Wine Of The Week: Valentini Cerasuolo

The revered Italian winemaker proved that Abruzzo bottles can be excellent, idiosyncratic and highly age-worthy.

Valentini makes some of the wine world’s most grail-worthy bottles. The hallowed brand’s reds and whites rarely appear on shop shelves, often only in Italy’s best bottle shops. The winemaker itself is likewise shrouded in a bit of mystery. Edoardo Valentini passed away in 2006, and the Abruzzo winery famously doesn’t accept visitors (even journalists) and is rather hush hush about its production methods.

That said, Valentini is among the winemakers who have completely changed the face of Abruzzese wine, proving that bottles from the region can be idiosyncratic, excellent, and highly age-worthy. Whenever I’m craving Valentini, I look for their Cerasuolo. Think of it as a rosé masquerading as a red — deep ruby in color and full in body, big enough to pair with warming winter dishes that may appear on your table at this time of year.

It’s a spectacular wine, also crafted from Montepulciano grapes but done with a lighter hand to display cherries, thyme, and a touch of minerality. It’s lingering, light, and vibrant. $275

Kate Dingwall is a WSET-trained sommelier and spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater,, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.