Tessère is a very traditional winery in the eastern part of the Veneto, which I discovered because Emanuela Vincoletto shares a stand at Vinitaly with Ambra Tiraboschi of Cà Lojera. Her wines were already impressing me when Andreas Maerz, one of the staunchest traditionalists out there, passed by and said -- in a loud stage whisper -- "gotta support these wines!"
In addition to handling Tessère, Emanuela has taken over La Dai Rocs, her mother-in-law's estate in Friuli. She told me her husband's family had long owned land in Faedis, which her husband's aunt managed until she got too old, and then rented out. But now they are taking over and have so far made a sparkling wine from Verduzzo Friulano grapes using the Charmat Method that is quite promising. Nice fruit and some almonds in the finish.
Returning to Tessère, Emanuela is specialized in Raboso, and will be certified organic in 2012, though she has been organic for years. To celebrate the change, she made a sparkling Rosato di Rabolso that's fermented on the lees but not disgorged, which means that the consumer will find a wine with lees.
Tessère Redentor 2007 This is a metodo classico that spends 36 months on the lees, and in that time it went from being a Rosato to being brassy yellow with brassy reflections and fine perlage. It's a brut, and has an interesting nose -- we're far from Champagne and Franciacorta here -- with minerality and savory spice, also some heather, and savory accents. On the palate it's bright, with savory sparkle and dried tart apple fruit laced with orange and pomagranite seeds, and supported by pineapple acidity, flowing into a fairly long savory finish with salty grapefruit accents that leaves the palate very clean and invites a second sip. Pleasant, and a nice change of pace with respect to the more standard sparkling wines. 2 stars
Tessère Raboso delle Venezie IGT 2008 Lot 3-179-10 This spends time in steel -- the appellation requires wood and hence the IGT classification -- and is the simplest of her wines. Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is deft, with red berry fruit and some sandalwood supported by peppercorn spice and a certain airiness. On the palate it's fairly rich, with bright sour cherry fruit -- it's an acidic varietal -- supported by spice, moderate sour cherry acidity, and tannins that are quite evident but also smooth, with spicy accents that include the peppercorns, and flow into a fairly dry berry fruit finish. Quite pleasant and will drink very well with grilled or roasted meats, supporting what it's served with without distracting. It's not for everyone, but if you like tannic wines with lively fruit and acidity, you will enjoy it very much. 2 stars
Tessère Barbarigo Raboso Piave DOC 2006 Lot 4-179-10 The regulations of the appellation require a certain time in oak, and this wine spent two years in tonneaux followed by time in tank and a year in bottle. It's deep cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is elegant, though not as fruit driven as the basic wine; the wood makes itself felt in the form of some cedary accents that interplay with red berry fruit and moderate spice; it has more complexity than the simple Terre delle Venezia, and as it opens does reveal the intriguing peppercorn notes, though they are less evident. On the palate it's ample, and fairly rich, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by considerable acidity -- sour berry and mineral -- and by dry tannins that have a cedary overlay; they are quite evident, and as the influence of the oak fades peppery accents emerge from grape that are slightly greener than those of the other vintage. It's pleasant, though a touch dry -- and this is the vintage I think -- and will work well with rich succulent meats -- stewed wild boar would be very nice, as would a leg of lamb roasted until well done, in the Italian tradition. 2 stars
Tessère Rebecca Raboso Passito Veneto IGT 2004 Lot 4 86 08 Deep pyrope ruby with almandine rim paling to orange. the bouquet is intense, and sweet, with rich candied red berry fruit shot though with sandalwood, fresh herbs, and hints of quinine and mint; and a fair amount of alcohol too, and intriguing minerality, and sugar. A tremendous lot going on and very interesting. On the palate it's rich and full, with powerful candied cherry plum fruit supported by lively rhubarb acidity that keeps it from being cloying and intriguing peppery notes that carry into a long fruit driven sweet peppery finish. Extremely interesting, and if you like sweet red wines you will find it fascinating; the standard pairings such as bitter chocolate and herbed cheeses will work very well, and Emanuela also suggests a rare steak with berry fruit jellies, or stewed game with cranberry sauce. It's from an excellent vintage with a lot going on, and is very interesting. 88-90
NO STAR goes to wines that are correctly made but nothing to get excited about.
ONE STAR goes to wines that are good. TWO STARS go to wines that are very good to excellent. THREE STARS and a POINT SCORE (90-100) go to wines that are superb to extraordinary. And I will give pairing suggestions, which I consider much more important than the scores.