Rose wines are bright, fresh, crisp and refreshing
Here we are in the beginning of March already. Where does the time go? This was a nice mild winter here in the Hudson Valley, great for those of us who don’t like the cold, and not so good for those of us that like the cold and snow.
We have already had some days that feel like spring in February, and in just a couple weeks, it will be here to stay. That excites me for a number of reasons. It’s almost time to plant our gardens, enjoy great outdoor activities like hiking, boating and golf, and most of all the release of the 2015 Rose wines.
Rose wines have come a long way in the past five-10 years. Gone are the sweet, sugary wines that our grandparents and parents used to enjoy. Not that there is anything wrong with those, if that’s what you like.
Now we have bright, fresh wines that showcase the fruit that makes them, and the terroir in which they are grown. These wines are crisp and refreshing, making them perfect for the spring and summer months, and they pair wonderfully with the lighter foods that we indulge in this time of year. These wines are meant to be consumed young. That’s why it is so exciting for when the new vintages come out every spring, and from everything I’ve read and been told, the 2016 wines are fantastic.
The home of Rose wine is Provence, France, and year after year Bieler Pere et Fils is one of the best Rose wines from Provence. This lovely salmon-colored wine is a blend of 40 percent Grenache, 25 percent Syrah, 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and rounded out with Cinsault and Rolle.
The vineyards are located in the rolling hills just outside the town of Coteaux d’Aix. The beauty of this wine is that it includes all the rich flavors of a red, with the refreshing qualities of a white. There is s nice combination of red fruit and floral notes on the nose, on the palate, the wine shines with strawberry, raspberry and bing cherry. The finish is crisp with herbal notes and refreshing acidity. The value of this wine is undeniable, coming in under $12.
The Rhone Valley is another great French location for Rose wines, and Paul Jaboulet Aine is one of the most famous producers, for all his wines, in the Rhone. Jaboulet’s vineyard is located just outside the town of Pont de Ilsere and two miles south of the 45th Parallel, for which the wine is named. This light pink wine consists of 50 percent Grenache, 40 percent Cinsault and 10 percent Syrah. The complexity and finesse of this wine amaze me, with ripe red berries, melon and minerality being the focal point. This beautiful wine is a little more pricey, at $15 a bottle, but worth every penny.
The Rioja region of Spain is well known for its’ fantastic reds, but you don’t want to overlook their Rose wines. Cortijo is a fantastic producer from the town of Hormilla in the Rioja Alta sub-region. Their Rose, made from 100 percent Garnacha, is a superb wine made with extreme care.
Cortijo is a family-owned estate that uses 100 percent organic farming practices, and only estate fruit. This wine has nice rose petal and cherry notes, with strawberry and spice on the palate. The finish is dry and refreshing. This wine pairs well with light foods and salads and is the best value at right around $10.
Last but not least is one of my personal favorites, Charles & Charles Rose. This deep pink wine comes to us from the Columbia Valley of Washington State, and is a blend of 72 percent Syrah, rounded out with Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Cinsault, and Counoise. This is a big bold Rose with lush red fruit, border lining on sweet, it turns dry, with a touch of citrus, minerality, and refreshing acidity. This wine is bold enough for BBQ meats, and delicate enough for lighter fare as well. I find it to be a fantastic wine for $13.
So here is to the warm weather of Spring, and the great Rose wines that come along with this time of year. They are perfect for that first backyard BBQ or picnic.