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Wining Hour Feature: Pico Maccario “Lavignone” Rosato

This month, I am featuring a lovely Italian rosato, “Lavignone,” from Pico Maccario in the northwest Italian region of Piedmont. Piemonte, in Italian, means at the foot of the mountain,” and it is a superior winegrowing region, with Italy’s largest number of DOCG’s and DOC’s. Piedmont is the home of Nebbiolo, one of Italy’s oldest and most noble grapes. This Rosato is made from Barbera, which is a very rare find here in the U.S. When I tasted it a restaurant, I immediately knew that I wanted more.

Pico Maccario Winery, located in Mombaruzzo, Piedmont, was founded in 1997 by brothers Pico and Vitaliano Maccario. They have vineyards in Monferato and Langhe. Their goal is “that of reaching the highest possible quality, that, thanks to a precious teamwork, begins in the vineyard, continues to the cellar, and arrives to every corner in the world.”

Pico Maccario’s winemaking style endeavors to stay true to their terroir and to reveal the true character of the Barbera wines they produce. Nevertheless, Pico Maccario Winery is a firm believer in technological innovation and research. The vineyards average 180 meters and the vines are planted in clay, sand and silt-based soils. The majority of their vineyard hectares are dedicated to the production of Barbera, while the remainder is for native Piedmontese varietals, as well as some international varietals. Many of their vines are over 80 years old, which undoubtedly contribute to the quality of wine production.

Barbera, with a history dating back to the 13th century, is an Italian red wine grape variety known for its deep color, full body, low tannins and high levels of acidity. Best known appellations for Barbera production in Piedmont is the Barbera d’Asti DOCG and the Nizza DOCG.

Barbera, or nebbiolo grapes in Langhe

Barbera is known as a highly tannic grape, and one that is not all that easy to handle, this Rosato was a pleasant surprise!  

Lavignone is the most important wine of the Pico Maccario estate. Made from Barbera, this rosato is aged entirely in stainless steel tanks, which leads to this clean, pure and balanced wine. In the glass is a lovely pale pink, with orange flecks. The nose is very aromatic with strawberry and watermelon. The palate unfolds with more strawberry and cranberry, along with raspberry, wild flowers and a hint of minerality. Not surprisingly, the wine unfolded even more, as I had it with a seared tuna bruschetta (Sorry, I devoured it…and then thought about the photo)!

Refreshing, bright acidity and balanced. 13% ABV. Lavignone is a lovely and complex rosato that commands attention. I intend to pour a lot more of this wine this summer.

While Piedmont is known for its reds, specifically Barolo and Barbaresco, there is clearly much more to discover! Piedmont produces awesome white wines too, and apparently…rosato!

Have you tasted a rose of Barbera or Nebbiolo? What are your thoughts on Barbera and Nebbiolo based wines in general?

Planted, harvested and aged in NY. I have a background in education and marketing, with a love and passion for travel...and all things wine. In addition to writing about wine, I also maintain an online wine boutique (thewininghour.com) that caters to the winelover, as well as the weekly vinous winechat (#WiningHourChat) on Twitter (see page for more info).

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