Chaddsford Winery2005 Due Rossi
Translated as “two reds,” Due Rossi is a blend of Barbera and Sangiovese, born of suffering vines. Chaddford Winery owner/winemaker Eric Miller maintains a torture vineyard where he cultivates a selection of vine varieties on various rootstocks and systematically neglects and mistreats them. From this “Survivor: Vineyard” scenario, Barbera proved its mettle, ripening and delivering fruit under the worse circumstances.
When Barbera and Sangiovese were the last wines left on the blending bench in 2001, Miller thought “what the Hell?” and blended the Piedmontese and Tuscan varieties. The 2005 blend is 63 percent Barbera and 37 percent Sangiovese. Much of the Barbera comes from his estate vineyards, others from Flowing Springs Vineyard operated by a former employee, Argentina-educated, Chile-trained grower Gonzalo Ortiz. The Sangiovese is from the Lancaster County vineyard of long-time farmer Dwight Rohrer.
As he looks for the best style of wine to produce in his region, Miller has become increasingly passionate about Italian varieties. Because of the influence of the Chesapeake Bay, the Brandywine Valley doesn’t have the diurnal temperature shifts that provide cool nights to preserve acids. Barbera, however, enjoys heat and holds its acids.
“What will we be known for?” Miller wonders. “We need to hang our hat on something. This seems like it may work.”
It certainly worked in 2005, a superb vintage in much of the east. For Miller, the year began with a modest crop and led into a very dry growing season that forced the vines to strain and focus activity on the fruit. The month before harvest was sunny, nights cooler, giving Southeastern Pennsylvania growers the rare opportunity for extended hang time. Grapes are hand harvested. The wine spends 10 months in a mix of new and neutral French oak and undergoes 100 percent malolactic. Medium-bodied, the nose shows bright fruit, black tea, and anise. The wine is complex with layered mid-palate strawberry and vanilla with a mulchy, black pepper finish. The oak is well integrated into this beautifully balanced wine with 14.1 percent alcohol.
Reviewed February 6, 2008 by David Falchek.
Other reviewed wines from Chaddsford Winery
2005 Pinot Noir Barrel Select
(Pennsylvania)Catherine Fallis 8/3/2007
David Falchek writes a weekly wine column for several newspapers in Pennsylvania, including the Scranton Times-Tribune. He also contributes regularly to trade publications such as Vineyard & Winery Management and Beverage Media. David has judged regional, national, and international wine competitions where he likes to think he lauds outstanding Seyval or Foch just as readily as Cabernet or Riesling.