A different harvest year in 2018 compared to the previous one. After the horrible grape harvest of 2017, devastated by the frosts of April and the exceptional drought of the summer months, this year, even if we will know for sure in the upcoming weeks, it seems possible to breathe a sigh of relief. A clear recovery of production compared to the one of 2017 is expected in next grape harvest and it may be considered within the normal range, without positive or negative peaks, even if the grape harvest data must be gathered before drawing up the balance.
Considering the climate change of recent years, an interesting consideration has been brought forth by Assoenologi regarding the grape harvest and fermentation period established in the Consolidated Act of vine and wine which falls between August 1 and December 31. Now, considering the past vintage and the considerable climatic changes that are occurring, Assoenologi is asking for greater flexibility and bureaucratic simplification for the sector.
Regarding the harvest in Tuscany we can forecast a harvest within the normal range, with a few differences among the different areas.
In Montalcino the situation is good and this year it is not the weather that worries but rather the repeated "attacks" by the animals that have been fended off with a "fence fight". The grapes are healthy, and the bunches weigh more than last year, the production will probably be average, recovering from the terrible losses of the past year when Tuscany recorded a -25%/-30% drop in production. The situation in Chianti Classico is more critical, where downy mildew and the risk of hailstorms still leave all holding their breath. But also, here, as in Maremma, the grapes are healthy and it is expected that the harvest will cover the losses of the past year.
This year the consumption of rosé wines increased, a trend that started last year and seemed to look promising throughout 2018. In truth, it was only half so. It seems a "paradox" but on the one hand the public looks for it and is intrigued by it - especially by the bubbles - but in the catering, on the other hand, it is difficult to offer it to the clients ... but is really true?
Rosé wine is produced using softly pressed red grapes just as it is done in the white wine-making followed by a quick contact with the skins (a practice used for red grapes), from 2 hours up to 36 hours. In this manner, the skin gives only part of its color to the must. Alternatively, it is possible to use the draining method, which consists in removing part of the must during red wine-making (therefore in the presence of the skins), in order to obtain a wine with a pink color. Its color is between a pale pink, cherry red and claret color; it is generally characterized by fruity aromas and should be consumed at a serving temperature between 10°C and 14°C. The best pairings are tasty fish dishes, dried pasta with delicate sauces, and light cold cuts.
Our 18K Pinot Noir Rosé is obtained from the wine-making of Pinot Noir in rosé and subsequent made sparkling. Harvested a few days before they are fully ripe in order to achieve more acidity and freshness, the grapes are crushed and left to rest with the skins for a few hours, in order to give the must color and variety of aromas. Fresh, pleasant and fragrant, with notes of white flowers and berries such as blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, pleasantly delicate to the palate, it has an enveloping taste in balance between fresh and fruity elements. Recommended as a class aperitif, it is suitable for celebrating the most important events and goes well with various appetizers, first courses of fish and seafood, shellfish and mollusks and fish variously cooked like the ones detailed later in the next article on "sparkling" pairing.
18K from starter to dessert.
Summer, time of bubbles, and as we know, in recent years in addition to the classic use as an aperitif, this fresh and pleasant wine, can be paired with many dishes of the Italian cuisine, across the entire meal, from appetizer onwards (strictly not to be paired with dessert when talking about dry sparkling wines).
Here are some suggestions for delicious pairings to be enjoyed in company during the long summer evenings.
Let us start with crispy sage leaves, to be added to a dish of summer vegetables covered with a veil of flour and fried, a perfect pairing with our 18K Prosecco, or even with semi-whole wheat bread croutons with butter cream and anchovies of Menaica.
18K Blanc de Blancs Nectar, the latest addition to our sparkling proposals, is perfect for an elegant and refined pairing with wild salmon finger food and fresh cheese, pink pepper and a pinch of chives, or with a simpler, but equally tasty buffalo mozzarella from Battipaglia. For fish lovers, there are many possibilities: sea bass tartare with rocket and black summer truffle, a fresh seafood salad, better if homemade, and the unmissable carpaccio of red shrimp of Mazara del Vallo, perhaps with a delicate raspberries mayonnaise and Carasau bread with extra virgin olive oil.
What about a simple and tasty first course to be paired with the bubbles of the 18K line? Vegetarian Carbonara made of zucchini with flakes of salted ricotta cheese and lots of basil or a Calamarata (a classic fish pasta dish) with octopus, capers and potatoes or, for the most sophisticated palates, a crustacean catalan dish with purple potatoes, red onion and confit of yellow tomatoes: all perfeclty paired with our 18K Pinot Noir Rosé. It can also be well paired with classic fillets of sea bream or baked sea bass or in salt and an ageless tuna veal, perhaps in a light version, which has regained popularity recently, but a classic on our tables since always.
And what about a fruit salad? This is a difficult and somewhat risky pairing. As a rule, a dessert is paired with a sweet wine, and the 18K Moscato Rosé, fruity and fresh with hints of raspberry, cherry and red fruits, can be a great gamble with a classic fruit salad. To be on the safe side, we pair it with puff pastry tartlets, custard and red fruits or with cherries or blackberries pies.
The latest addition to the 18K line is a glamorous and bright sparkling wine that adds another touch to the Sensi bubbles. It is made of chardonnay grapes, straw yellow in color it pleases the nose with its intense, fruity and floral scent with hints of pear and exotic sweet fruit. On the palate it is fresh and lively, with pleasing floral notes and a long and enjoyable fruity finish. It is perfect as an aperitif or paired with seafood appetizers, ideal with red shrimp en croute.