2020 Fontefico Fossimatto Rosé Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Superiore
Region: Vasto < Abruzzo < Italy
Grape: Montepulciano d'AbruzzoVineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; clay and limestone soils;
bunches are partly destemmed and partly left in whole clusters, then
crushed in an old-school vertical pressoir. After a few hours'
maceration, the juice is moved into big, used oak botti for
fermentation with native yeasts and no temperature control. The wine
is aged in these huge botti on the fine lees for 7-9 months and
bottled without fining or filtering or additional sulfur; 12% ABV
Winemakers: Nicola and Emanuele Altieri
In 1996, brothers Nicola + Emanuele Altieri established Fontefico, a certified organic estate in the beautiful Vasto gulf on the Southern Abruzzo coast (think central Italy, east and opposite of Lazio and the city of Rome, bordering the Adriatic Sea). Supported by their dad Alessandro, an expert agronomist, the duo began to experiment the different estate’s vineyards with lots of micro-vinifications, always with fresh acidity and deep fruit thanks to the strong breeze coming from the Adriatic sea.
Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo is the traditional deeply colored, full-bodied not quite red, not quite rosato of the region; they call it Cerasuolo (translates, sort of, as "sun cherry") for its pretty cherry color and flavor, which comes from the skin tannins of the deeply-hued Montepulciano grape and not from extended maceration. While rosé might be an
afterthought (or cash cow) in many regions, here it is a serious and important wine, the true calling card of the top Abruzzo growers -- and is the Abruzzo wine that commands the highest price. The Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC is approved for rosé wine production only, an interesting wine nerd factoid. And while it may be unknown in the US, the Euros know that good Cerasuolo rivals the best rosé bottles in the world (move over, Bandol!)
After "taste testing" (..ahem) endless bottles last summer in Abruzzo, we're happy to report that the Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo that we stumbled upon in a café at the foot of a crumbling castle, the one that stole our hearts, is this very bottle from Fontefico! We posted about it, they messaged us, and fast forward a year later, that wine took a long boat to Cali to make its way to Rock Juice. A very happy ending.
Bright and earthy with wild cherry, cranberry, Balsalmic and forest funk (moss,
wet tree?), it meanders into licorice and wet stone. Intense and complex, with
tension and texture, this is a serious, versatile wine that deserves a spot on the dinner table. In many ways, this 'tweener wine is the ideal bridge for different palates and foods. You can drink it chilled in the summer with burgers, or lightly cool in the winter with soups and stews. It's our secret weapon to have at the ready for dinners (and multiple dishes) out, or when there are several competing palates (and tolerance for wildness) to please. And honestly, it drinks more like a light red wine than a rosé.
The wine's name, 'Fossi matto!', means “not a chance!” As in, "not a chance" they'll be any of this bottle left once opened? Yep, that sounds right. Especially during this season of holiday feasts and buffets galore, when a deep-pink, baby red, goes-with-everything-wine will be the hot ticket.
SERVE CHILLED BUT NOT ICY COLD