Valentini 2017 Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo
There are many candidates for the best rose wine wine in the world: some would say Domaine Tempier's Bandol, others might put forward Garrus from Chateau d'Esclans, maybe a few might suggest Gerard Bertrand's ambitiously priced Clos du Temple. These are all great, but they are not Valentini. First of all, it is not quite fair to compare this to the very fine roses of Provence as this is totally different beast, and secondly it is barely a rose, more of a pale red.
Valentini is no doubt one of the greatest wine producers in Italy. Edouardo Valentini was known for his extreme selection of grapes, with barely 5% of what he made ending up being released in the bottle, selling off most of his production in bulk. Edouardo died in 2006, but his legacy has been continued by his son Francesco. Whilst much of Italy was planting international varieties and chasing scores from the American press, Valentini continued to make wine in the Italian way, holding fast to his local varieties and winemaking traditions: the Quintarelli of the South, if you could imagine that.
His 2017 Cerasuolo is a very particular wine. Flamboyant? No, not really. Understated? Yes, absolutely - supremely elegant with some remnants of fruit characteristics, but it's the depth and mysteriousness of this wine that keeps you coming back to the glass time and time again to get lost in its complexities. There is a certain amount of enjoyment in drinking this wine, in the knowledge that few people will ever get to drink it because of its scarcity. It is no bargain, for sure, but it is market forces that have driven the value of the wine, not some brand-owners ego.
You could drink this now and enjoy it immensely, but why not buy two and stick the other away into the furthest reaches of your cellar where it could lie for decades and become, even more than it is already, a thing of beauty.