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Torre Rosazza: a New Interpretation of Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso

Torre Rosazza introduces a new interpretation of an outstanding Friulian wine: Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso Friuli Colli Orientali DOC. 

Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso represents the historical and cultural roots of Friuli. It is an ancient native red grape variety, the only one of its kind. Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso finds one of its finest expressions in this area, giving rise to exceptional wines characterized by extreme elegance that goes beyond a seemingly rustic nature.

Traces of Refosco date back to ancient times, as it was already mentioned by the Romans. Its name comes from the local expression “rap fosc” – which means “dark bunch” – referring to the grapes’ deep purple color. But more notably, it refers to the distinct characteristic of the peduncle, which turns completely red upon reaching maturation. 

A symbol of Friuli, the wine has always been one of the most important among Torre Rosazza’s portfolio of indigenous grape varieties. Offering a more noble interpretation, it serves as a more approachable and drinkable alternative to other more demanding grape varieties like Pignolo and Schioppettino, appealing to a wider range of tastes. A true ambassador of the great red wines of Friuli in Italy and around the world. 

“For a few years now, Torre Rosazza has embarked on a journey that aims to keep a modern approach to native Friulian varieties. The release of Refosco concurs with the expansion of our premium offerings for the high-end HoReCa sector” – says Francesco Domini, Chief Commercial Officer of Leone Alato.

About Torre Rosazza Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso 2021 

Torre Rosazza rises on the first hills of the southernmost area of the Colli Orientali, located near the sea. The winery is perched on top of the hill, reveling in a natural view of its vineyards: two wide, terraced amphitheaters, divided by the road and surrounded by woodlands. The study of the different terroirs has allowed, during these first 50 years, to identify the best plots for planting the different vines.

Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso takes root in clayey soils of Eocene origin, formed following the transformation of marl and sandstone locally known as “ponca”. This type of soil is not very fertile but highly capable of retaining water. The grapes come from 25-30-year-old vines with naturally limited production and situated on terraces that descend in steep slopes known as “ronchi”, just below the estate’s building. The perfect eastern exposure allows the rows to enjoy morning sunlight, while the presence of the Friulian Dolomites shields them from the cold northern winds, facilitating the mitigating effect of the Adriatic Sea to the south. Additionally, diurnal temperature variation enhances the grapes’ aromas and elegance, promoting optimal ripening.

Torre Rosazza: a New Interpretation of Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. The noblest form of the wine keeper of the Friulian territory.

“We have chosen to plant Refosco on terraces facing east to shield the grape bunches from the intense afternoon heat – says Giovanni Casati, Head Enologist and Agronomist of Le Tenute del Leone Alato. This, in consideration of the effects of global warming, has proven to be the most suitable choice to allow this indigenous grape variety to express the terroir without altering its characteristics. During maturation, we also take advantage of natural ventilation, which encourages the grapes to stay on the vine longer, resulting in positive effects on color and tannins while ensuring the perfect health of the fruits. In terms of production, Refosco brings us the most satisfaction: it plays an important part in Torre Rosazza’s narrative of Friulian indigenous varieties, which is why we’ve never wanted to abandon it.” 

The noblest form of the keeper of the Friulian territory: vinification and tasting notes 

Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso is the last of the red grapes to be harvested. After pressing, the grape skins are left to macerate in contact with the must at temperatures ranging from 25°C to 28°C for one week in large stainless-steel tanks. Frequent pumping-over allows for the optimal extraction of color as well as the development of a remarkable body. Following malolactic fermentation, the wine ages for a year in wood to soften the grape’s natural tannins and enhance color complexity. This is followed by aging in the bottle for at least 4 months, which contributes to restoring the variety’s distinct characteristics. 

Torre Rosazza’s Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso Friuli Colli Orientali reveals an intense ruby red color with violet reflections. The nose unveils fruity aromas that recall cherry, blackberry and tangerine, accompanied by notes of tart flowers and sweet tobacco. The palate opens to a firm structure and then gives way to more complex aromatic sensations. The remarkably elegant tannic structure makes for a fresh wine with a spicy and persistent finish.

The wine perfectly pairs with pasta dishes featuring wild game-based sauces, grilled meat dishes such as grilled picanha, spareribs, and pork shank or hare stew. It also complements traditional Friulian dishes like cotechino, musetto con brovvada and medium-aged cheeses.