Thursday, September 8, 2011

Six Rosés for Summer

With the official end of summer a little less than three weeks away, folks in cool climates are packing in as many warm-weather activities into each day as possible. Most wine drinkers associate Rosé wines with summer, and while I generally agree, I think their value as aperitif and conversational wines for all seasons is grossly understated.

Nonetheless, I will review them as a last vestige of my 2011 summer when the days are hot and the nights are just beginning to cool, providing plenty of pleasant, relaxing evenings for smooth jazz and crisp wines. provides some interesting flights in tasting size bottles. It’s a novelty and not a great choice on an environmental basis, but the opportunity to taste six new wines in one shot is pretty compelling.

Kelly & Young 2010 “Kathleen Rose” Rosé

This wine smells like a light red wine, not a rosé. Flavors or strawberry and dry island fruits come across on the palate with a bit of citrus on the finish. This wine is dry but with a moderate body such that the fruit comes across just this side of dry. The tasting notes describe this wine as Meritage blend made in a
rosé style, a first for me. The nose presenting itself as a lighter red wine makes a lot of sense with this knowledge.

Swanson 2010 Rosato

From the first sniff I picked up melon and flowers. I also picked up hints of wild yeast and minerality in the nose. This wine tastes like dried rose petals with a dry, focused mid-palate with a bit of spice through the finish. The color of this wine is much like my own Strawberry wine, with a shift to orange from pink and red. This wasn’t the first Sangiovese-based Rosé I have had, but definitely the best.

Blackbird 2010 Arriviste Rosé

The prominent class of aroma for this wine would be grape leaves and greens. Cherry and pear flavors come through on the palate. This was the most brilliantly clear of all six wines with a very pink color, that required a second look.

Dry Creek Vineyard 2010 “Petite Zin” Rosé

As opposed to the previous wine this wine had a purple/pink color with a much darker tone to it. The aroma of currants fills the nose. This is a very full bodied rose with a spiciness to it that is impossible to miss. It is dry with a moderate length finish. Made from Zinfandel grapes.

Carol Shelton 2010 “Rendezvous” Rosé

The nose of this wine has a savory element to it, and I finally seized on herbs, but can’t be sure that is really it. The wine is medium-dry, very flavorful with a moderate to full body. The fruit flavors in this wine are very tart which made me think of cranberry and very tart citrus fruits. Made from the juice bled from Carignane grapes not long after crush.

L’Aventure 2010 Estate Rose

The color on this wine was a step down from the previous wines. The nose is full of greens and herbs. It is medium dry with tart fruits like melon and unripe peach. Made from a blend of Syrah and Cabernet.

After tasting all of these wines I was left wondering why we really only focus on this style during the warm weather. The range of wines presented in the sampler kit offers considerable nuance and distinction within the Rosé style allowing for plenty of thoughtful consumption, and at any time of year. Using these as cocktail wines or icebreakers seems like a slam dunk with the plentiful fruit and parallels to the full bodied red wines of which they are related. 

With that in mind I look forward to cracking some Rosé in the winter time and checking the look on my friends’ faces when I serve a wine that would seem out of season. Once they take a sip though, all that fuss will fade away!



No comments: