Italian wineries are also jumping into the fray and there are many more rosés made in Italy, mostly in places without a tradition with those wines. As new products, most are trying to find a suitable style. There are four long-standing areas of rosé production in Italy, only two of which were ever really found here and not terribly widespread. But at least one is worth checking out, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo.
Made with Montepulciano, the same varietal that goes into the region’s red mainstay Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and it does a similarly good of a job with rosés as does Grenache in southern France, if in making much different types of wines. These are rosés that might be considered almost light red wines, typically featuring a deep garnet color that is many hues from the pale salmon-colored Provencal rosés and with a body matching the color. The prominent scent of cherries are often on the nose and the smooth medium-bodied wines can be fruity in an Old World way with notes of strawberries, cherries and even orange. These are food-friendly quenchers that are a little more serious than the usual rosé.
At a dinner a couple weeks ago at Davanti sponsored by a wine consortium in Abruzzo, we tried several wines not currently sold in the area, red, white and rosé. The two rosés, both Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo from Torre Dei Beati and Torre Raone, were served to accompany a ravioli in a rich, savory sauce that had a just a touch of spice. With that, the considerable heat of the 100-degree day that made for a slightly warm dining room filled with three dozen people, and the heft of the wines, made these nice complements to the dish. They were praised by all of the wine professionals at my table. Easy to drink, enjoyable and with the acidity and flavors to go well with an Italian preparation. From the prices of these wines in the UK, I would guess these would probably retail for around $20 a bottle, fair prices.
If you enjoy rosés or light red wines and looking for different, but traditional taste of Italy, look for Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo.