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Cantina Tollo flies the flag for darker-hued Italian rosé

Abruzzo producer Cantina Tollo tells db why it has no plans to follow a pale, Provençal style of rosé as it reveals an eyecatching new label for its 2022 Hedòs Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOP.

Translating as ‘cherry’ in the Abruzzese dialect, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is a wine style that has been produced for more than 50 years, but, with the popularity of rosé booming, now could be its chance to truly shine.

Made from 100% Montepulciano, harvested in October, the wine offers an alternative expression of a variety doubtless familiar to many UK consumers. Fermentation in stainless steel preserves aromatic characteristics of ripe strawberries and raspberries, while four months (and 14% ABV) on the lees lends body.

However, the success of rosé, perhaps more so than any other wine category, can be determined by its appearance.

Oenologist Daniele Di Nardo told db that while Hedòs Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is slightly lighter in colour than very traditional rosé styles from the region, it must still be darker than other rosés available: “We know that the market is following Provençal rosé, but Cerasuolo is a traditional wine, it cannot have less colour…Chiaretto is Chiaretto, Provençal rosé is Provençal rosé.”

Though the wine has already been a big success, winning Best Rosé at Vinitaly in 2019, the label has now been refreshed in order to give it a more distinctive identity.

Instead of one solid shade of dark pink, as it was previously, the new look label has an undulating range of shades that evokes the red fruits of the wine’s flavour profile, and makes the label pop against the bottle’s distinctive dark pink contents.

Given the dominance of the region’s fresh and fruit-forward reds in Italian restaurant groups in the UK, it makes sense that Di Nardo would suggest pizza as a “perfect match”. For something more regionally specific, he suggested ventricina, a traditional salami from Abruzzo.


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