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2022 Vino Rosato “Passatella”

Steiger-Kalena
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Giulio and Margarita Steiger are true believers in the potential of Molise, Italy’s second-smallest region. Giulio is a native of the area, and in 2014 he and Margarita moved from Paris to the comune of Casacalenda, building their winery from scratch and planting twelve hectares of vineyards—now certified organic—to the region’s traditional red varieties. Their rosé has a sun-baked quality, with dusty red fruit, a fair bit of grip, and a distinct herbal note. Mostly Montepulciano with dashes of Aglianico and Tintilia, this is a meal-time rosé for slaking thirst and washing down a brimming bowl of herby cicerchie (pea soup) or a savory hunk of caciocavallo, a traditional cheese from the Apennine Mountains. Invite some friends over for a spirited game of passatella, a centuries-old card game still played in Molise. After all, the more the merrier!

Dustin Soiseth

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Technical Information
Wine Type: Rosé
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 85% Montepulciano, 10% Aglianico, 10% Tintilia
Country: Italy
Region: Molise
Producer: Steiger-Kalena
Winemaker: Giulio Steiger
Vineyard: Planted in 2016, 12 ha total
Soil: Clay, limestone
Aging: Ages about 8-9 months in large concrete casks
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 14.5%

About The Region

Molise

Molise map

Italy’s second-smallest region by surface area and population, Molise is a mountainous enclave tucked along the Adriatic Sea between Abruzzo to the north and Puglia to the south. Its western side, bordering Campania, consists of Apennine peaks that gradually descend toward the coastline. With a range of climate zones from Mediterranean along the Adriatic to continental in the higher inland areas, with temperate foothills in between, there is great potential for fine wine production in Molise.
While winemaking here predates the Roman Empire, the region’s isolation and mountainous nature has prevented it from achieving the productivity or commercial success of some of its neighbors. The first commercial bottlings date back to the 1970s near the coast, and in the 1990s more independent producers began popping up, but without really focusing on quality. Molise still has a high proportion of home winemakers who vinify for familial consumption relative to other regions, although in recent years some newer producers have made a concerted effort to create serious wine on a commercial scale. Steiger-Kalena, the first and only Molise producer to grace KLWM shelves, is an exciting example of this shift toward quality, and a delightful demonstration of what is capable in this secluded region.

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Inspiring Thirst

A good doctor prescribed the wine of Nuits-Saint-Georges to the Sun King, Louis XIV, when he suffered an unknown maladie. When the king’s health was restored the tasty remedy enjoyed a vogue at court. Lord, send me a doctor like that!

Inspiring Thirst, page 117

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