Istine - 'Vermouth Rosato' - Radda in Chianti, IT - NV
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This Vermouth was born from our continuous desire to discover and develop new projects, but also from the curiosity transmitted by friends towards mixology. Our rosé wine, made of 100% Sangiovese grapes, is the back-bone for the production of this Vermouth, which is realized thanks above all to the cooperation with the historic Bordiga distillery in Piedmont. In the recipe we’ve been trying to enhance the typicality of Tuscan wine using the following botanical herbs: angelica, orange, gentle wormwo- od, wormwood, cardamom, coriander, cassia, dittamus, fennel, gentian, lavender, Kina, mint, quassio, rose, sage, rosemary, elder, satureja, linden, thyme, violet. The result is a perfect combination between the Piedmonts’ tradition and the Chianti aromas. INGREDIENTS: wine, sugar, alcohol, aromatic herbs infusion and spices BASIC WINE: Rosato d’Istine, made with 100% Sangiovese grapes, certi- fied organic ALCOHOL: 18% SUGARS: 180gr/l COLOUR: rosé, no caramel added PRODUCED AT THE DISTILLERY: “BORDIGA dal 1888”, Cuneo - Piemonte AVERAGE PRODUCTION: 3.000 bottles/year SIZE: 750 ml HOW TO DRINK IT: Drink it pure, straight at room temperature or on ice with lemon zest or, even better with kumquat. An essential base for the creation of the most classic cocktails, like the Americano or the Manhattan. --- ## ABOUT ISTINE: The great Burgundy broker Becky Wasserman once told me that you can see the character of the winemaker in the wine. The Istine Chianti Classico from Angela Fronti is an example of this truth; my first impression of Angela at Vinitaly was smiling, lively, even exuberant, but as I've come to know her better, her intelligence, deep understanding of her wine and region have also become clear. Likewise, her base wine first shows the bright red fruit that is the charm of good Chianti Classico, then you taste the structure and substance of the wine, surprisingly deep for a 'normale,'. The single-vineyard wines and the Riserva demonstrate mastery of traditional winemaking as well as great respect for the ‘territorio’ and the raw material that comes from it. The first vintage of Istine was in 2009. The estate consists of a group of small high-altitude vineyards around the town of Radda (one over the border in Gaiole) and, originally, a 'winery' that reminded me of the Wine Ghetto in Lompoc; a corner of a light industrial space with a basket press and a few large barrels in it. Now they’ve built a proper stone winery building, and even a tasting room. Istine’s grapes are typically harvested in mid to late October due to the altitude. Fermentation is done in concrete tanks using indigenous yeasts, and the juice is left to macerate on the skins for up to 45 days. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is pressed off and aged in 10-20 hL barrels for about a year, filtered using a large-pore filter, and bottled If I wanted to show someone what Chianti Classico tastes like, in a perfect world, I would give them Istine’s. No foreign grapes, no French oak. Just the traditional grapes and methods, and it works. Bright medium red color; classic aromas and flavors of sour cherry, herbs and sandalwood; medium weight with a long finish. An absolutely excellent all-around table wine. The Istine vineyard, a single vineyard of almost 4 hectares, was planted in 2002. It is in the heart of the historic Chianti zone between Castellina and Radda, on a hilltop surrounded by woods. Angela’s family is in vineyard construction and management; her brother told me that this vineyard site was so rocky and difficult to clear that they would have bailed on any other customer. I'm glad they didn't. The wines made from the Istine vineyard have a brilliant medium-red color; aromas and flavors of red fruit, particularly cherry, with a background note of something herbal (angelica?). It finishes with a tea-like hint of bitterness and lovely, fresh, almost pomegranate acidity. It’s hard to resist drinking this now but will age and improve for at least 5 years in the bottle, particularly as the vines get older.