The Riboli Family and San Antonio Winery in Los Angeles own several wine labels including Stella Rosa out of the Asti region in Italy. Asti is known for its Moscoto, but not all Stella Rosas are made from that grape. Stella Rosa Black is a red blend of grapes and other fruits including blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. The wine is made in the classic Asti style, although not with the classic fruit of Moscoto. Along with the berry fruit, Stella Rosa Black is made from the Brachetto grape, a grape grown in the Aqui region of the Piedmont, also under conditions of partial fermentation where fermentation is stopped before all the sugar is converted to alcohol, creating a sparkling, low alcohol (5%) wine with residual sugar (92g/L). Light, sweet and frizzante, it is quite popular with many of the customers who come into the wine store where I work. It is definitely a style of wine that has a following, though it isn’t a wine that would appeal to serious wine drinkers.
The Riboli Family also own the Opaque label. After tasting the Stella Rosa, I was expecting a similar, simple style wine. I was very surprised to find the Opaque wine to be quite serious. A red blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot (who wasn’t invited to this party?) sourced from Paso Robles and aged for 10 months in both French and American oak, Opaque is a deep ruby wine with aromas of black cherry, bramble fruit, ripe red plums, eucalyptus, tomato leaf, vanilla, toast and tobacco. It has a medium plus acidity with fine grained tannins and a long finish. This wine is a meal that would go really well with a grilled steak or a juicy burger. She has a very different personality from her Italian cousins in the Riboli family.
(The two wines evaluated were sent to me as samples from HipLatina.com)