Thursday, May 27, 2010

ROSÉ FOR SUMMER


Don't rely on supermarkets for your summer rosés. 

My grocery (Ralph's) actually has a fairly decent wine section, but only a handful of pink offerings.  On the shelf there I found La Vieille Ferme, Red Bicyclette, Mouton Cadet, a Spanish rosado which has slipped from my memory and the lone California entry, Ironstone Xpression.

There is also the usual assortment of White Zinfandel.

It doesn't take too much effort to locate some really wonderful rosés that will make your warm-weather entertaining an instant hit.

I like to buy local for most of my wine, and it's not a bad drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara County.

Clos Pepe in Lompoc, with vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, has a rosé of Pinot Noir that is fantastic.

Fiddlehead Cellars in Lompoc produces a rosé of Pinot Noir they call "Pink Fiddle" that is full-bodied and quite refreshing.

Fontes and Phillips' "Panky" is made from Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah from Camp 4 Vineyard in Santa Ynez.  It's bone dry and complex.

Shoestring Winery in Solvang does a rosé that's mainly Syrah with some Grenache and "a splash of Sangiovese for color."

If those are too hard to find, stop in for a visit with your neighborhood wine dealer and get some professional help.  We could all use some of that every now and then.  With summer just around the corner, any wine store should already have a great supply of pinks in stock.

Here are some rosés which should be widely available at wine stores in many areas:
Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d'Oc Rosé 2009 - A salmon-colored effort from Languedoc with a crisp minerality.
Domaine de la Fouquette "Rosée d'Aurore" Côtes de Provence Rosé 2009 - Made of Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle (you may know it in Italian as Vermentino).
La Gatte Rosé, Bordeaux 2008 - Yes, Bordeaux!  It's Merlot.
Cep "Nobles Ranch" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Rosé 2008 - Cep is a second label of the noted Peay Vineyards.
Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec Mendoza 2009 - Argentine.  Any wine with Balbo's name on it is worth a try.
Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache Rosé 2009 - Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre are the grapes in this one.
Francis Ford Coppola Sofia Rosé 2009 - It's a rich, pink color and dry. 
Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Rosé 2007 - A crisp and fruity Washington State pink.
Ironstone Xpression 2008 - It won a Gold Medal at the California State Fair last year.

Please feel free to leave a comment if I failed to mention your favorite rosé.