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oseletaWhile pouring Italian wines at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, I came across this fascinating grape from the innovative Veronese producer Zýmē. The indigenous Oseleta grape  was close to extinction before being rescued by the renowned Amarone producer, Masi . The grape is still extremely rare with only about 50 acres planted near the shores of Lake Garda but several wineries are beginning to experiment with it, notably Zýmē. It is a grape with enormous potential producing burly, intense wines.

Dark and inky in the glass, it features aromas of ripe blackberry and blueberry kissed with moss covered wood. On the palate it is juicy, dense and concentrated filling the mouth with darkness. The tannins are fine-grained but fierce, arriving early and synergistically merging with mouthwatering acidity to compound the sensuous assault. This is a blockbuster, full bodied, with great intensity, not overly complex or multidimensional but bold and in-your-face. It reminds me of Petite Sirah but with more earthiness and lower alcohol.

36 months in oak.

This may be hard to find but it’s worth trying to tack down. But be careful. This wine will bite the hand that feeds

Score: 92

Price: $47

Alc: 13.5%