The outside of the place doesn’t seem to go with what you’d expect from a wine bar, but the inside which is in the basement, is immaculate and designed with an elegant sobriety. For sure, it hasn’t the wine peps to seduce a wine amateur at the first glance (it looks like a normal restaurant room with few bottles dispayed). But Rosso Bianco, at least it seems to me, is a place where good wine will have the front seat.The management of the venue changed very recently and its new manager/sommelier whom we met that day made a very good impression on me and my Russian friends.
Serguey Tarasov comes from the wine distribution/importation sector, and as such, he has a good experience in meeting the vignerons in France and elsewhere, and at selecting the wines too. He has ambitious plans in terms of quality of the wines offered to the patrons as well as on the price bracket, which he wants to lower sensibly compared to other moscow wine bars.
The owner of Rosso Bianca is a 26-year-old football player named Dmitri Sychev. He played in the Olympique de Marseille (OM) and he is now in the Russian national team.
Serguei Tarasov has free reins to organize the place and he is in the process to rethink the format of the bar/restaurant. There will be 7 wines by the glass but it will be possible to open bottles from a list of 30 wines.
Serguei also speaks warmly about a unique hybrid from Italy : a Caberlot made by Podere Il Carnasciale in Tuscany. The estate makes only one wine, this Caberlot, and only in magnums (1000 each year). Caberlot is likes its name may suggest a variety between Cabernet & Merlot, it has the organoleptic qualities of Merlot but clusters and grapes look like Cab. He says no one else makes this in Italy, the wine costs 150 € usually in the estate. In 1999, he adds, there was no wine because wild boars ate all the grapes. The owner is a woman named Bettina Rogosky. She is soon releasing a second wine made from young vines which will cost 25 € for 75 cl. Well, I need to taste this some day...
The wines by the glass will be cheap here too compared to other places, beginning in general at 250 Rbs. Right now they have a Rosé Cabernet d’Anjou by Baumard at 217 Rbs.
He has some Champagne Fleury (organic), some Chablis by Jean Collet. Among Italian wines, he speaks very warmly about an estate in the Friuli : Enzo Pontoni of the Miani winery [Jack of Fork & Bottle tasted some of their wines], he says, makes 6 or 7 cuvées, with 2000 bottles each, a great job. His Merlot (900 bottles only) was particularly good. He says that the man is a two-meter tall giant with big hands, he does all the work in the vineyard by himself. Robert Parker said his Sauvignon Blanc was maybe the best he had. [Gimme one bottle for Alice...]. I discovered that his wine was one of the wines found the the Drops of God, the best-seller Japanese wine manga (see here, click on the Volume 1 wine references)
Serguei pours us a Pomerol Clos Plince 2003, organic farming (Ecocert). Elegant wine, a pleasure to drink. He says that while the wine pro rate is 15 € at the estate, it hikes to 50 € for wholesale price in Moscow, and lots more on retail.