Made from Montepulciano grapes, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is the rosé/rosato designation of Abruzzo, and also one of the leading rosato in all of Italy. The wines are crafted using an ancient winemaking technique traditional to Abruzzo in which the fermenting juice has a limited amount of contact with the skin [typically just a few hours]. The name Cerasuolo [meaning cherry in Italian] refers to the distinctive, bright cherry red colour of the wines.
The wines tend to be made with 100% Montepulciano grapes, although the DOC minimum is 85% Montepulciano. With more structure and depth than a typical rosé, I find Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo more like a light red, with its juicy fruit and light tannins. Stainless steel is typically the vessel for fermentation and the short ageing time [usually about 3 months], preserves the fresh, clean character of the wine.
I had the pleasure of tasting the following wines at Slow Wine, held at Eataly Downtown in NYC. All of the wines are crafted sustainably, without chemical additions to the soil or wine, with a combination of low intervention, organic and biodynamic methods. Below are the Cerasuolo that I found to be engaging, expressive and distinctive.
Tenuta Terraviva ‘Giusi’ Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC 2018
Structured, polished layers of cherry, wild berries, pomegranate, strawberry, and smoky earth underscored by a trace of licorice on the savory finish.
Paride d’Angelo Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC 2018
An interesting balance between funky earthy elements and juicy watermelon and cherry. A trace of spice, almond and red berries linger on the finish.
Cataldi Madonna Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC 2018
Silky and agile, with wild strawberry, cherry and raspberry draped over a clean mineral core, accented by herbs, spice a trace of almond and tangy acidity.
Tenuta I Fauri Baldovino Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC 2018
A spicy/savory edge to the cherry, red currant, raspberry, clean minerality and fresh acidity. Straightforward and gluggable.
Di Sipio Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOP 2018
Mineral and savory elements provide the backbone to wild strawberry, herbs, and citrus acidity, raspberry and cherry pit hint linger between each engaging, refreshing sip.
Media event hosted by Slow Wine.