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Rocca di Montemassi "Calasole" Vermentino


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Rocca di Montemassi "Calasole" Vermentino: a Review

Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad.
    —Ecclesiasticus, ch. 38, v. 1

(Our sample bottle was purchased by us at standard retail.)


About Rocca di Montemassi "Calasole" Vermentino

Vermentino (known in France as "Rolle") usually comes from Sardinia or Corsica, but a good fraction also comes out of northern Italy proper, whence this particular specimen (a Maremma Toscana D.O.C. bottling). "Calasole", incidentally, is the name given to a characteristic mild late-afternoon breeze of the Maremma hills. This wine is fermented in stainless steel, then is left on the lees for six months, a process that typically adds body and some creaminess to a white wine.

Rocca di Montemassi "Calasole" Vermentino is reasonably available, and is retail priced from about $12 up to as much as $29 (average is $13 per Wine Searcher Pro).


Rocca di Montemassi "Calasole" Vermentino: Tasting Impressions

We really liked this wine, but even as we sampled it, we knew that it was going to be difficult to say just why. While it certainly has the basics one looks for—crisp acids, definite minerality, medium body—there was very little fruit, nor were there floral qualities nor assignable herbal qualities. Nonetheless, there was something there, something elusive, indeed (it seems) ineffable.

The wine continually teased with mild, subtle, but intriguing hints of, well, "something else"; it conveyed a sense of complexity and of numerous delicate threads of differing flavors woven together, yet without any such threads being distinct enough to identify. There was a very faint trace of citrus fruit, possibly lemon, though later seeming lime or even grapefruit—but again, subtle, subtle. The minerality wasn't even that pronounced, though it seems at first to be the mainstay quality of the wine.

All in all, a very likeable wine, recommended, though we certainly want a repeat to see if another bottle comes across in the same mysteriously delightful way.


Rocca di Montemassi "Calasole" Vermentino: Other Opinions

This wine's importer, Zonin, has a page of wine awards on their site. (Select "Rocca di Montemassi" in the "Awards" box, not at the upper left.)

Of the major wine-review sites, none (so far as we could see) seem to have addressed this particular wine.


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This page was last modified on Friday, 2 June 2017, at 5:16 pm Pacific Time.