This is my favorite time of year. Our garden is lush and green from a long, wet spring. The azaleas have bloomed and the hydrangeas are about to do the same. And, perhaps most importantly, a new vintage of rosé has been released. Here are six rosés we received as tasting samples that will provide sipping pleasure from now until the next vintage is released. They represent diverse wine regions, grape varieties and color in the glass. It’s hard to choose a favorite.
Domaine Michel Briday NV Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé — sparkling salmon in the glass with hints of yeasty bread and underripe blackberries. Mouth-filling bubbles give way to citrus and delicate berry flavors. Citrusy acidity lingers in a fairly short finish. 12% abv. SRP $26.99
This bright, sparking rosé is just the thing for brunch or lunch. It is relatively low in alcohol and will accompany a salad, quiche or a classic Croque Monsieur to perfection.
Pinot Noir is gently pressed before fermentation, followed by the second (bubble producing) fermentation in the bottle as with Champagne. The crémant (that’s the term for sparkling wine made in the traditional method in France, but not in Champagne) ages for 16 to 18 months in the bottle.
2018 Marqués de Cáceres Excellens Rosé, Rioja DOCa — delicate raspberry color in the glass with intense floral and ripe berry aromas. The flavors continue with mixed berry flavors of ripe raspberries and boysenberries along with a citrusy finish. The aromas and flavors are very intense and last a very long time. 14% abv. SRP$19.99
The color and aromas of this lovely rosé will cause you to fall in love immediately. It is almost a tasting-optional wine (as our friend Jon would call it) because of the beautiful aromas. Sip this lovely rosé on its own or pair it with grilled chicken and potato salad.
This rosé is a blend of 60% Garnacha, 40% Tempranillo grown in the higher elevations of Spain’s Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. Vines are about 25 years old. Separate, minimal crushing of each variety results in a delicately-colored must that is then combined before fermentation. It is a beautiful rosé and very affordable.
2018 Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Rosé, Western Cape, South Africa — delicate raspberry color in the glass with aromas of struck match initially. They dissipate and leave aromas of blackberries, berry bramble and hints of white flowers. Bright berry flavors and citrusy acidity combine for a lively, if not overly complex and lengthy flavor profile. 13% abv. SRP $11.99
This rosé is perfect for a warm afternoon or with appetizers. It’s refreshing and beautiful in the glass.
The Wolftrap is one of several ranges of wines made by the well-regarded Franschhoek producer Boekenhoutskloof. The rosé is a blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache and is made using the saignée method. This method draws off juice after just a brief exposure to the skins and results in a concentration of flavors in the remaining red wine along with a flavorful rosé wine.
2018 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé, Paso Robles — pale salmon in the glass with floral, berry and candle wax aromas. Flavors of blackberries, cedar, citrus and dusty earth combine for a complex and long-lasting finish with bright acidity. 13% abv. SRP $27.99
This is a lovely, complex rosé. Don’t let the delicate color fool you into expecting a simple wine. Pair this wine with grilled chicken, pasta or simply a warm afternoon.
Tablas Creek Vineyard was established 1989 as a collaboration between the Perrin family (Château de Beaucastel) and the Haas family. Estate vineyards are Biodynamic® and organic certified by Demeter USA.
The Patelin de Tablas is sourced from four sub-appellations in Paso Robles. Grenache was direct-pressed and augmented with saignée of Mourvèdre and Counoise. Native yeast fermentation followed in stainless steel.
2018 Tablas Creek Vineyard Dianthus, Adelaida District Paso Robles — light raspberry color in the glass with generous aromas of strawberries and raspberries. Flavors of ripe raspberries and cherries combine with a bit of earth and generous acidity. Flavors are complex and last a long time along with more body and a hint of tannins. 14.1% SRP $33.99
Complex flavors and textures make this rosé the ideal food wine, but that’s not to say it isn’t perfectly sippable on its own. It would be delicious with pasta or grilled pork chops.
Dianthus is sourced from Tablas Creek estate vineyards and the winemaking is a bit more complex. Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Counoise are co-fermented on the skins in a stainless steel fermenter. After 48 hours 800 gallons of juice is drawn off and fermented to dry. Saignée from other lots of Mourvèdre and Grenache are then blended in.
2018 Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Rosato, Etna DOC — translucent raspberry in the glass with generous aromas of earth, cherries and raspberries. Flavors follow with red fruit and earth along with minerality and some tannins. Lovely, long finish and bright acidity. 13% abv. $24.99
This complex wine brings to mind volcanic influences. Is it my imagination? I don’t think so. This brilliant rosé is complex and contemplative. Sip it on its own or pair it with pork roast or chicken pot pie.
Tenuta di Fessina is located in the village of Rovittello on the northeastern side of Mt. Etna. It is here that Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio are grown and become the source for this lovely rosé. The grapes are de-stemmed and crushed before spending a 12-hour, cold, pre-fermentation soak followed by fermentation in stainless steel.
The styles and origin of these lively rosés are as varied as their hue. That variability is one of the things I enjoy most about rosé. All of these beautiful rosés are imported by Vineyard Brands, which was founded by Robert Haas. Thanks to Vineyard Brands for sending this sampling our way.
This is our first rosé installment this week on Pull That Cork as we sip our way to National Rosé Day (#NationalRoséDay) on Saturday, June 8. Stay tuned for more rosé enjoyment and remember, rosé is delicious all year long. Now’s the time to begin sampling rosé so you can stock your wine fridge for the rest of the year.