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2022 Rosé – New Releases

BY VINOUS | MAY 24, 2022

The first installment of our annual Rosé coverage kicks off with an in-depth look at the wines of Italy. Readers will find a wide range of Rosatos to suit any occasion. Watch this space as we add more choices from our team of editors in the coming weeks.

The Italian Rosé Paradigm – by Eric Guido

Frankly stated, Italy is not as simple as a typical wine-producing nation. This applies to Rosé more than nearly any other category. First, the country boasts over 100 different red grape varieties that can be used to make Rosato, and it’s not always the case that these varieties can be found on the front or back labels of the bottles. Second, just because the Northeast may have had a great vintage, that doesn’t mean the same holds true for the Northwest or the center or south of the peninsula. The fact is that Italy is one of the most geographically diverse winemaking countries in the world, surrounded by water on three sides, with the Alps to the north, desert winds blowing up from the south and a spine of mountains running down the middle. But here’s the good news: while it’s difficult to make a broad generalization about a single vintage and the litany of Rosé that Italy produces, the chances are that the country’s diversity works in consumers’ favor anyway; because even in the worst of years, there will always be a region that excelled, a grape variety that rose to the top and wines that will truly be worth the hunt.

Two thousand twenty-one is the vintage for the majority of Italy’s Rosés current-release. The year was generally warm throughout, and most regions witnessed drastic climatic events, such as sporadic torrential rains, which seems to happen often lately, as a result of global warming. Most regions reported a more balanced year than 2020, from an aspect of heat spikes and serious drought conditions. What’s more, the weather during harvest was temperate.

For my taste, Cerasulo d’Abruzzo continues to be one of Italy’s top categories for Rosato, year after year. The best part about these 100% pure Montepulciano Rosés is that they can be enjoyed upon release, but many of them actually get better over a year or two of cellaring. In addition, varieties like Gaglioppo, Aglianico and Negroamaro are making some of Italy’s most exciting and unique Rosatos. These are wines that are seriously worthy of readers’ attention, and I expect will become more and more popular over time. As for some of the tried and true, both Nerello Mascalese (Mt. Etna’s darling variety) and Nebbiolo continue to produce some of my favorites, for their quenching acidity and nuanced tannins that play with the palate. And lastly (never forget), the best, most quality-minded winemakers always seem to rise to the top, despite local vintage conditions.

So, sit back, dream of poolside sipping through the months ahead and take a look at the notes that follow to find out what you’ll have in your glass. 

All of the wines in this article were tasted in our New York offices during the months of April and May 2022.

© 2022, Vinous. No portion of this article may be copied, shared or re-distributed without prior consent from Vinous. Doing so is not only a violation of our copyright, but also threatens the survival of independent wine criticism.

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