Rocco Pasetti, Abruzzo
We are long term fans of the wines of the talented winemaker Rocco Pasetti and his son Franco. Rocco is the former winemaker at the Roxan co-operative in Rosciano - the one where Edoardo Valentini, the South of Italy's most revered wine producer, used to send the grapes he deemed not worthy of his exacting quality, as he was choosy about who turned these grapes into wine. It is because of this connection that we first encountered Rocco's talents. In the early 2000s Rocco created his own winery in Collecorvino located between the Gran Sasso mountain, the highest peak in the Apennines, and the Adriatic Sea. The vineyards are at around 250 metres elevation and planted on limestone/clay soils, perfect for the ripening of these varieties.
The speciality here, of course, is Montepulciano, one of Italy's most popular wines, perfect for everyday drinking, but Rocco turns it into a stylish, crisp red with great body and lovely black cherry fruit. Pecorino is becoming increasingly popular, so much so that it almost now an essential component of any competent restaurateur's wine list, and it's easy to see why for it's gently fruity palate of lime and white currant but also it has great body and always very good acidity.