On the Hunt: Rebo

The gifts of Italy continue.

We cannot stress how much scouring the globe (and our own backyards) for the finest examples of varieties and terroir expressions, to bring to your door, drives us everyday to keep our eyes, ears, and mouths open to all sorts of opportunities in the vast world of wine.

It’s of note that we look all over Europe, routinely, for excellent wine, obviously more have made it to bottle over the last few years, but we’ve never shied away from it in the past – we just hadn’t quite found what we were looking for.  On our quest, it’s to be expected to find Cab and Merlot in Bordeaux – no surprise there, Pinot and Chard from Burgundy, Rieslings in Germany – all pretty standard stuff, honestly, much of which we’ve passed on – no point in having something just to have it, it has to be exceptional as a regional expression and intersect with an amazing price (sure, we could offer astounding Bordeaux, honestly still at a deal, in the $100 range, but that’s not what we do, others can get at that stuff instead).

Another new grape that has caught our attention (as usual, using “new” here very, very loosely) finally passed muster with our group of discerning palates recently and was snatched up.

Rebo.

A cross between Merlot and Teroldego (another off-the-beaten-path grape we keep eyes for routinely), Rebo was created in 1920 in Italy, where it can be found pretty exclusively to this day.

Grape crossing always results in strange occurances, and it’s not always what might have been intended with the initial thoughts of crossing this and that. A prime example is Pinotage.  A cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, honestly, nothing of the parent varietals translates to the offspring in any way, shape, or form…outside of it also being a grape.  Pinotage can be sweet, have a paint-like fragrance when produced into wine, can carry a noticeably hot nose, and isn’t without quite a bit of criticism over the years due to these items and more.  Many other grape crossings have suffered similar fates unfortunately.  But not Rebo…

Rebo is a unicorn.  A shining example of why so many middling or full-on failures of grape crossing are needed.  When you’re shooting blind, enough bullets, you’re bound to hit your target, right!? And when you do, it’s a hit!

Rebo has the best qualities of its parent grapes on full display.  Teroldego gives it a fruit forward nature, with good tannin and a bit of spice.  Merlot keeps it smooth and rounded with both varieties offering dark fruits and an amazing ability to do well under barrel maturation, and subsequently bottle aging up to 10 years out in finer examples and vintages.

We’re obviously very excited about this acquisition, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone on the list!  Keep eyes on your inboxes for the release announcement in the near future, and we hope you enjoy this oddity as much as we enjoyed stumbling upon it on our tour of Italy.

Cheers!

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