~ The iconic Fontana Trevi ~

Earlier this month we introduced you to the new Roma DOC  with the promise that a later article would be penned covering the new Rosso wines hailing from the area.  Today, we make good on our word. 
The Roma DOC, which sits in the hills overlooking Rome, encompasses the communes of Frascati, Monteporzio Catone, Montecompatri and Grottaferrata.  Sitting at an altitude of over 400 meters, the vineyards devoted to Roma Rosso are comprised of rich volcanic soil centered around the towns of Castelli Romani, an area with an ancient tradition of excellent agricultural fortunes.

~ Classico Roman Colosseum ~

There are several grapes approved for the DOC Roma Rosso:  Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Montepulciano, Cesanese and Syrah.  However, the DOC is primarily focused on Montepulciano because the rules establish minimum blending amounts using 50% Montepulciano and 35% of any of the other grapes.  The remaining 15% may be any of the other allowed varietals.

Today we’re reviewing the 2013 Fontana Candida Roma Rosso which is a blend using only Montepulciano, Cesanese and Syrah – in that order, but with unspecified percentages of each. 

In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby color with violet reflections throughout.  The aromas from the glass are characterized by crushed cherry, ash, smoke and tobacco.  Given the amount of aging the wine undergoes and the way it’s vinified, it seems odd to me that these aromas come from any sort of wood influence. That leads me to suspect a significant portion of Syrah in this blend.  While tasting this, I tweeted that it was “not for the faint of heart”.  I can see where the aromas might be off-putting to some. One of the tasters described the traits as “camp fire” and “cigarette smoke”.

On the palate, the wine is fresh, round and medium bodied with a nice core of cherry fruit that is backed by floral notes and tobacco. It’s much more balanced in the mouth than the nose would indicate. The inclusion of Cesanese, a grape that is lighter bodied, makes this wine approachable in its youth.  

Aged for 6 months before release in a combination of small oak barrels and stainless steel, the wine is designed for casual meals overlooking Roman piazzas. Pizza, Carbonara, or Amatriciana would be an ideal match.  86 points, and a nice value around $12-$15.   Disclosure: This wine was an importer provided sample.

~ The Roma Rosso is a blend of Montepulciano, Cesanese and Syrah ~


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