'Tis the Season for Rosato

"It’s hard to believe that it’s already May, especially with the chilly winds and rain that have bombarded New York, but the fact is that within a few weeks, those chilly mornings and blustery days will be all but a distant memory, and we’ll all be craving something pink. In fact, this year, this is the case more than any year before, as many of us stare out longingly from our isolation, watching the trees turn greener with each day and the flowers blooming. All we need is a good reason to get outside, without bundling or gearing up for wet weather. What we need is a sunny patch to sit or lounge, the sound of our favorite tunes in the background, the smell of the grill, the jovial commotion of kids playing off in the distance, and the perfect glass of Rosato to top it all off. But let’s pause for a moment. So, you think Rosé, or Rosato for the Italophile in you, is just for absent-minded sipping? Well, of course, it can and should fill that niche, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that refreshing, mouthwatering and fun should also equal boring. No, no, no. You see, the best part about Rosé today is that many producers really put their all into creating stunning examples, overbrimming with signatures of terroir and vintage character. Plus, what better place to look for your Rosé fix than Italy, where varieties and styles abound in an endless litany of expression that will keep you on the edge of your lawn chair or leaning against the patio rail. For me, the grill is where I find my favorite Rosé in the glass, but I want that wine to also travel to the dinner table, which it should be able to. Lastly, the best of these wines can even get a little better with age, so don’t fret losing a couple bottles of Cerasuolo or Nebbiolo Rosato in the cellar for next year. With that out of the way, let’s talk about some of the best regions to explore for the best wines of 2019. Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo If you think that Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a fun and jovial mouthful of deep cherry fruit offset by wild herbs and spice, then just wait until you taste a Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, which adds stunning minerality and a juicy character to the wine. What I love most about Cerasuolo, being a fan of Montepulciano, but not so much a fan of the new oak and extraction you find in some of the wines, is that these are a clean, transparent expression of the grape and terroir. Also, just take a look at those vibrant deep red hues of a Cerasuolo, which is completely natural, as the Montepulciano grape is extremely high in anthocyanins. The fact is that most producers will use little to no maceration to obtain that color. In my opinion, there are few other Rosés produced around the world that can create such an enjoyable experience from start to finish. Cerasuolo pleases the eyes, the nose, the palate, and has just enough structure to allow for short-term cellaring. As for the vintage, 2019 in Abruzzo started off with a mild and rainy winter, which continued into spring, as precipitation was heavy, and temperatures were significantly lower than average. This helped to ward off disease in the vineyards, yet it also created uneven shoots and disrupted flowering, which lowered yields. However, with summer came warm and dry weather with good fluctuations of temperature between day and night, which was followed by a mild and dry autumn. While the early-ripening varieties, such as Pecorino, were harvested earlier than usual, the later ripening varieties, such as Montepulciano, were able to enjoy an extended time on the vines. According to Cristiana Tiberio, of the Tiberio winery, ‘The 2019 vintage has minerality and freshness coming from the rain and cool temperatures, but more texture and concentration than previous years because of lower yields.’" --Eric Guido, Vinous, 'Tis the Season for Rosato, May 2020 To read Eric’s full report and read about other regions including Campania, Piedmont, Mount Etna (Sicily), and Bardolino (Veneto), check out the full article on Vinous now. Below is a selection of notes from the report.

Bonavita

Terre Siciliane Rosato 2019

Delectable Wine
9.2

The 2019 Bonavita Rosato is an incredibly deep ruby color, so much so that you might mistake it for a red. On the nose, I’m finding an alluring mix of crushed cherries, offset by tangerine, rose petals, and the slightest hint of exotic savory spice. On the palate, soft textures usher in a remarkably pure expression of floral-laced red fruits and minerals, as it seems to hover across the senses over a core of vibrant acidity with hints of ginger and a gentle tug of tannin. The long finish is fresh but also showing a youthful structure, leading me to believe that this might be even better if given some time to unwind in the cellar. This blend of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, and Nocera is really quite stunning. (Eric Guido, Vinous, May 2020) — 15 days ago

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Rocca di Montegrossi

Toscana IGT Sangiovese Rosato 2019

Delectable Wine
9.1

The 2019 Rocca di Montegrossi Rosato is gorgeous, both spicy and floral, with zesty bright cherry and a hint of grapefruit. On the palate, silky, soothing textures usher in ripe red fruits offset by vibrant acids, as hints of sweet spice and salty minerals buzz on the senses. The finish is medium in length and remarkably fresh. (Eric Guido, Vinous, May 2020)
— 15 days ago

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Proprieta Sperino

Rosa del Rosa Coste della Sesia Nebbiolo Rosé 2019

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 2019 Sperino Rosa del Rosa is stunning, opening to reveal depths of ripe peach and strawberry, with hints of cumin, ginger, dried orange, and roses. It floods the palate with silky textures, tugging at the cheeks as zesty acids settle in, then soothing through sweet liquid florals and ripe fruit. The finish is long, showing a hint of fine tannins, yet not austere; instead tactile, perfectly balanced with a hint of savory spice and just begging me to take another sip. This is a blend of Nebbiolo and Vespolina, which is gorgeous right now, but it may even get better with a little time in the cellar. Frankly, it was hard to put the glass down. (Eric Guido, Vinous, May 2020) — 15 days ago

Comm. G.B. Burlotto

Elatis Rosato Nebbiolo Blend 2019

Delectable Wine
9.1

The nose shows ripe honeydew and crushed yellow apple with sweet herbs and smoky minerals. On the palate, the 2019 Burlotto Elatis Rosato coasts with ease. It is cool-toned and riding a core of vibrant acids, minerals, and citrus-tinged fruits. The finish is long, buzzing with energy, and just begging for another sip. This is a unique and wonderfully stimulating blend of 60% Pelaverga, 35% Nebbiolo and 5% Barbera. (Eric Guido, Vinous, May 2020) — 15 days ago

Tiberio

Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo 2019

Delectable Wine
9.2

The 2019 Tiberio Cerasuolo is wonderfully fresh and perfumed, showing depths of smoky minerals on the nose, giving way to notes of ripe strawberry and wild flowers, with a hint of crushed limestone and chalk. On the palate, silky textural depths are offset by saline-minerality and brisk acids, as notes of cherry with a hint of orange citrus wash across the senses. The finish is long, with a twang of tart red berry and hints of wild herbs, almost salty, and begging me to take another sip. (Eric Guido, Vinous, May 2020) — 15 days ago

La Spinetta

Il Rosé di Casanova Rosé Blend 2019

Delectable Wine
9.2

Spinetta’s 2019 Il Rosé di Casanova is stunning in the glass, wafting up with a seductive bouquet, mixing lime and ripe melon with crushed strawberries. It floods the palate with spicy red fruits, complemented by juicy citrus and brisk acids, which keep the expression wonderfully fresh. The finish is long, as an air of minerals and fresh florals hover above salty minerals which beg you to take another sip. (Eric Guido, Vinous, May 2020) — 15 days ago