Written by Devin McKay
As the summer months start to dwindle, some of the best opportunities to enjoy a patio with friends and family start to slowly fade. If you’re like me, you would have taken full advantage of this where and when possible with a crisp clean glass of vino, and if you haven’t?
It’s time to wake up and smell the Rosé.
Want to know who is a tourist in Europe? Take a glance who is drinking white or red wines amid the summer season and there is your answer. While many people in North America trend toward drinking light reds or whites during the summer months, Europe is quite keen on rosés. This is largely warranted as well, as you literally get the best of both worlds in the red and white wine spectrum; the crisp and clean re-freshness of the white and the depth and sometimes structure a juicy red will bring.
Rosés can not only vary greatly in style, concentration, and sweetness they are also extremely versatile when it comes to food pairings that will bring bountiful joy to your palate. So while some people this summer might be inside watching 50 shades of grey, I’ll be outside drinking 50 shades of rosé.
Sainte Roseline Prestige Rosé 2013, Provence France – $17.49++
Nestled in between the Mediterranean Sea and the French Alps is one of the most renowned and prestigious area’s known for rosé production. Côtes de Provence is widely accepted as the apex for blush and rosé wines alike due in main part to the climate of mild winters and extremely sunny days (they receive over 3000 hours of sunlight per year!) as well as the factor of the sea and the influence of the local cuisine that comes with it. All these aspects,converge in harmony to make a dry, lean, clean, and crisp rosé with aromas of berry fruits, grape fruits, and citrus. With rosé accounting for 80% of the wine production in Provence this is a great example of what can be achieved when perfection is the end game.
IL Palagio Beppe Rosato 2012, Tuscany Italy – $21.99++
On the Tuscan hills south of Florence lies a 16th century villa called IL Palagio. It has been recently renovated, replanted and cultivated by none other than Sting. Like Brad and Angelina he and his wife Trudie Styler bought a vineyard and are producing a rosé, unlike Brad and Angelina they are taking a hands on approach to their vineyard. A great example of this is the bio-dynamic steps that they have taken to ensure a more healthy and natural approach to great tasting wine. Accompanying this approach is a vision of a “garden of Eden” for the estate which houses 12 acres of vegetable gardens, 80 bee colonies, and an ancient olive grove which they make their own olive oil from. This rosé embodies all of the ideals and vision of a dry rosé that was foretold with notes of fresh pineapple, peach, bush berries, and racy acidity.
Circumstance Rosé 2011, Cape Coral South Africa – $21.99++
The name for this wine is impeccable, spot on, and earned rightly so. The circumstances in which this rosé where born was from sheer terroir selection and a bit of luck. Situated in between the mountain ranges of Hottentots-Holland and Helderberg, the vineyards of Waterkloof have a breath taking view of False Bay which is only 4 kilometers down the rolling mountain side. The combination of the soil, climate, and old world winemaking technique’s (100% Bio-dynamic) have made this truly the most terroir driven rosé I have ever had the pleasure to savor. This dry rosé made out of 100% mourvèdre is characterized by delicate notes of spices, herbs, and earth, with bush fruits acting as a plush veil behind it all.
Artazuri Rosado 2013, Navarra Spain – $16.99++
The D.O. of Navarra used to be known only for their Rosados, and while they still have branched off into better quality reds and whites, Rosados are still the flag ship style for this region. One of the foremost leaders of Rosado production is Bodegas Artazuri which is located in the north eastern part of Spain south of Pamplona on the lower slopes of the Pyrenees. With long, hot, dry summers and not much rainfall (625 mm average per year) this is perfect breeding grounds for lush, concentrated garnacha based Rosados. This organic Rosado has a touch of sweetness, and is defined by its jammy rich fruit flavor, with secondary notes of spice and pepper but all the while supported by a zippy acidity.