There is no doubt that at least in the south, it is rosé season. For Gary and I that season lasts all year, but for most, rosé is saved for the warmer months. Please note, I had planned to have reviews of about 5-6 rosé wines, but my allergies totally messed that up. Over the weekend I tried two 2016 vintages from wineries I have loved in the past but I really couldn’t tell you if I was drinking water or wine and I can’t imagine that is the wine’s fault. My nose is a mess and my palate is coated if you get my drift. So stay tuned and I will be backatcha when my head is back to normal.
Spring in a bottle
It was not until a trip to the south of France that I began drinking rosé wines with regularity. Now I can not imagine what I did before. Wait, yes I can
So the first wine that is a must-have is Houchart. They really knock it out of the park this season.
Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016. This wine has been a favorite over the past few years. While the 2015 vintage was not our “go to”, everyday rosé last year, it is back on top with the 2016 vintage. Salmon pink in color, this wine is perfectly balanced and refreshing. The nose is of white peaches and dry strawberries. It is easy on the tongue with a really nice body that holds up well with food. Tossing it around in the mouth we tasted watermelon and berries. This lively well-rounded rosé is by all measures a really lovely wine. We found it for $13.99 at our local shop. You will find select New York-based online stores that are carrying this wine. If you want to see if any stores in your area stock it, you will want to reach out to the winemaker to see if they have distribution in your state. You will not want to miss this wine.
Aimé Roquesante Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Not only do they make a great wine, they also use a fabulous bottle. One that grabs your attention as you scan the shelves. I guess I would call this amber-pink in color. We could only describe the nose as “soft” with a mild hint of straw. We tasted lemony citrus flavors while winemaker suggests a hint of red berries but we did not get that. This year’s vintage is a perfect rose for folks that are dry white burgundy fans or sauvignon blanc fans. To us, this wine favors these white wines. It would be a great aperitif but also go well with shrimp or oysters. This wine sells for $13.99 locally and is widely available nationally.
Direct from the Winery
Our friends Bryan and Craig travel to Napa Valley pretty much every year. And when they can’t get to Napa, she comes to them in the form of wine club deliveries from a few of their favorite wineries. Rutherford Ranch is one of their favorites. Before my allergies kicked in we had the opportunity to share in a bottle of Rutherford Ranch Reserve Rosé 2016.
Rutherford Ranch Reserve Rosé 2016
This wine really surprised me. The word that comes to my mind is “bold”. Bold in color – a deep coral. Bold in body – very well rounded and balanced holding up nicely to food – Go hearty, it can handle it. Refreshing with nice berry fruit and mild acid. I attribute the boldness of this wine to its primary grape 80% Cabernet Sauvignon followed with 14% Merlot. These varietals are bigger and bolder in general, I would expect nothing less in a reserve rosé. This wine is only available direct from the winery for $32.00 a bottle but if you are a Cab drinker and you want to venture into rosé this may be a great place to start.
This next selection is way out in left field and for some may require some chutzpah to take the risk. But if you can pull together a group of friends to split a case you are headed for a “blonde” rosé that will tickle your fancy. It is made from 100% Pinot Noir but there is minimal skin contact prior to the whole bunch press so you end up with a slightly pinkish champagne color. I love the “forward” white fruits that rush the palate with light acid. This is rosé is wonderfully refreshing and I look forward to hanging out at my sister’s house where it is on hand all summer long.
Pinot with Passion
That’s right, I learned of this wine through my sisters who took a trip to New Zealand a couple years ago. They spent a day wine tasting and came upon Wooing Tree Vineyards. The winery tagline is “Pinot with Passion”. It makes sense because the winery is located in Central Otago, New Zealand’s coolest wine region in the far south of the South Island. It is perfect for growing Pinot Noir grapes that love a cooler climate. I really enjoy their Pinot Noir red wines as well and am happy that my sister keeps both on hand. Add that to the exchange rate way in favor of the US dollar you get a nice price with almost no shipping all the way from New Zealand.
To buy this wine go to the Wooing Tree Winery website. You will see that it sells for $28.00 NZ (that is $19-ish US dollars). When you buy a case of 12 or more you get discounted shipping that amounts to an additional $8.50. Very different and quite delicious. Have a fun party and surprise your guests with a wine they have never seen before.
A Repeat Offender
Moulin De Gassac, Guilhem Rosé 2016
I can not talk about rosé and not mention the Guilhen Rose. Always a favorite of ours. I wrote about it back in February and I just had to give it a shout out now that the season is in full swing. Take a look back to my February post for more information but this is always a pleaser.
We had at least three more rosés to taste and share, but we had to postpone until my tastebuds are back to normal. Soon and getting close but not there yet…
- Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2016
- Casado Morales Rioja Rosé 2016
- Château Puech-Haut Prestige Rosé 2016