Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Oseleta - what is it?


Oseleta is a grape variety. 

That's straightforward then. Go to Jancis Robinson's website to find out more. After all, she and her colleague Julia Harding MW, wrote what must be the definitive guide to grape varieties. 

It's not there. Never mind, a good search comes to the rescue. Oseleta has a 'more tannic structure, minerality and dark berry notes and is very different to the light, more gentle, low tannin of most Valpolicella grapes' according to thedrinksbusiness.com in an online article entitled 'Rare variety adds backbone to Valpolicella'.

So now you have a clue as to my interest. I have been keeping quiet about a new range I have just brought into the UK from a rather interesting outfit called 'i Campi' (which my 'O' Level Latin translates as The Fields). I came across them following a discussion about Soave wines in which I became convinced that there were some seriously good ones out there somewhere (in the Soave zone, obviously). Sure enough, i Campi, which makes two Soave wines, has one - 'Campo Vulcano' (Volcano Field) - which seems to have a permanent Tre Bicchieri award from Gambero Rosso. Even my Italian friends think it is rather good. 

They also make a Valpolicella Ripasso 'Campo Ciotoli' which seems to win the Tie Bicchieri year on year - indeed, this year it is the only wine of this designation in the guide, I am told. Their Amarone 'Campi Lunghi' (Long Fields) is somewhat sublime too, inevitably.
campo-prognare-500
There will, of course, be more information about these wines just as soon as half-term is over and I can spend a little more time on this.

Back to Oseleta. It doesn't feature in the Ripasso or Amarone (both wines are: Corvina and Corvinone 85%, Rondinella 10%, Croatina: 5%) but in a super cuvee bottled as Rosso Veneto called 'Campo Prognare', 

Why is this wine a mere Rosso Veneto?

Looking at the rules, wine-searcher.com states that 'the grapes used to make Valpolicella are Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara' . Elsewhere, I discover that Amarone must be 50-100% must come from Corvina (or Corvinone) and Rondinella with a possible 15% other regional varietals with a maximum of 10% of any one variety. That lets out the 'Prognare' then as it is one third Oseleta (the other grapes are Corvina and Croatina).

I am looking forward to trying this wine from the 2008 vintage but I know one or two of you will castigate me for writing about it when I am not offering it for sale. To you I say, if you want a bottle, I may be able to spare it from the box I have but it is not cheap. Think Amarone and double the price! 

The i Campi website offers the following notes:

The top end of our production is produced at 550 m. a.s. l. on a marly fossil ground.

It has an extremely deep ruby color, almost impenetrable. Very intense and persistent to the nose and palate; scents of small red forest fruit such as raspberry, wild strawberry, redcurrant. Pleasant cherry notes and spicy tertiary aromas are harmoniously combined to enhance the complexity of this iconic wine. The tannins are already “softened”, but with no doubt they can still promise a very long life. It would be certainly interesting (and deserving) to stand for a tasting in a few years.


Austere and imposing wine but always nice and elegant, a true champion!


I will confirm whether or not I agree with this as soon as I have tasted the wine.