Showing posts with label Drink Pink. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drink Pink. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Pink Wine From Monterey County

The Seaglass Wine Company is based in St. Helena, California, while making wines from vineyards south of Napa, in the state's Central Coast appellation. They notably pull fruit from the Los Alamos Vineyard in Santa Barbara County, but for their Rosé they went to Monterey County for the grapes.

The 2022 Seaglass Wine Rosé was made from 53% Grenache grapes, 23% Pinot Noir, 19% Syrah and 5% Viognier. The wine was crafted entirely from free-run juice, with no pressed grapes at all. The winery claims that this move helps produce a softer wine with a lighter body. Fermentation took place cold, in steel tanks, with no malolactic fermentation. Alcohol hits 13.5% and I bought the wine for less than $10.

This wine has a pale salmon color, like onion skin. The nose carries light aromas of strawberry and citrus, but easy on the lemon. On the palate, there is a lovely sense of fruit, with minerals along for the ride. Strawberry, raspberry, lemon and a very light flavor of cardamom. Acidity is fresh and the finish is lengthy. 


Monday, July 17, 2023

Pink Wine From Provence

If spring and summer are the times for rosé wine, then let us uncork and pour something pink. If it is to be pink wine you seek, your search probably starts in the south of France, in Provence, where rosé is the name of the game.

BY.OTT Rosé Côtes de Provence 2022 is made by Domaines Ott, crafting brilliant rosé since 1912. This pink wine utilizes grapes sourced from Château de Selle and Clos Mireille, two of Ott's three estates in Provence. The wine is made under the supervision of fourth-generation winemaker Jean-Francois Ott, blended and bottled in the de Selle winery cellar. BY.OTT is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes. It is imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines USA of Oakland. Alcohol sits at 13% abv and the retail price is $27. That price tag may seem a bit steep for a rosé, but you pay a little extra for a bottle of the Provençal sunshine. 

This pale pink wine shows aromas of lemon, strawberry, cherry and minerals on the nose. The palate is full of bright red fruit, citrus, watermelon and a hint of cinnamon. There is a racy acidity present, which puts this wine squarely in the "food friendly" category. The sip finishes on a slightly tart note, which plays into the food friendliness a little more.


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Friday, July 7, 2023

A Pink Wine To Remember

While the spring and summer are seen as prime Drink Pink times, people seem to forget about rosés after Labor Day. It's a shame, because most rosés are great pairing with pork, foods on the Thanksgiving table, or foods on the table for Black Friday. Ham and turkey sandwiches, f'rinstance. 

Here is another rosé wine you should try to track down while the summer is here. And don't forget about it when the summer fades. La Chapelle Gordonne makes this 2022 Côtes de Provence pinkie from organic grapes grown in what they call their most beautiful vineyards. This rosé is called, on the label, a tête de cuvée. That is a term usually used in reference to Champagnes, which means top blend. 

The blend combines Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault grapes, a fairly common cuvée in Provence. Alcohol hits only 12.5% abv and the wine sells for around $27. 

This wine has a pretty salmon pink color. Its nose is subdued to the point of being nearly absent. The flavor is all there, though. Strawberry, cherry and lemon notes are delicious, while the acidity is as fresh as you would expect from the south of France. Pair with seafood, pair with salad, pair with a ham sandwich. Or a quiche. You will have no worries. 


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Wine From France Via Texas

Scout and Cellar sells the 2020 Mixtrack Rosé wine, and it is labeled as being from France. A company rep says Scout and Cellar makes their own wine, except when they don't. They find that it is cheaper to bring the wine from overseas than it is to ship the grapes. So, the Mixtrack Rosé is grown in Provence, imported by a San Francisco concern and bottled in Texas - the company's home base. This wine has really gotten around before you unscrew the cap.

The wine is a blend of 60% Cinsault, 30% Grenache and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. I have to assume that it was made in stainless steel tanks. The alcohol content is 12.8% abv and the retail sticker reads $27.

The back label spins a story of how disco was born in French nightclubs and adopted by audiences in the US. It's not a terribly great back story, if you ask me, and a connection to disco doesn't exactly make my socks roll up and down. Also, the term mixtrack should be mixtape, I believe. But now that they have all the labels printed… what the hell. Let's open it.

This wine colors up as a pretty pink in the glass. Aromas of strawberries - stems and all - are joined by melon and citrus notes. The palate shows a delicate representation of those fruits, with a healthy slap of acidity and minerality. The mouthfeel seems a little fuller than I would expect from Provence, but the weight plays well. The finish is bright and medium long. 


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Monday, June 12, 2023

Doggin' Around For A Good Rosé

It is, they say, the time of year to drink pink. I like to enjoy pink wine all year long, but I have also worn white pants after Labor Day. With that in mind, here is a rosé from an outfit called Scout and Cellar. The label says Dove Hunt Dog Wine is located in Healdsburg, California. The label also notes that a bottle of wine is more than a bottle of wine, it's a companion. I think that is stretching a point - maybe leaning into alcoholism - but I get that it completely justifies the critter label. Good doggie!

This pink wine is a blend of grapes: 87% Grenache, 8% Syrah and 5% Gamay, from Clarksburg, as I understand it. Alcohol is extremely light at 13.9% abv and the wine is listed at $23 a bottle.

This wine is a very pretty, light salmon color in the glass. Aromas of cherries, strawberries and Meyer lemon leap up on the sniff. It is a fruity nose, and there is a mineral aspect with some salinity, too. On the palate the Grenache shines, ripe as hell. Some raspberry notes come through along with the aforementioned bright red fruit. Acidity is crisp and fresh and the finish lingers quite a while. It's a pretty good wine, especially considering the critter label. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

A Hearty Rosé From Tavel

If you love rosé and you don't know Tavel, you should correct that problem immediately. Tavel is a region in France's Rhône Valley. It is known for its rosé wines - in fact, that's all that is produced there. It is the only wine appellation in the Rhône Valley which makes nothing but pink wine.

The 2020 Réserve des Chastelles Tavel Rosé is likely made from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Carignan, although details on this particular wine are a little hard to find. It was made by negotiant Vignobles & Compagnie and imported by Plume Ridge of Claremont, California. Alcohol tips 13.5% abv and I got mine for $9 at Trader Joe's - a distinctly good deal for a Tavel rosé. Prices in Tavel generally start at twice that amount.

The wine comes in a clear bottle, the better to show off its deep, rich color. The wine pours up much darker than a rosé from, say, Provence. Additional skin contact for the grapes gives the wine a beautiful hue which ranges from an almost magenta shade to hints of tomato red and salmon. Rolled into one descriptor, we can call it copper colored. The nose gives up some luscious strawberry and cherry aromas with traces of citrus, minerals and spice also present. There is a lot of flavor to be had on the palate - red fruit, a touch of tobacco, some melon, allspice, and even ginger. This is a very complex wine, and it has a nice tannic grip, too. You can use this Tavel in place of a red, while other rosés can only stand in for a white wine.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Make It Mateus

Mateus Dry Rosé is Portugal's leading wine export. Its makers claim that a Mateus wine is sold every 38 minutes around the world. Many people of a certain age fondly remember Mateus Rosé as one of their first wines. You may remember the squatty green bottle if you're old enough, but it is now sold in a clear glass, flask-shaped bottle. 

Mateus is made from Baga and Shiraz grapes. Shiraz is a grape most wine drinkers are probably familiar with, but Baga could be a new one for many. It comes mainly from the Bairrada D.O.C., where it is the main variety grown. Alcohol for Mateus tips only 12% abv and the wine generally sells for ten bucks or less. 

Mateus Dry Rosé colors up as a medium-pale orange, or salmon color. Red fruit dominates the nose - strawberry mainly - with plenty more of it on the palate. The acidity is brisk, and the fruit flavors are up front. It's not a complicated wine, but it is fairly tasty and may be your best bet for adding the Baga grape to your "have tried" list. 


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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Doing Backflips For Pink Wine

With the heat of summer digging in across much of the U.S., this is a great time to look for a cool, refreshing rosé wine. It's a great time to drink pink. And here we have a rosé over which you'll likely flip.

Made under the Foley umbrella, a California wine outfit, Acrobat uses grapes from Oregon to make their wines. This rosé combines Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir grapes, partially whole cluster pressed and partially pressed in the saignée method. The wine was vinified then aged for two months in stainless steel tanks. Alcohol rests comfortably at 13% abv and the retail sticker reads $15.

This pale pink wine has a nose of strawberries, green parts and all. It is a fresh and lively aroma, one that invites the sip deliciously. The palate shows more strawberries, along with some stone fruit and a hint of salinity. The acidity is refreshing and will make for good food pairings across a wide range of dishes.


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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Pink In Provence: Château des Bormettes

Most of the wine made in France's Provence region is pink.  It's what they do - they make wonderfully dry and crisp rosé wines.  I was recently supplied with several examples of Provencal pinkies, and this is one of them.

Château des Bormettes has been a family business since 1920, back when the area was known more for its mines than its wines.  The mining of lead ore and zinc ended in 1929, but the estate dates back five centuries.  The vineyard is a mere half mile from the Mediterranean Sea, and it yields Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Rolle (Vermentino), Mourvèdre and Carignan grape varieties, all sustainably grown.

L’Argentière 2019 is a Côtes de Provence wine made from Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle (Vermentino) grapes.  It is aged on its lees in concrete tanks to give the wine a full, creamy mouthfeel.  Alcohol hits 14.5% abv and the retail price settles in just under $20.

This wine's nose gives off minerals notes, aromas of red fruit and citrus.  There is a floral hint, too.  Red berries on the palate, with a nice acidity and creamy mouthfeel at the same time.  This is a very fine rosé which will pair wonderfully with seafood or snacks.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Beaujolais Rosé

In the U.S folks may know very little about Beaujolais wines except that they see them stacked in their grocery store's wine aisle every Thanksgiving.  It is true that for many, Beaujolais Nouveau is a holiday tradition, but the Gamay grape is not just a one-trick pony.  They also go pink.

Beaujolais vineyards account for more than half of the world's Gamay grapevines, and most of them go into red wines, the youthful Nouveau as well as the more respected Beaujolais Cru wines.  Some of them, however, are used to make rosé wines, giving Beaujolais a usefulness in the spring and summer as well as the fall and winter.  Of course, good rosé goes great with leftover turkey and ham, too.  I was given the opportunity to sample a handful of Beaujolais rosé wines.

Château Cambon Beaujolais Rosé 2018

Château Cambon is a small parcel of Beaujolais vineyard land between Morgon and Brouilly.  They make their pink wine from whole cluster Gamay grapes, stems and all, keeping the skins in contact for two days.  The wine is aged for five months and bottled with minimal SO2.  Alcohol hits 12% abv and the retails price is around $20.

This pink Gamay wine has a fairly rich color, rather like salmon meets orange.  There is a bit of a Jolly Rancher note to the strawberry nose, and an herbal angle.  Strawberry plays big in the flavor profile, too, with a distinctive earthy tone to it.  It has great heft - it drinks like a red - and a very refreshing acidity.  


Château Thivin Beaujolais Villages Rosé 2018

Château Thivin dates back to the 14th century and is now under the guidance of the fifth and sixth generations of the Geoffray family, who bought the property in the 18th century.  The Château Thivin Beaujolais Villages Rosé is imported by Kermit Lynch, which is as good a recommendation as you are likely to get.  The wine’s alcohol level sits at 13% abv and the retail price is somewhere around $18.

This wine is delicately tinted light salmon.  Its nose is quite fruity - cherries, strawberries, orange - but also graced with a minerality that serves as a bedrock base for all that beauty.  The palate brings ripe red fruit, a hefty mouthfeel and a zippy acidity into play.  It’s great for salads, and even better just for sipping. 

Le Rosé d’Folie Beaujolais Rosé 2019

The owner and winemaker of Domaine des Terres Dorées is Jean Paul Brun.  The 40-acre family estate is in the village of Charnay, in the southern part of Beaujolais, just north of Lyons.  The area is beautifully nicknamed "the Region of Golden Stones."  The wine is imported by the well-respected Louis/Dressner Selections.  

Le Rosé d’Folie is made from 100% organic Gamay grapes, aged in concrete tanks, on its lees with malolactic fermentation.  The contact with the spent yeast cells and the allowance of malolactic fermentation give the wine a hefty mouthfeel.  Alcohol tips a mere 12.5% and the retail price is around $15.

This wine glows salmon pink in the glass, and smells of fresh, ripe strawberries and cherries.  On the palate the strawberry takes the lead, while a note of stone fruit slips into the arena.  There is a fairly zippy acidity to go along with the flavors.  It's Beaujolais, but bears a striking resemblance to Provençe.  

Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Rosé 2019

This pink wine comes from the southern Beaujolais hamlet of Le Breuil, where Domaine Dupeuble has been turning out wine for about five centuries.  Importer Kermit Lynch says the estate has only changed hands three times over that span, most recently in 1919.  Lynch began his involvement with the brand in the 1980s, by importing the estate's Beaujolais Nouveau.

The vineyards are tended through the practice of lutte raisonnée, which literally means "reasoned fight" but is translated in English as "supervised control."  The practice shuns synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides in favor of a more natural approach.  It is seen by many as a first step towards organic farming, but is also a happy medium for some growers.  Alcohol comes in at only 13% abv and the retail price is $17.  

The Lynch website describes the 2019 Gamay rosé from Domaine Dupeuble as the gold standard of Beaujolais rosé.  Promised are aromas of white flowers, rhubarb, and wild berries, leading to a palate which is smooth and rounded yet full of those Beaujolais minerals and a hint of citrus on the finish.  A subtle herbal quality and vibrant acidity make it a perfect match for light summer fare.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A Rosé Wine For Summer

The lion on the Hess label represents the winery and its founder Donald Hess.  Hess staked out a claim on Napa's Mount Veeder in the 1970s, when there was still room to move around.  He retired in 2011 and passed the torch to the fifth generation of the family to carry on old traditions and forge new ones.  Dave Guffy is only the second person to lead the winemaking team at Hess.

The 2019 Hess Select rosé was made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes grown in the Hess estate vineyards and in several other California appellations.  The wine was fermented in stainless steel and has an alcohol level of 13.5% abv.  It sells for only $12.

This rosé wine is a shade of salmon that leans more into pink than orange.  The breezy nose gives a lovely show of cherry and strawberry aromas, with a bit of salinity peeking through.  The palate brings plenty of cherry fruit into play with a bracing acidity.  Citrus lingers on the finish.  Pair this with salads and seafood for sure, but if you have a pork chop on the grill, unscrew the cap.


Monday, April 27, 2020

Pink Wine From Under The Saint-Tropez Sun

Château Minuty promises their rosé wine contains all the good that's found "under the Saint Tropez sun."  The estate has been in the Matton-Farnet family for 80 years, overlooking the Saint-Tropez peninsula.

The winery says the grapes for 2019 Minuty Prestige Côtes de Provence - Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren and Syrah - were grown in "a rigorous selection of the best Côtes de Provence vineyards."  Three of those grape varieties are familiar friends, but Tibouren - also known as Rossese di Dolceacqua in Italy's Liguria region - may not be on everyone's radar.  Tibouren has a highly aromatic quality which centers on earthiness.  It is believed to have come from Greece or the Middle East, introduced to France through Marseille or Saint-Tropez.  Alcohol is a restrained 12.5% abv and I see it selling at a lot of places for $18.

This barely-peach-pink wine is loaded with nose - cherries and berries for days with a hint of earth from the south of France.  The palate is also fruity, and juicy to boot.  Easy acidity will pair well with the usual salad and seafood suspects, but it's not exactly a mouthful of pins and needles.  Quite a nice Provençal pinkie, just what we expect.  It will play very nicely under the spring and summer sun wherever you are. 


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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Nice Rosé From Hess

The grapes for the inaugural release of the Hess Select Rosé 2019 were specifically sourced and harvested to produce this debut wine.  The grapes were fermented in stainless steel, without oak influence in order to accentuate the crisp and expressive flavors.

Hess winemaker Dave Guffy says the pink wine goes best with food, and he recommends that you have yours with "sweet and salty combinations, like a prosciutto and melon salad."  The appellation appears on the label as "California," which doesn't tell us much about its origin.  Also, the winery seems tight-lipped about what grape varieties make up the wine, although I’m guessing it’s Pinot Noir.  The wine hits only 13.5% abv and sells for $12.

This salmon colored wine passes the "pretty test" - the first hurdle for any rosé - with no trouble.  The sniff test holds a bit of funky fruit.  Rather than simply ripe strawberries, there is a savory angle that is quite enticing.  The palate follows that path, but allows a bit more of the fruit to shine through.  It is a pleasant pinkie, with more than enough acidity for pairing with the usual suspects.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Vinho Verde Comes In Pink, Too

The Vinho Verde wine region in northern Portugal is home to some of the best white wines this side of Albariño.  Vinho Verde means, "green wine," which is not a color reference but a suggestion that the wine is quite youthful.  The white wines of Vinho Verde typically have a wonderful acidity and a slightly fizzy nature.  The lower alcohol content makes them great choices for summer sipping by the pool, but they work quite well as aperitifs at holiday parties and pair graciously with cheese plates or pasta.

Enoport United Wines has nearly 20 different brands under its Portuguese umbrella.  The name Faisão is derived from the word for a pheasant that was brought from Asia to Portugal in the middle ages.  The bird's brightly colored plumage references the hue in the bottle of the 2018 Enoport Faisão Rosé.

Winemaker Nuno Faria blended Espadeiro, Borraçal and Padeiro grapes to make this fizzy, pink wine.  I don’t think I have ever had any of those grapes before.  The grapes were completely destemmed before being crushed, which keeps the focus on the fruit and minimizes herbal notes.  Alcohol is quite low at just 10.5% abv, and the price is close to rock bottom as well, at less than $10.

This wine pours up salmon pink and fizzy in the glass.  The bubbles dissipate quickly, but they are surprising and fun.  Aromas of a wet driveway hit the nose first, a sure sign of minerality.  There are fruity raspberry and cherry notes as well as a whiff of flowers.  On the palate, raspberry and cherry flavors dominate, with a touch of lime.  The acidity is surprisingly low, but the wine sure is tasty.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Provence Is For Rosé

Provence's Chateau Roubine is one of only fourteen wineries in the Cotes de Provence region which has earned the esteemed "Cru Classe" designation.  Vigneron Valerie Rousselle bought the estate in 1994 and now grows more than a dozen different French grape varieties in the chalky, clay-limestone soil.

Their 2018 La Rose features 50% Grenache grapes, 35% Cinsault, 10% Syrah and 5% Tibouren.  The latter grape is reportedly often used in rosés of the Provence region, but I've never run across it.  The grapes were macerated for a scant three hours to give the wine its soft pink hue.  Alcohol reports in at 13% abv and the wine retails for $24.  A sample was provided to me by distributor Quintessential Wines.

This Provençal rosé has herbal and floral notes on the nose, with fennel-laced strawberries and cherries.  The palate is gorgeous, with the red fruit abetted by a savory salinity.  The acidity is somewhat tame, but the flavor and finish are a real treat.


Monday, July 15, 2019

CA Négociant Delivers Great Rosé At A Bargain

California wine négociant Cameron Hughes owns no vineyards and has no official winery.  He buys already produced wine from established makers on the down low, with an agreement not to reveal the source.  He then sells the wine online through his wine club, which he calls a wineocracy, bringing top-shelf wines to lower-shelf wallets.  Hughes says he keeps prices low by removing the middleman, the distributor and retailer through which store-bought wines must pass.

The sustainably farmed grapes for the 2017 Cameron Hughes Lot 639 Rosé were grown in California's Central Coast region, specifically the Arroyo Seco AVA in Monterey County.  Hughes says the pink wine was made by "perhaps the most famous producer on the entire Central Coast," without giving up the identity.  Hughes claims he's selling the wine for nearly half its original price.  The grape is Valdiguié, which not commonly found outside of the south of France.  Alcohol tips in at a reasonable 12.8% abv and the wine sells for $13.

This rosé is a rich salmon pink, a really beautiful hue.  The nose shows ripe cherry and melon aromas, while the palate brings strawberries and apricots to the table.  It's a very complex pink wine.  The acidity is gentle, so it's a great sipper.  However, you can pair it with a salad, light appetizers or white meat with no problem. 


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Monday, October 15, 2018

Drink Pink: New Zealand Rose

A recent virtual tasting event shone the wine spotlight on New Zealand, specifically Villa Maria winery.  Winemaker Kathrin Jankowiec guided us through a half dozen of her creations and took a good look at their Taylors Pass Vineyard, on the north bank of the meandering Awatere River.

I’m a full-flavor kinda guy most of the time, so I’ve always been most intrigued by the wines of the Kiwi.  The Villa Maria wines fall right into my wheelhouse.

Villa Maria was founded by George Fistonich in 1961 as a five-acre vineyard in Auckland.  He and his wife ran the show themselves until he expanded in the 1970s.  They now have estate vineyards on both the North and South islands.  Sir George was knighted by his government in 2009 for his service to the nation's wine industry.  He took Villa Maria 100% screwcap in 2001.

The winery now has estate vineyards on both the North and South islands:

  • Auckland is a warm-temperate climate, with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters.  It's the country’s largest population center.
  • Gisborne is in the northeastern corner of the North Island and is also called the East Cape or East Coast.  It's known for its warm summers and mild winters.
  • Hawke's Bay in on the North Island's east coast.  Long, hot summers and cool winters.
  • Marlborough is located in the northeast of the South Island.  It's New Zealand's sunniest spot.  The Villa Maria winery here opened in 2000.


Private Bin Hawke's Bay Rosé Blend 2017

This wine is made from a combination of grapes taken from throughout New Zealand's east coast.  The grapes were gently crushed with some getting extra skin contact to release their color to the wine.  The remainder were pressed "straight to tank."  The wine is imported by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and sits at a low 12% abv.

This wine is nearly neon, the salmon pink-orange is so deep and rich.  Its nose smells of strawberries and an overlay of herbal notes.  It's not quite like Provence, but it's close.  The dry palate is gorgeous, full of that bushel basket of strawberries and an earthy quality on top.  The acidity is rather gentle so sipping it is recommended.  However, it will pair nicely with salads and snacks.


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Thursday, July 19, 2018