Sadly deprived of the opportunity to watch extended coverage of HM Mrs Gwinn’s funeral today, here in Venezia, we however fulfilled a long-held ambition to find out more about the legendary Raboso del Piave and, naturally, opted to visit Cecchetto, this tiny appellation’s standard-bearer, made more poignant as an oasis of honest viticulture in this ocean of down-market Prosecco vineyards all around. Mixed metaphors apologised-for.
We were shown around by Christina Cecchetto, aided by a mutually-shared language; French - and of course Google Translate. In the c20th much of the Raboso was replaced with French merlots and cabernets but there are signs that it is becoming more appreciated. It’s a late ripening thick skinned red which needs taming with ageing. When I mentioned tannat this struck a chord.
They like to age it in either huge old foudres but are experimenting with barriques made from mulberry (gelso), chestnut (castagno), cherry (cilieglio) and acacia.
They also make a sparkling rosé from raboso, champagne method, hand riddled and disgorged and sits sur lie for an astonishing 8 years. Tonight we are drinking the 2013 which was disgorged in 2021. It is utterly fabulous.
And raboso as a straight red wine ? Current release is the 2019; €14.
Wow. Nose - smoke, dark wood shavings, cherries. mouth - cherries again, graphite, soft tannins - this is less aggressive than a comparable madiran and much more approachable than pignolo.
At the back of the winery they are cultivating a few raboso vines in the old fashioned way, which is on high wires attached between mulberry trees.
If there is any wine missing from the TWS Italian portfolio it is Cecchetto’s Raboso del Piave. I hope someone is reading this.
Raboso wines growing amongst mulberry trees; ToH for scale
Traditional barriques made from mulberry
the Raboso brut rosé 2013 sur lie
Tasting with Cristina Cecchetto
The Brut cuvée currently drinking tonight