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In Italy, since the first levels of the Sommelier qualification, we learn that the rosè wines in Puglia have been the main characters of the reinassance of this region in southern Italy. They have contributed in giving an identity to a region which for a long time has been exploited from northern wines to get color, alcohol and power. What’s going on now?

Nowadays those rosè wines theselves have revolutionized the pink wine scene in Italy generally producing a rosato, especially if from Negroamaro, savour and bodied and so able to face serious food pairings and reflections often reserved only to reds and whites for ageing. What’s more, this allows us to build our own identity, independent from the French one (even better, from Provence) mainly inspired to delicate rosè. This is why, according to me, the rosè wines from South of Italy, have to keep their own “shape” and so being tasty and structured to also allow a vertical tasting.

This is what happened at Radici del Sud 2018, the festival focused on indigenous grapes of Southern Italy, when, during the press tour, Garofano winery has hosted us offering a vertical tasting of their rosè “Girofle” (cloves in French, which recalls the italian word ‘Garofano’: their surname and the name of the winery), vintages 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.

Before analyzing each single vintage, I can state that the last vintage (2017) remains the most immediate, lively and juicy but also that I have found the older vintages in good shape; the colour has stabilized, after the last 2 most recent vintages, on a bright coppery tone. The wines continued to evolve in the glass, requiring continuous integration of the tasting notes more than on other tasting occasions.


Garofano winery

It is a family business founded in 1995 by Severino Garofano, key personality in Southern Italy, along with his daughter Renata and his son Stefano who have inherited  the same passion for the wine but especially for this territory and for the local grape variety: Negroamaro, they used to produce 3 red wines beyond the rosato.

The winery is located in Copertino (province of Lecce), in the heart of Salento area and, more precisely, within the old farm Masseria Li Monaci, named after the monks who came from the East and had launched an agricultural activity right here. They own 16 hectares (abt 40 acres) and produce about 150.000 bottles per year (50.000 bottles of rosè).


The vertical tasting of GIROFLE Rosé – Salento IGP Rosato Negroamaro

Girofle 2017

Very irregular vintage with exceptionally long periods of both heat and cold temperatures also characterized by a serious lack of rainfall in summer and spring.

Quite deep pink, bright. On the nose is young and and intense with notes of red cherry, pink grapefruit and a touch of fennel. A more “regular” rosè even if quite bodied: it is very fruity on the palate, lively, dry, engaging.


Girofle 2016

Excellent vintage with abundant rains in winter and spring that allowed the right accumulation of water reserves to face the warm summer mitigated by the fresh and dry winds coming from the north.

Still deep pink in colour with orange reflections. On the nose is more “austere” with flavours of forest floor, vegetal notes of roots and then face powder, lavender along with an evident note of sea water. Less intense than 2017 on the palate, with a medium+ acidity but also concentrated with a flavour of capper on the long finish.


Girofle 2015

Irregular vintage with temperature above the average in summer as well as aggressive rainfalls and hailstorm.

The color starts to get a copper tone but it is still “alive”. On the nose offers flavours that recalls the wild berries liquer then walnut and ash. On the palate is coherent and absolutely savoury.


Girofle 2014

Very difficult vintage, rainy and humid.

My sample is reduced unfortunatelly.


Girofle 2013

Very good year: the rains that hit the peninsula seem to have spared, at least in part, the Salento.

Deep orange in colour. A surprising and complex wine. Licorice, pomegranate, rosmary, dry herbs and a ligh foxy touch on the nose. It is quite shy on the palate then offering a tasty character with a toast aftertaste, Typical and round


Girofle 2011

Outstanding vintage characterized by a regular drought and a good weather also at harvest time.

Nearly orange but super bright. Less complex than the previous ones with a liquer flavour on the nose, then licorice, cloves, thè. Savoury, lively and with a long finish.