In February, when the only pink things that come to mind are Valentine’s Day cards and chilled cheeks, wine reps come in with the Rosé pre-sell sheets. Pages upon pages of different rosé wines that may not even be bottled yet, from all over the world, ready to drop the second the first bud breaks. As a buyer, you try to be cautious when ordering. For many wineries, once they’re gone, you have to wait all year to get the next vintage, but you don’t want to have cases of rosé once the first frost hits. This year was a little different. I sat down with one of my suppliers to order for the summer rosé season and realized that this year, the rosés had been selling quite well, even in the dead of winter! Is rosé not just for summer anymore? Though there are some I would enjoy all year round if they were available, I am still a traditionalist. If you’re like me, there are only two months left to enjoy these perennial pink pleasers!
Domaine Terre de Mistral Mireille Rosé, France 2013
Extremely expressive and almost perfume-like, the nose exhibits lime, pink grapefruit and wild strawberry. The body is light and fruity with notes of strawberry, citrus and raspberry essence. Not bone dry, it is terrific for hot summer days with light salads or dressed-down seafood.
Elk Cove Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2013
This Oregon favorite is magenta in color with watermelon jolly rancher on the nose and strawberry and red plum on the palate. It’s light and lovely, expressing the delicate nuances of the Pinot Noir grape with racy acidity on the finish. Always a good bet for state-side rosé.
Whispering Angel Cotes de Provence, France 2013
A favorite with critics and customers alike, the Whispering Angel is light and elegant with red and white cherry fruits, notes of citrus and a silkier-than-expected mouth feel. Floral and fragrant, with a whisper of acidity.
Charles and Charles Rosé, Washington State 2013
Can a wine have attitude? Charles and Charles Rosé sure does. Accompanied by a bumper sticker that reads, “Yes, you can drink rosé and still be a bad ass!” this wine’s hot pink color makes it pop off the shelf, and the bold, robust flavor keeps people coming back. Predominately Syrah (86%), it’s spicy and fruit forward with Cinsault (6%), Grenache (4%), Counoise (2%) and Mourvedre (2%), adding complexity and summer fruit flavors of wild strawberry and watermelon.
Miraval Cotes de Provence, France 2013
Is this the highly touted collaboration from Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and the iconic Perrin family? Yes. Was I skeptical, even when it got high marks from respected publications? Yup. Do I think you should buy as much as you can before it’s gone? Absolutely. There are loads of fresh summer fruits, along with notes of orange and pink citrus. And though it is very layered, it is still light and elegant with a long finish–for sure a crowd pleaser!
I always say, “Drink what you like!” But the time to drink these charming, blush-colored wines is now. Like summer, they won’t last!
Do you drink rosé year round? Tell me about it by tweeting me at @ninoswineexpert.