Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Hidden Gem!

 On our last trip to France back in October, 2012, to the Nice area, we ventured just into Italy to explore some incredible medieval villages north of Ventimiglia.  Dolceacqua was the first village that hangs over the valley.  It was made famous by a Monet painting of its lovely bridge that connects both sides of the village

The famous bridge
The town hangs over the valley

Leading into its dank and dark interior
In the sleepy town square, a young lady was selling wine made by her father along with olive oil.  We were not greatly impressed by our tasting, but I bought a bottle to be courteous for 12 Euro, I think,  for later drinking back home.

"Maixei" may be a wine coop also

This is a "Superior" bottling meeting higher standards

The wine was the 2010 vintage of Rossese di Dolceacqua, the only area in the world that grows this grape that was imported from Provence.  This DOC wine must contain 95% Rossese juice.

We cellared this wine until yesterday's repast of a lovely corned beef and veggies.  After decanting for an hour, we were surprised to see a wine of a lovely, light ruby color.  It opened up to become a lovely, fragrant wine with cooked cherries,  blackcurrant and rose essences.  It was slightly dry and tannic but very fruity and flavorful.  Delightful!!

Too bad it is so hard to find in the US.  So I am planning for next year's return trip to the French and Italian Rivieras with a few days inland back to the beautiful villages of the Nervia valley and its great Rossese wines and wonderful cuisine.

You never know what a bottle of wine can become!

If any of you are interested in further wine tasting studies, I suggest you go to the Dining  and Wine section of the NY Times and a feature written by Eric Asimov entitled "WINE SCHOOL."  He will suggest 3 bottles of wine from a particular wine and vintage to taste and critique following his suggested guidelines.  This has been fun so far as one bottle suggested was liked by about 2-1 for those of us not liking it!!  ENJOY!



  1. Replies
    1. Renate, it is like walking into times in the far distant past. So looking forward to going back and tasting this wine again. Thanks.

  2. Seeing your pictures makes me want to hop on a plane to France. How cool that bottle of wine matured and turned out so well. All good things to those who wait.

    1. I'm with you, Sam. Ready to go again. Love this little part of old Italy.

  3. Isn't it wonderful to plan for a trip! (Very rhetorical question.)
    But remember you can't bath in the same stream twice! You'll find new adventures and discoveries.

  4. Makes me want to explore that part of France and Italy. Hopefully we can make the trip next year. Loved your photos.

  5. Good to hear you are planning to come back to our beautiful Provence!

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  7. I sure like the way you and the Trout live, live, live! As Auntie Mame once said, life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving. Not you two! Here's to more surprising vintages to come!

  8. Sorry to read about your granddaughter Rachael, but pleased she is doing so much better.
    Loved your photos and what a pleasure to open your bottle and have it please you both so much.