Photo of our InSumma wine, one of our exclusive winemaker collaborations

Roscioli Exclusive Winemaker Collaborations | Our private wines which you can’t find in the market

In Articles, Wine Insights & Thoughts by Roscioli Italian Wine ClubLeave a Comment

Alessandro and winemakers of InSumma wine on the slopes of Vesuvius

Without calling ourselves 'experts', we'd like to think we've learned a little about what our clients enjoy, having hosted some 7,000 wine tastings (should our modest calculations be accurate). What we've seen proved over and over, is that people enjoy provocation more often than the obvious. Maybe not on the first sip, but sip by sip, a wine which provokes allows you to open doors to new discoveries.  

For our club selections, we work with small families, artisans, farmers, who, in some cases, don't often have the time, money or mindset to experiment, or they are scared to follow a desire, as the market may hinder or inhibit it. Mistakes can be costly, not only monetarily speaking. Taking a year, or two, or more to understand if a risk pays off is a challenge when you get one harvest per year. Worry is steered by what the market will accept. Paying the bills translates to staying in the box.  A place most of us, myself included, can get dangerously comfortable in.  

But when you have the most incredible wine club ever, where we aren't curating wines for supermarket shelves to please the masses who prefer that everything taste the anonymously the same - soft, easy and thoughtless - there is opportunity. Our growing tribe of over 1,000 members is unique, searching for something that you'd never find on the shelves of Trader Joes or Ralphs, looking to surprise friends and family with something special with a story.

We simply serve as a liaison to facilitate this - providing small investments, or recommendations on winemaking techniques, and offering a niche segment which will appreciate an exclusive bottle. We're not there to make wine - we leave that to the experts, aka the winemaker - but we're there to change the status quo when we see an opportunity. We're there to create the extraordinary, to push boundaries, and see what's possible.

In doing this, everyone wins.

Our winemakers get to realize a wine which maybe they dreamed of making, but was inhibited by market demands. Our wine club members get something truly special, not on the market, a wine available only to them and we also get the deep pleasure of watching the entire idea be cultivated, nurtured and born as a baby for our club.  All of this means risk, but so far the outcomes have rewarded all involved quite generously.

We created 5 masterpieces below (or so you've told us), exclusively available to Roscioli wine club members, and we're just getting started.  

Vino da Rimessa - our first exclusive winemaker collaboration

 
The reality is I didn't do any work - I just had an idea back in 2014 - but Pierpaolo did it all. He had a problem - well, 2 rows of grapes he couldn't add to his DOC blend - and I had a simple idea: let's make a wine together. I'll buy all the production in advance, and whatever happens, happens. The idea of recovering two unknown grape varietals moved me, especially since they would otherwise go extinct, and this is such a well-known territory for special wines. The Giacche, but above all, Parigina hybrids are related to the American vines - a lot of fruit and body, and with little personality - but this land is magical and the end result could be beyond any expectations. If Pierpaolo has ennobled the Nero d'Avola and the Moscato (which he calls Muscatedda), anything is possible.
 
Fast forward three years, I go back to the cellar with Lindsay, and holy moly, I think the wine is a bomb. This was possibly the best Sicilian wine I had ever tasted! Fruit, strawberry, cherries and a Nordic freshness on the finish. A bipartisan wine, able to satisfy the most simple palate yet also bribe the most sophisticated.

 

Photo of Lindsay with a bottle of Vino da Rimessa, one of our exclusive winemaker collaborations

Ddefiu - passito "non-passito"

 
Upon writing this, I had just finished watching a Ted Talk on why the majority is always wrong, discussing how we all live in our tiny boxes called 'industry standards' or 'norms'. Our perceived boundaries are shockingly so much more limited than we can ever imagine, and what we now seek is the unimaginable, the extraordinary. Yet only 3% of people will ever go outside of this box and try or do something different.
 
On the magic volcanic island of Pantelleria, closer to Africa than Italy in ways, Battista Belvisi had allowed us to taste his 'to be' passito wine before it had gone through the appassimento process. "I want it" Alessandro exclaimed, to which Battista replied "it's not ready - it hasn't become sweet yet". "No" Alessandro says, "like this, it's beautiful - this dry sweetness - I want this" ..."no it's not ready" Battista continues to shout from his little box.
 
97% would have waited for his passito, we chose to be the 3% and made a Roscioli private label called Ddefiu. A wine which defied all boundaries and became one of the most desired wines we've ever carried, for its ability throw you off kilter, pull you back in and keep you in a continued contemplation. A wine so Sicilian, so Mediterranean, a beautiful contradiction and provocation... and so extraordinary.
 
Watch the full story here:
 

In Summa - impossible to sum up here

 
'In Summa' was conceived on Mount Vesuvius at a lunch with wine club members at Cantina Olivella. A light bulb went on, connecting a private tour we had just taken in a revived ancient villa, housing a winery capable of producing nearly 300,000 bottles of wine annually, evidenced by the numerous amphorae visible, which was buried by the eruption in 472 AD.

Drinking Cirò's Catalanesca, Alessandro hinted at the idea of fermenting the wine in amphora, in a parallel attempt to keep the memory of that villa experience alive. Cirò sighs..."mmm yeah but the market...I don't know they'd 'understand' a Catalanesca aged in amphora." Alessandro replied, "but I feel like it'd give that extra sense of personality to the wine, that it could somehow help show off the territory even more".

Desire, risk, maybe, maybe not, I'd love to try, but...the market, the expense, the unknown... churned in Cirò's mind. "An amphora costs around 5,000 euros" he eventually said... "And if we promise to buy it for our wine club, no matter what??" we replied, as we said a Hail Mary to the sky, praying this wouldn't become something we fed the kitchen sink with.
 
Let's just say that the positive outcome to this exclusive collaboration led to Ciro buying a third amphora to continue with his experimentation. It's with these small investments and recommendations that we help push boundaries and point the market in a new direction. A wine-win for all - a unique wine for us, for you, and one which opened a new path of exploration for Cirò to continue being the leader in his zone.
 
Read the full story here.
 

Photo of our In Summa wine bottle, one of our exclusive winemaker collaborations

Rosso di San Giovenale - privately selected cuvée of 5 barrels by Roscioli

 
Emanuele is a genius, period. On the first touch of his Super Roman wines to your lips, you're hooked. We could leave his wines alone and in a way, there would be nothing lost.
 
But....what if...
 
It so happens one of our Collectors Club members, of Italian descent, French speaking, now a surgeon in Texas (one could say culturally well-rounded and fitting for the setting) is visiting us for his winery tour available to members, at San Giovenale. In front of us stand nearly 100 noble French oak barriques - the giddiness rushes in, like that first time you got the box of 500 Crayola crayons as a child - this time our colors to paint with were Grenache, Syrah, Malvasia Nera, Carignano, and others, all from various vintages. The permutations were incalculable.
 
We tasted, sipped, shared, swirled, pondered, blended, re-blended, until we finally tagged 5 barrels that stood above the rest. Adding the mathematical brushstroke of genius with various percentages of each barrel, Emanuele came to Rimessa with 4 non-labeled bottles numbered 1 to 4. The winner - a unanimous number 4 - is heading to Wine Club Tier 2 members this Spring. Thank you to Mark Chalaby, Britta and the renowned Dario Cappelloni who contributed to this masterpiece.

Will you be the next one we thank??
 
Meet Emanuele here:
 
 
A true story.  In Champagne, the big houses like Moet & Chandon, Krug, Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot among others, more or less controlled and dominated the market.  Of course little to none of the vines were farmed organically.  On the other side were a a small group of individual growers like Selosse, Lavalle, and Blaird and others, all farming biodynamically and organically who decided to group together and market and position their wines in another way, focusing on terroir and environmental initiatives and less on making an industrial product.  
 
In a matter of less than a decade, their cooperation has them steering the market now.  How you ask?  Due to their power and influence in the market, now the huge Champagne houses are farming organically and even biodynamically because that is now what the market desires. 
 
That is our goal.  To slowly help small farmers become the reference point for the mass produced wines.  David vs. Goliath might reverberate in your minds, but for us, the challenge is accepted.  Member by member, as our club grows and we order more wine from our network of artisans, you show your vote for what is desired. 
      
Why does the Roscioli Wine Club exist?

  • to bring you the unexpected, something original, special and surprising
  • to challenge the mass market and how great wine is defined
  • to open up your mind
  • to never stop creating what we believe in
  • to create a community where together we are greater than the sum of ourselves
  • to even give you the opportunity to make wine-making decisions with us.

We exist to bring you the most unique, moving, awe-inspiring, passionate, and creative wine club in the world, period.  Ready to join us?

  
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