Contadi Castaldi Brut Rosé
Varietals: 65% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Nero
Region: Franciacorta, Italy
Rosé fatigue is a real thing, a condition onset by the suffocating virality of rosé this season. I started actively avoiding them, going as far as vowing not to review another for the rest of the summer and cussing out a bartender for mockingly assuming that because I was a woman at a wine bar I was obviously ordering rosé.
But then, by the grace of god, the kind people of the region of Franciacorta decided to bless me with a few presents, one of which being the Contadi Castaldi Brut Rosé. It could have been any other brut rosé and I would have said, "Whaaateverrr" but IT'S A FRANCIACORTA, AND NOT ONLY A FRANCIACORTA, BUT MY FAVORITE!
I had the Contadi Castaldi Brut Rosé in Rome last summer. It was so fucking hot, and the Castaldi was so fucking refreshing, served in a beautiful little tulip'd glass that is the official vessel of Franciacorta. I looked for it in the states but never found it, and was sure that I wouldn't see my long lost summer crush again until I returned to my beloved Italia.
And now here I am, once again enjoying its pleasures on an excruciatingly hot summer day, sadly not on the patio of a mozzarella bar.
You don't see Franciacortas that often in America, and that sucks because they're one of my favorites. Made using metodo classico-- otherwise known as méthode traditionelle when used for Champagne-- this Italian sparkler has an elegant, clean crispness that I just die for. Unlike Champagne with its nutty roundness, or Prosecco with its creamy melon, Franciacortas are a bit pinching and salty while maintaining graceful structure. It's the perfect middle sister between Champagne and Cava.
The Castaldi reminds me of a tangled top-knot sitting upon the crown, effortlessly sophisticated. It's approachable and carefree, and yet, so god damn poised. It's the bowl of potato chips you're DYING FOR at the cocktail party, and it's Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. It's quite perfect, if you love juxtaposing fanciful fun with time tested tradition.
I want to drink this all night and pretend I am sweltering in Rome with only this brut rosé and my loved ones to find refuge in. I've already waxed extremely poetic about Italy this month, so I don't want to bore you, but I could float away on its bubbles into the Adriatic Sea for now until eternity.
Tasting Notes: Lay's Potato Chips dipped in carbonated rose gold.
Ross Test: As with most sparkling wines, it's a painful burst of joy.