La Vie en Rose, “Life through rose colored glasses,” is both a favorite song of ours and the perfect expression to embody how we spend our summers – that is, filling our wine glasses with a wide variety of rosés! We’re in the midst of what we in the wine world call Rosé Season – that time of year when wineries release their rosé bottlings. Typically, rosés are the first wine that producers release each year; they’re produced in small quantities, and are generally meant to be drunk young. For that reason, you don’t tend to see many rosés on wine shelves past the summer months.
Rosés continue to get better and better every year! They’ve definitely come a long way from the sweet and hardly drinkable White Zinfandels that my grandma used to drink. With each passing vintage, producers are increasingly turning out beautiful and expressive dry rosé wines that are extremely versatile at pairing with food. The abundance of great rosé makes each summer a fun time for us to select many different wines to share with you. It might seem like we have a new rosé in every week, but there are just too many great ones (and such limited quantities) to keep them on the shelf for too long. Here are a few of our favorites arriving to our shelf this week, but don’t get too attached – there are plenty more just around the corner!
2011 Colle Stefano Rosato – $15.99
Fabio Marchionni took over his family’s vineyards a few years ago; when a friend offerend to rent him an organically farmed vineyard of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, he couldn’t resist taking that on too. Located in the Marche region of northern Italy, Fabio makes beautiful minerally whites from the grape Verdicchio and now produces this amazing rosé from his rented vineyard of mostly Sangiovese with some Cabernet Sauvignon. His approach to winemaking is very careful and meticulous; he keeps the winery so clean you could eat off the floor if you wanted! His rosé is fresh with peach and nectarine aromas followed by strawberry flavors, mouthwatering acidity, and flinty minerality from the limestone soil. A perfect picnic wine, and one to pair with a watermelon and mint salad!
Brooks Winery was founded in 1998 by Jimi Brooks with the intention of producing expressive organic and biodynamically farmed Pinot Noir and Riesling from the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Sadly, Jimi passed away in 2004 at the age of 38, causing the Oregon wine community to band together in support of the Brooks family and his continued legacy. The winery is now owned by Jimi’s son, Pascal, who was eight when his father passed (the youngest winery owner in the world!) and managed by Jimi’s sister Janie. Winemaking is overseen by Chris Williams, who may be best known for the Brooks 2006 Ara Riesling that was served at President Obama’s first State Dinner! This Pinot Noir Rosé has aromas of roses, red berries, melon, and herbs. It’s dry with a grapefruit tartness and mid-weight texture along with flavors of cranberry and minerals. Try this with grilled salmon and mango salsa!
Yves Cuilleron is helping to revive the Northern Rhone area of France. He took over his family’s vineyards in 1987 from his uncle and also reclaims “lost vineyards” in the area that have been abandoned and have become overgrown and lost in the steep hills of the region. Although originally trained as a mechanic, his family has a long tradition of producing wine in the area and he couldn’t pass up the chance to continue his family’s tradition. He is most known for producing rich and deeply concentrated reds from Condrieu and Cote-Rotie, but his Syrah rosé is a refreshing treat. Light watermelon aromas and scents of wild herbs lead to a full and round texture. It’s lightly herbal and spicy with flavors of peaches and raspberries. Deep color and a long, round finish allow this rosé to stand up to heavier dishes. Try it with herb-marinated grilled pork!