Raphael is known as the “patron saint of travelers and ‘happy meetings’.” There are not many wines more fitting to drink while one travels nor to share in happy meetings than a chilled glass of rosé. It is a wine meant to be shared with good company and sharing in the great times that spring and summer so often bring.
ROSATO | SICILY
The intense heat of 2017 made for a change of pace in blend as well sources. The Zibibbo came from mountainous, seaside perched vines in Castellamare and the Syrah comes from Salemi, 30 miles south of Castellamare; This site is near the Nero d’Avola vineyard for ‘Asmodeus.’ Cool winters and a dry spring led to a desert-like summer. It never rained once during the summer! The 45th largest island in the world has never seen such fiery, relentless heat, with summer temperatures reached as high as 120 °F! Thankfully much of this was confined further inland and east of the vineyards. Harvest commenced nearly three weeks earlier than 2016 with yields down nearly 40%.
It is known that Italian rosés (read rosato) are often heavy handed and dark in color. This strays from that summation and brings a touch of the Côte d'Azur to Sicily. ‘Rafael’ is a ‘classic rosato’ of really early picked Zibibbo with a dollop of direct pressed Syrah. The grapes were handpicked: Zibibbo in mid-August and early September for the Syrah. The Zibibbo was pressed and kept very cold halting fermentation in tank. A blanket of CO2 protected the must. When the Syrah came in it was quickly pressed and the juice was already pink from the limited time from vineyard to winery. The musts were blended together and fermentation was carried out over three weeks.
Salmon pink. Spices, flowers and herbs complement red berries on the nose and in the mouth. At once dense and juicy, with the light red fruit flavors and floral notes carrying through on the persistent finish, which features an underbrush nuance. Firm acid holds it all together to make it the perfect glass of rosé.