In this column our aim is to deepen our knowledge of vines, those extraordinary climbing plants from which we obtain the fruit that produces the wine we are so passionate about, and this is one of the opportunities we have not to take everything for granted and to commit sin of lightness.
It would not be fair to talk about Abruzzo’s excellence, at least from a vitivinicultural point of view, without making some reference to Cerasuolo, which is in fact the region’s rosé wine par excellence, or worse, just because it comes from a grape variety that we have already mentioned when talking about red wine.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a great expert to appreciate and taste good wine, and some may have already done so without having a completely clear idea of how it is obtained and from which vine this type of wine comes.
Is it perhaps the result of the famous blend of red and white wine? Let’s say no!
Perhaps some of our great-grandparents may have tried, and may even have succeeded, but today other methods are preferable, especially as in Italy this is not even permitted by law.
But then, how do we obtain this wine with such fascinating characteristics?
First of all, it is necessary to fix in our mind that the Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo comes from the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo vine, that is, the grapes are those of the most famous and representative vine of red grapes of Abruzzo.
So we are talking about the same vine we talked about last time, whose history is more than two thousand years old and which has kept Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Cerasuolo within the same denomination until 2010 when Cerasuolo could finally be recognised as a DOC wine.
Having said that, there are many ways of producing it, although the most widely used, and I am not just referring to our Abruzzi rosé, but also to any other rosé wine in the world, is the white vinification of red grapes.
In practice, once the grapes have been crushed, they macerate together with the skins and seeds for a short period of time, sufficient to transfer the necessary levels of colouring substances and tannins required by the winemaker to achieve the final product.
In reality, there are many other methods of producing rosé wine, such as “salasso”, blending, particularly used in the production of sparkling wines, or direct pressing, but at the moment we prefer to focus on the grape variety and the characteristics of the wine produced.
This vine, in the Cerasuolo version, has succeeded in creating a wine with a beautiful rosé colour in the classic soft shades of Cerasuolo and claret, with nuances ranging from salmon to onion skin, red coral as well as intense floral scents of rose, jasmine, geranium and fruity scents of cherry, raspberry, strawberries and currants, as well as the typical diffuse vinosity or almondy aftertaste and many others.
The resulting wine is usually full-bodied, with good persistence, characterized by a nice acidity and minerality, delicate tannins and an absolutely attractive and balanced warmth and softness.
The area of production of Cerasuolo can be identified in the soils particularly suitable for quality wine-growing in the four provinces of Abruzzo and it can be had in the basic and “Superiore” versions in which both must have at least 85% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes and the remaining 15% from black grapes suitable for cultivation in the Abruzzo region.
Once again from the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo vine, we have managed to obtain an elegant and refined wine that has brought prestige to our region.
Cerasuolo has the characteristic of being combinable with almost everything, at a not very cold temperature of at least 8-10 degrees, being able to satisfy even the undecided, with aperitifs, appetizers, fish dishes, vegetarian dishes, white and red meat as well as short and long seasoned cheeses.