A perfect rosé for the heat of summer: Richard Esling June 23

A bit like the old chicken and the egg riddle, which came first? Was rosé made for summer or was summer made for rosé?

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 12:04 pm
Santa Tresa Sicilian Rose SUS-200622-112555001

Whatever answer you choose, they are a perfect match and the weather this week is a great opportunity to prove the point.

The Mediterranean climate is ideal for both making and drinking rosé wines, but as noted in an earlier column this year, it takes great skill to perfect.

A winery on the Italian island of Sicily has certainly had the time to get it right.

The Santa Tresa winery in Vittoria was founded in 1697. The vineyards are entirely organic, fitting the philosophy of the family owners, striving to achieve high quality, authenticity and expressive character.

The unique red soil of the area, called Terra Rossa, shapes the character of the wines, with particular nutrients in the soil enriching the grapes.

Ancient grape varieties and winemaking traditions are combined with modern innovations and technology, producing some of the most authentic wines seen in Sicily.

The region around Vittoria is dominated by the culture of wine, being represented everywhere in amazing frescoes, local ceramics and ancient folklore. Wine has shaped the lives and memories of the people of Vittoria, who have lived and breathed the culture of wine for more than 3,000 years.

In the baking hot Sicilian sun, producing a delicate, elegant and flavoursome rosé with a pale colour is somewhat of a challenge, yet one to which Santa Tresa has risen with considerable success. The Rosa di Santa Tresa is a blend of pure Sicilian varieties- 50 per cent Nero d’Avola and 50 per cent Frappato.

Tremendous care is taken in the winemaking process, with the grapes picked when they have reached the perfect balance of sugar and acidity. The grapes are chilled and then softly destemmed and crushed.

In the gentle pneumatic press, the must is cold macerated, with the skins left in contact for only a few hours to achieve the pale colour. Fermentation is then at low temperature for about 12 days, with the wine then left on the lees for three to four months to impart greater depth and complexity.

The result is a truly Sicilian rosé, with a beautiful pale pink colour, with delicate aromas of red berries, roses and violets. Perfectly dry, the elegant palate is reminiscent of wild strawberries and raspberries, with balanced acidity and a satisfyingly refreshing finish.

Bring out the grilled prawns, barbecued chicken wings or fresh, grilled sardines. Summer heaven. £10.99 from Majestic at the Mix 6 rate.