I poured, I swirled, I sniffed, I tasted once, I tasted again…I reflected and then thoughtfully said “there is nothing here…this is like kissing my sister!” (BTW I don’t have a sister).
This comment would not be surprising about Rosé wine a few years ago but Rosés have enjoyed a trendy resurgence in recent years. The quality of Rosés (as well as many wines) has improved due to better quality grapes and modern wine-making techniques. With the onset of warm weather, Rosés are a refreshing alternative to red and white wines. Relaxing on the deck or sun-bathing at the beach is an opportunity to venture outside your comfort zone and try something different.
So what is Rosé? Rosé is a pinkish colored light wine but do not mistake it for white zinfandel (also pinkish colored). Rosés are made from a variety of grapes such as Pinot Noir, Grenache or Mourvèdre but their distinguishing characteristic is the wine-making. Rosés are the result of their brief one-night stand with red grapes which gives its pinkish color unlike several days and nights for typical reds which yield deep red color and strong tannins. Rosés are typically medium dry, nice acidity, and no tannins.
Rosés come from many countries. Mourvèdre and Grenache grapes are common in French Rosés, Spain’s Rosado is often Grenache (Garnacha), Italy’s Rosato is made from many local varietals such as Sangiovese, Barbera, Montepulciano and Argentina Rosés come from Malbec.
Red blend from southern Rhone, France. Robert Parker rating 90 $18. Sensational rosé from old Tavel estate. Full-bodied and intense with raspberry and garrigue notes, it is almost like a light red wine rather than a rose. 56% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 10% Clairette and the rest Syrah, Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc and Mourvedre, this wine will last 2-3 years, unusually long for a rose.
Red blend from Provence, France. Robert Parker rating 90 $17. Whispering Angel displays a sense of power behind the delicate flavors of dried cherry, licorice, cream and spice. Finish has notes of dried mango and hints of sage honey.
DOMAINE HOUCHART ROSE 2013
Blend from Cotes de Provence, France. Wine Spectator rating 89 $13. This is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre. The wine is creamy and suave, with rich flavors of ripe cherry, plum and spice that extend on a nice mineral finish.
Grenache from Calatayud, Spain. Robert Parker rating 88 $11. Hefty, powerful Grenache with enticing aromas of raspberry and strawberry in this wine. Medium to full-bodied, soft and round with long fruity finish.
Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. IWC Rating 89 $12. Old vines Malbec is fermented in stainless steel tanks. Bright and deep pink color with aromas of strawberry and red cherry. Juicy and savory with touch of sweetness to its red fruit and spice flavors. Very food-friendly.