Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo – A Rosato With Depth and Muscle

Warmer weather signals the time to break out the rosato (rosè) wines and begin to enjoy the pink juice with your favorite summer meals. Italy is the second largest producer of rosato wines (source: Italian Wine Central).  There are a number of Italian rosatos produced from red varietals in the various regions.  Commonly used reds include sangiovese, barbera, and nebbiolo to name a few.  This month we take you to Italy’s central region—the Abruzzo—where you will find an amazingly bright, seductive rosato produced from the big red grape of the region, Montepulciano, called Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo (pronounced “chay-rah-swo-lo”). Taste this wine and your will immediately understand the origin for the name. Hint: the latin word for “cherry” is cerasum.

Discovering Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo was one of my most pleasant surprises while exploring the Abruzzo region.  My experience with California rosès has not been memorable; but don’t even attempt to compare this juice to any of the California rosè wines.  If you approach this wine expecting a light, timidly sweet wine, you will be in for a big surprise.  This is a rosè with some depth and muscle.  I went to the region with great anticipation of finding the big red Montepulciano, and left in love with both the powerful red and its rosato relative.

Corrado De Angelis Corvi’s Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is produced from the same vineyards that bring us his flagship Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Elevito”.  This rosato shares the same body, structure, and acidity as its parent Montepulciano red.  Corrado selects the ripest of fruit in the last week in September when the fruit brings enhanced complexity, flavor and acidity to the wine. After a very brief maceration on the skins, approximately 4 hours, the juice is fermented at very low temperatures to bring out the most complexity and flavor from the fruit. You are immediately struck by the brilliant salmon red color in the glass.  The nose hints of berries and then lands firmly on your palate with crisp, rich cherry, strawberry and raspberry notes and a bold fruit finish. 

Corrado’s Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is a very versatile wine that complements and enhances a wide variety of foods including summer soups, fish, shellfish, risotto, and white meats.  Enjoy with appetizers of fresh berries and light cheeses.  This is a fantastic wine to serve at your summer BBQ of grilled chicken, oysters, or vegetables.  If you are looking for a wine to take to the beach or picnic, don’t look any further.  For maximum enjoyment, serve this wine very chilled at 45-50 degrees. 

Fire up the BBQ and enjoy!

Don Chigazola