Verde Valley are few and far between. It’s an even better thing since I would have been short of a Rosé for a full month of reviews, since I discovered to my dismay that my 2012 Merlot Rosé from Charron Vineyards was corked (which is always a tragedy). So, here we are! Thanks again, Rebecca!
The Wine: The 2011 Dolce Vita is a rosé made with 100% Sangiovese, sourced from the Freitas Estate vineyard in Cottonwood, Arizona. The vineyard is on alluvial gravel and soils overlying the Verde Formation. I don’t have the production data on hand for this wine, but judging from my examination, I suspect this wine was fermented in stainless steel, after being pressed and cold-soaked for a day or two. (It *might* be a saignée, however, as I know Freitas has done Sangiovese and Sangiovese blends in the past that are pretty dark.) The wine is off-dry, probably with 1-2% residual sugar. Age is starting to affect the color of this wine; some bricking can be seen on the rim of the wine in the glass, so it fades from rust-orange to salmon pink. (This is perfectly normal in aging wines.)
The Nose: Notes of watermelon, apricot, kumquat, strawberry, and cantaloupe intermingle with aromas of clay, sagebrush, and sea salt.
The Palate: This medium-bodied Rosé opens with notes of caramelized marshmallow, apricot, and watermelon intermingling with mint, sage, and cherry. The medium acidity in this wine plays well with the residual sugar found within. The finish lasts for 44 seconds, with notes of apple, vanilla, sea salt, limestone, and sage. The acidity of this wine lingers longer on the palate than other parts of the flavor profile.
Pairing: I feel that the 2011 Dolce Vita would pair well with a chicken pesto dish, or, better yet, a pesto pizza. You might also be able to get away with pairing this wine with calamari for a Lenten pairing. For a vegetarian or vegan pairing, serve this wine with a Moroccan-style Couscous dish.
Impressions: I like this wine better than I did the full on dry Sangiovese I reviewed previously, as well as the previous 2010 Vintage of the Dolce Vita, which I felt was much sweeter. This wine has a good balance between the residual sugar and the acidity which is very much prevalent in Sangiovese–let alone that higher acidity so prevalent in Verde Valley wines. It is light and juicy.
This wine makes me think of strawberry blonde tomboy who tends to beat her friends in swordfights and wants to be an Ornithologist when she grows up.