It's officially summer and that means rosé season. The growth in the category has been off the charts with rosé sales growing at least 10 times faster than overall wine sales. What is this pinkish wine? First things first all grape juice is white, so in order to get red you have to add the skins and to get pink there are three main methods of producing the pretty colors in the bottle, maceration, direct press and saignee. Maceration is the most typical with red grapes macerating for 2 to 20 hours into a lightly colored wine with degrees of color dependent on the varietal and contact time. An extremely short direct press of recently picked red grapes can also make a very light rosé. Saignee is when the juice is "bled" off the skins into a light colored wine. There is a lesser used fourth method, blending, which is just that, chuck a little red wine into a white wine and see what you get, usuallly, not very good wine (unless it's Champagne). At the end of the day rosé is simply the underlying varietal, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir etc. turned a little pink. The pheneological aspects of the grape, combined with the different methods and climates will be reflected in the style, color and nose of the wine. Fresh, full of life, reminiscent of sunny days and cool nights, rosé says summer like no other wine can.
Here are 9 our favorite rosés, perfect for any summer day, from the Rhone to California, there is something for everyone.
Les Lauzeraies $13
From the famed Tavel appellation from the Rhone. They only make one wine, rosé, and its base is usually Grenache and Cinsault in a fuller bodied style. Deep pink colors and a beautiful regional bottle make it extra special. Tavel can age too taking on intersting hues and complexity.
From the heart of Provence and rose, Bandol, this wine screams South of France and you could drink it all day, but don't. Lovely lychee and red fruits on the palate with a floral nose, it is the benchmark from which all other rosé should be compared.
Honestly the bottle is so damn pretty, you just want to buy it and tip it on its side to view the lovely etched rose before you tuck in. The perfect pressie rose and the juice is pretty good too.
Out of magnum, this is a pure party wine and who doesn't love to drink wine with the name of one of the prettiest places in Provence, AIX. Pretty place, pretty wine.
Georgio my Georgio. Fun to speak to and spend time with, Georgio Rivetti is a tireless ambassador for all things Piemonte and Tuscany making wines with style and a modern interpretation on ancient varietals. His rosé is no different. Full bodied, yet light in the glass. Like his Vermentino it is complex, expressive, approachable and sleek. A unique combination of Sangiovese and Prugnolo Gentile.
A rosé by any other name is but a rosé. In the case of English Sparkling wine however, this is not any other rosé. A complex fruity nose gives way to a well balanced rasberry and strawberry effervescent journey through the rolling hills of Kent, England. A distincitve, light bodied bubbly that will bring joy to any summer picnic.
My go to. It is various rosés petals in a glass, balanced like strawberries and cream in summer. The flavors work, the acidity is low and for the money, this wine hits well above its weight. Widely available in its distinctive bottle, buy by the case for entertaining all summer long.
Of all the wines on the list, this will be high on impossible to find, unless you reach out directly or contact Sonoma. I fell in love with the story of the Wrotham Clone and when I was able to enjoy the sparkling recently in California I was over the moon. A rare clone that makes distinctive Pinot Noir on the fuller side with the fruit to match this is a fun one.
The top of the Sacha Lichine portfolio from Chateau D'Esclans, Garrus is a bone dry, elegant rosé, that drinks like no other rosé I have had before. Integrated, lean, sophisticated, this is a grown up rose for grown up budgets but worth the experience if you can find it. Other wines in Sasha's magical rosé stable are the well loved blend, Whispering Angel, two other rosés from the D'Esclans' terroir include Les Clans and Whispering Rock.