Seriously, you should need a licence to buy this bundle of pink power.

Tiberio Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo 2017 $23Over the past few weeks I’ve been featuring some rosés that pack a little bigger wallop than the usual ethereal, salmon-pink hued lovelies from the South of France. First there was a lovely Syrah and Malbec beauty from Summerhill, then there was an all Cabernet Sauvignon from Mulderbosch. Both swell wines that have the structure and body to stand up to some pretty serious barbecue. But, to be totally honest, those wines are in the minor leagues compared to this bruiser.Let recount my initial interaction with this wine: I was grilling some steaks, when I wondered into the kitchen to open a bottle of red. This was sitting on the counter and nothwithstanding that it comes in a clear bottle and my vision is fine I still grabbed it and opened it. I poured it in my glass, gave it a swirl and a sniff and took a pull—still thinking it was red wine. What the hell is going on, thought I. I turned to the back label and even though the opening line says “This Rosé…” my initial thought was someone had mislabeled the wine. I looked at my glass, filled with red liquid the colour of a Bardolino, and it only reconfirmed my initial thought. This is red wine. It was only after I put it in the fridge for a spell and revisited it that I grudgingly accepted two things:

  1. It was in fact rosé;
  2. It was the baddest ass rosé I think I’ve ever had.

Now when I say it’s big or tough I don’t mean it;s high in alcohol and I definitely don’t mean it’s high is sugar. I mean it’s high in acidity, while still delivering a mainline of cherry and wild strawberry fruit but also some minerality and wet stones. I mean it has grip, or a structure that one normally associated with ageable red wine. This wine is racy in a way that a vintage sports car is—fun, memorable and maybe even a little bit dangerous.The wine hails from Abruzzo—in the running for the toughest wine region of Italy—and is from the newly created Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo DOC, where they make Rosato that embodies the thick-forearmed character of the region. Honest, no BS, nothing overly fancy when something beautifully simple will do. I’m officially retiring this bad-ass rosé quest and this is our logical champion.Congratulazioni Tiberio – you the man.