Dolceacqua is the picturesque and mountainous home of Rossese, a very rare grape that in these parts produces deeply ruby hued, fruity, robust, earthy wines. Rossese began life as Tibouren in the south of France, and was allegedly carried over to north-west Italy by Napoleon's soldiers. Altavia is a relatively new winery - but possessing some old vineyards up in the hills - with a passion to take Rossese to the world. Their DOC rated Rossese di Dolceacqua Superiore is the high note in a striking and avant-garde range of wines. It is made of Rossese grapes from a mixture of 40-year old vines and a newer vineyard planted in 2003. The old-vine grapes are low-yielding and bush-trained, and the resulting wine is aged for nine months in big oak barrels; the younger fruit spends around the same period of time in stainless steel. Allied with 400 metres of altitude, this gives the wine real freshness to back up the rich red cherry fruit and tannin. Indeed, this is an even fresher, more aromatic wine than the spectacularly tasty (and very well reviewed) 2009 vintage. Try it with roast veal. Altavia's Rossese is released after a further two months resting in bottle, yet there are only around 6,000 bottles of it made every year. A rare bottling of one of Italy's nearly-forgotten and rarest grape varieties.