When it was announced in February that the 2013 Chateau Miraval, a dry rosé wine, was sold out in an impressive 5 hours, I knew that the dry rosé revolution was in full swing. Chateau Miraval is a joint venture of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and the Famille Perrin in France’s Provence region. Their 2012 vintage was ranked #84 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year, making it 2012’s “Best Rosé in the World.” Some of my wine industry fellow sommeliers have been noticing this dry rosé trend for the last 3 years. Brad Pitt, in an interview in Wine Spectator Magazine, says he’s enjoying being a “farmer” now.
Dry Rosé is this summer’s perfect wine –the “patio wine”, the “picnic wine”. You drink it poolside, seaside, on the terrace, and at a sidewalk café. The sought-after attributes are the flavors and aromas of red grape wines in a lighter body. This wine should be chilled to white wine temperatures. Picture an outdoor barbeque with grilled seafood and meats and this wine. This is not your neighbor’s blush, sweet White Zinfandel!
Rosés can come in a variety of colors: from the palest pink to an orange-pink color. Flavors vary from dried red berries, white flowers, wild strawberries, and citrus to spice and herbs. Dry rosé can made from a variety of grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Merlot, Cinsault, Italian varietals (where it is can be called Rosato) like Sangiovese, and Spanish/Portuguese varietals (Rosado). There are several ways to make a rosé wine. In the most common process (Saignée process) the red grape skins are left in contact with the juice from the pulp (maceration) until the desired pink color is achieved. The color comes from the skins. The winemaker then presses the juice off the skins (bleed-off) and the juice is fermented.
What other wine regions offer a fine dry rosé? We did an unscientific tasting of several dry rosés. Our panel included men and women who prefer to drink both rosés in the summer and red wines in the winter….All were PRiME women and men. I challenge you to become a dry rosé enthusiast.
Miraval Rosé 2013 – Brad and Angelina’s Provence rosé can be found at some retailers who bought during the first five hours of availability. The notes of herbs, citrus and wet stone, enhance raspberry and wild strawberry flavors. $24.99
Charles & Charles 2013 – This rosé is from Washington State (the 2011 garnered a 90 Points BEST VALUE ranking from Wine Spectator). Charles & Charles rosé won first place from our unscientific wine panel. The new 2013 vintages are just arriving on the shelves. But beware; these wines normally sell out by the end of the summer. If you find a favorite rosé, make it your “house wine”, and be sure to stock up for the rest of the year. This is my house rosé. Syrah dominates the blend that features strawberry and melon aromas with herb and citrus notes. $12.99
Chateau D’Aqueria Tavel Rosé 2012 – This wine comes from the most famous rosé town in the world: Tavel, France. Pure red raspberry and floral qualities with a Robert Parker 90 point rating. $19.99
Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rose 2012 -This Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise blend from the Paso Robles area of central California garnered a WS 90 Points. Bright Strawberry and darker fruit flavors are seen. Pair it with salmon, tapas, and grilled meats. One of our favorite selections. $16.99
Falesco Vitiano Rosato 2012 – This Cabernet, Merlot, Sangiovese Italian blend from Umbria has a deep color, wild strawberry flavors with floral and honeysuckle bouquet. RP 88 Points. $12.99
Etude Rosé of Pinot Noir 2012 – This Carneros, California-based wine is crafted with Pinot Noir grapes and has bright flavors of fresh cherries, dried cranberries and a touch of orange peel. CG 90 Points. $26.99
About Professional Wine Ratings:
The following wine ratings are based on a 100-point scale. Each publication has its own quality criteria. If the rating is in a range, we will quote the highest score. Experts aside, it’s up to you to decide what you like.
WS – Wine Spectator
RP – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
WE – Wine Enthusiast
W&S – Wine & Spirits
D – Decanter
V – Vinous, Antonio Galloni
CG – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine
Note: PRiME is not associated with or sponsored by any of these publications.