Perhaps one of the greatest things about the summer is that it coincides with the time when we’re cooking and eating food that goes great outside; with rosés. Pink wine has made a tremendous comeback and is making inroads in new parts of the world where it was never produced before. Over the last five years or so serious wine drinkers have moved on from those sickly sweet White Zinfandels to dry rosé wines that are made in the style that has never gone out of style in places like Provence in the south of France.
These days dry rosés are coming from everywhere in the wine producing world and a lot of them are very good often times sourced from vineyards where higher end red wines are also made. Rosé is made in a couple different ways, but the key to the color is in the maceration process and how much time the fresh pressed juice spends in contact with the broken grape skins which lend the wine its color. In rosé production maceration is short (particularly in comparison with red wine production). The main methods of production for rosé is to cut the maceration time short to produce the pink color the winemaker is going for, or to use the saignée which is French for bleed. In this method of production a percentage of the fresh pressed wine is “bled off” to allow the red wine to concentrate and this by-product often becomes rosé.
Production methods aside, now is a great time to stock up on rosé from all around the world, and we’ve got seven rosés for you to fall in love with.
A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault from the Northern Rhône valley. The wine is bright and boisterous. Pale pink with red berry fruit aromatics, and glimpses of wet stone. The palate is fresh and zesty. Grapefruit, red raspberry and early season nectarine flavors delivered with a zip that hints at fresh mint.
While Sicily is a very hot climate, the influence of the Mediterranean Sea that surrounds this island has allowed it to continue to produce wines with brilliant acidity. The 2016 growing season was cooler with This wine produced from 100% Nero d’Avola is super fresh, light bodied and a brilliant example of what Italian rosé, which is still developing in popularity, can do. Aromas of early season cherry, honeysuckle, and rhubarb. The palate is light and lively with hints of structure and ample acidity. Flavors of juicy raspberry, cut strawberry and a hint of citrus.
Coming from precisely you’d expect it, Sweden. The Bodvár rosés are a celebration of the best pink wine producing regions of the South of France, the Côtes de Provence and the Languedoc-Rousillon. The packaging is beautiful. The Bodvár family of Sweden has a long history of curating luxury items from the best producing parts of the world. The House of Rosés project is the first label committed to producing exclusively pink wines. The Pearly White, or No 1, is produced from 100% Cinsault and typical to the Languedoc region offers an effusive range of aromas. Citrus fruits mix with floral aromatics and even hints of the wild herbs and shrubs that cover the hills in this part of the Mediterranean. The palate is lean and lively with cut berry and fresh mint.
2016 Tiamo Organic Rosé, Terre di Chieti I.G.T., Italy $19 (four pack)
So, I’ve been pretty skeptical of the idea of wines in a can; very skeptical in fact, but I have to say, i was pleasantly shocked by this wine. The Tiamo Organic Rosé (in a can) is really, really nice. Made from 100% Montepulicano from the Abruzzo region, this canned wine, tastes like… wine. There’s no metallic taste whatsoever and the fruit character of the wine is particularly emphatic. I poured it into a glass, and beware, a can of wine is like 3 or so glasses of wine, so go easy tiger. The wine is a hint darker than some of the pale pink we’re seeing; it’s loaded with a fresh fruity aromatic, with floral notes. The palate has a pleasant red berry core, fleshy stone fruits and a mid-weight mouthfeel accented by a nice acidity.
Made from 100% Sangiovese from Washington’s Yakima Valley is a pink wine that is slightly darker hued than a lot of the really pale pink that is popular these days. The aromatics are robust with ripe raspberry, rhubarb and cherry. The palate is rounder, with fleshy red fruits, and a dab of sweetness that is braced really nicely with ample acidity. This is a rosé with a little more body and more than enough gumption to stand up to a grilled burger or ribs.
We often think of drinking rosé as a sort of time bound experience. Like, hey man, hurry up! The freshness and in season element of pink wine that makes it so appealing, you can however hold onto rosé and I definitely recommend hanging onto some of it until Thanksgiving. It’s rare to age rosé, but not unheard of. The wines of Bandol in Provence are known for their age-ability, this is due to the grape from which they’re made; Mourvedre. A grape when young can be a bit much to handle does wonders after a few years. Holding onto a rosé though is often a good idea, and so here are two that have held up well from the 2015 vintage and in fact for the winemakers of these wines, these rosés are just hitting their stride.
A winery that has been producing wines sustainably for over 100 years. Raimat was started in 1914 by Manuel Raventós, whose father had pioneered Cava production in Catalonia’s Penedes region. Looking for new vineyard lands he found himself in the arid deserts in the province of Lleida. Years of developing irrigation and a commitment to producing high quality wines has elevated Raimat’s status among Spanish wine producers. From the little known Spanish DO Costers del Segre in Catalonia comes a pale pink blend of Cabernet and Tempranillo from Raimat. While this is a vintage on the wine has done a remarkable job retaining its acidity. It’s lean, lithe and very elegant. Floral and faint fruit aromatics, and a super complex palate of herbs, blood orange and crushed stone.
From a production point of view this is perhaps the wackiest bottle of wine you might find. Having grown up in Pittsburgh, I have a real appreciation for Heinz, and their 57 varieites, but this is a bottle of rosé, and it’s only ten grape short of qualifying for Heinz status. The fruit for this particular bottling comes from the “vine garden” vineyard. A former vine nursery developed in South Africa to cultivate quality wine grapes that would be successful there. So this wine is made from 47 of them. Blends of red and wine grapes specifically selected for their higher acids, lower alcohol and fresh fruit signature.
The De Bos operation, in addition to making great wine does a lot of things right. Sustainable cultivation, renewable energy and perhaps most uniquely, they’re employee owned. The wines are Fair Trade certified, and delicious. This pink wine is effusively aromatic with notes of rhubarb and cut berries. The palate is light, crisp and balanced with red berry fruit and fresh mint. Just for fun, these are all the grapes in the wine:
Shiraz (Syrah) 13.45% Cabernet Sauvignon 12.78% Pinot Noir 10.32% Merlot 8.86% Pinot Gris 6.17% Pinotage 4.48% Semillon 3.06% Pinot Blanc 2.58% Roussanne 2.24% Cabernet Franc 1.68% Cinsaut 1.68% Malbec 1.68% Muskadel 1.46% Chardonnay 1.40% Chenin Blanc 1.40% Colombar 1.40% Sauvignon Blanc 1.40% Nouvelle 1.35% Carigan 1.23% Morio Muscat 1.23% Tempranillo 1.23% Tinta Barocca 1.23% Clairette Blanche 1.12% Durif 1.12% Petit Verdot 1.12% Tannat 1.12% Weisser Reisling 1.08% Crouchen 1.01% Muscat de Frontignan 1.01% Nebbiolo 1.01% Grenache Noir 0.90% Souzao 0.90% Mataro 0.78% Sangiovese 0.78% Touriga Nacional 0.67% Meunier 0.56% Roobernet 0.56% Ruby Cabernet 0.56% Bukettraube 0.45% Gewurztraminer 0.45% Touriga Franca 0.45% Zinfandel 0.43% Tinta Amarella 0.22% Viognier 0.22% Verdelho 0.11% Muscat D’Alexandrie 0.02%