Wednesday, July 3, 2019

It's Summer, Let's drink Some Rosé!

Finally it’s Summer! So, when thinking about something refreshing to drink at picnics, or maybe sitting on a balcony that faces the beach, one style of wines come to my mind, Rosé. 

It’s funny because the other day one of my students told me,” Rosé can’t be considered wine”,  meaning it can’t be taken seriously... only red should be called wine... but let’s face it, people love Rosé, so much that it is forecasted that 3 million cases of Rosé will be imported to the US by 2020, and we are not counting the amount of wine that will be produced domestically, since Rosé is made everywhere in the world. 

Stylistically, Rosés wines are divided in two groups, Dry and Blush wines, the difference between them is that Blush wines will have sweetness and plenty of fruit. Are you familiar with White Zinfandel? That is a typical example of sweet/ off dry Rosé. I have a confession to make: I drank a ton of White Zinfandel when I was young and long before working in wine industry, what was not to love?, Rosé was fruity and sweet and had a bit of alcohol… something that us, the Coca Cola kids love! Plus I think Rosés like White Zinfandel are a good starting point to drink wine and I’m all pro to wine drinking, to encourage more and more people to enjoy wine, they can start wherever they want, plus wineries will produce Rosé as long as it keeps on selling. 
On the other hand we have serious Rosés, dry with crispy acidity and some tannins in their structure.

So how is Rosé made? 
One way to make Rosé is similar to the way red wine is made, the difference is that the fermentation and maceration with skins is shorter, only for a couple of days, which will give more than enough color to Rosé, while with reds, fermentation with skins and maceration can go on for 2-3 weeks, the longer the skin contact, the more color and pigments will be extracted.
There is also the Saignée method, where grapes are destalked but not crushed and fermented with the skins. After a few hours, a portion of the wine is bled off the tank to continue its fermentation on its own. 
Lastly some Rosé is also made by blending white and red wine, this is prohibited by law in Europe, but it’s possible in the new world and for sparklers like in Champagne. 

What are the best places to produce Rosé?
Provence
It’s probably where great Rosés where produced first and sold in big quantities in the bars of the French riviera. These are usually pale in color and a blend from Grenache and Syrah. They tend to be full bodied, with nice acidity and mostly dry, showing some minerality. Quality is very good but some can cost you $$$$ starting at $25 and up.

Languedoc and the Rhone
Here there’s more value, these are blend of more grapes but following the same theme as above, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault. Rhone and Languedoc Rosés are usually more flavorful and with more color than the previous category. Prices vary from $12-20.

Loire Valley
Anjou, Saumur and Chignon are the places where Rosés are made in the Loire they may come in all flavors from sweet to dry, and the favorite grape is Cabernet Franc with some using also Gamay. Prices start from $10 and up.

Spain
The Rosados, as known in Spain, usually have brighter colors and are made from native varieties: Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Mostly dry, Navarra is one of the D.O. known for producing rosados, but also these are made in Rioja and other appellations. Spanish Rosé is also very inexpensive, most samples usually cost $10-15.

Italy
Italians make Rosato from native grape varieties such as Negroamaro, Sangiovese, Bardolino, etc. Italians produce both dry and sweet styles and prices start at $9 and up.

California
In California they make dry Rosé but also blush wines. Since this is the New World they are not required to use specific grapes and anything goes, most wines are made from Zinfandel, but also Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Petit Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre. Expect bigger and fuller Rosés here too with higher alcohols. Prices will go from $10 to $25.

Oregon
It is considered the Burgundy of America, so most Rosé here will be made from Pinot Noir and usually be fruity but dry and with nice acidity, thanks to the cool climate of the region. Prices are in the middle, from $18 and up.

Remember always buy the latest vintage available and for Rosé is 2018. Don’t age them, since these wines are best when consumed young when all the fruit is still fresh in the bottle. 

Rosé also come in the form of sparkling wine, in all appellations including Champagne, Cava, US Sparkling, Prosecco, etc. Prices vary here too from $14 and up. 

My Recommendations:

Chateau Miraval Rosé 2018 $25
Bodegas Breca Rosé 2018  $10
Cune Rosado 2018 $13
Piedra Negra Pinot Gris Rosé 2018 $12
Juan Gil Rosado 2018
$14
Rodney Strong Ros
é PN 2018 $25
Jaboulet P45 Ros
é 2018 $14
Kendall Jackson Ros
é 2018 $15

Happy 4th of July to All! Silvina