8 ha stretched across wildly steep terraces at 400 metres are what Filippo Rondelli calls home. A few kms from the French border in the heart of the Rossese di Dolceacqua DOC the estate of Terre Bianche has been the standard bearer for this wine for more than a century. The abundant rainfall and clay/limestone soil imbue this remote corner of Italy with a natural propensity for delicate, aromatic wines that run counter to the current vogue for alcohol and extraction.
The salty tang in the mountain air is captured perfectly in his trio of Ligurian classics. The Rossese is very fine with red fruit and a herbal twist. The Pigato is spicier and bigger, almost, with a lemon sorbet and fennel note. The Vermentino keeps an underlying oiliness but a fresh citrus tang separates it from the sturdier wines of Terenzuola. These are expensive but they’re the offspring of a most difficult labour and worth the price.