There is perhaps nothing better in the summer than a Rose; whether it is a Rose of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Merlot even Malbec, a dry Rose is the perfect summer sipper as it has all the body and flavor of a great red wine, without the heaviness that can sometimes weigh you down. A quality that is great in the middle of winter, but in the summer we want something a little lighter, with a bit of a chill put on it, but still has great flavor.
I have been enjoying quite a few lately, a few have been sent for editorial consideration, all are delicious.
I was at Parigi the other night for dinner and tried the new Rose they had just added to their list, Wispering Angel. A super light Rose of Grenache with Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre and Rolle, the color of peachy-pink rose petals with subtle flavors of citrus, strawberry and a delicate layer of earthiness and spice. We went on a Friday night without a reservation so the patio was our only option for a table, and though it was 100 degrees at 8pm we took it. Served very cold, this wine kept us cool throughout the night and paired beautifully with a Parigi cheese plate and portabella fries with truffle.
Over drinks at The Mansion on Turtle Creek the other evening some friends and I enjoyed a bottle of Rose from Bastianich Winery, owned by restaurateur, author, winemaker and host of Masterchef, Joe Bastianich and his mother, the iconic chef, author, restaurateur and host, Lidia Bastianich. Made from 100% Refosco grapes, an indigenous varietal to the Friuli region of Italy, a focus for the winery. The wine had bright fuschia pink color with bold flavors, filled with cherry, raspberry and strawberry.
A few weeks ago, while in Napa, I stopped in to one of my favorite tasting rooms in the valley, Miner Family Vineyards and tasted their 2010 Rosato of Sangiovese. Made in a traditional Saignee method of bleeding the juice off freshly crushed grapes. The result is a crisp, very dry rose with bing cherry, cranberry and pomegranate flavors.
Another Napa Valley favorite comes from the 100% organically farmed Ehlers Estate, their Sylviane Cabernet Franc Rose takes this varietal to new levels, highlighting some of the vegetal flavors often prominent in Cab Franc while enhancing the bright fruit flavors of cherry, raspberry and melon with hints of lemon verbena and orange blossom. It is rare to see a Rose of Cabernet Franc, especially one so elegant and luscious. This one, named Sylviane named after Ehlers Estate Founder, Madame Sylviane Leducq.
Over brunch a few weeks ago I opened a bottle of Scalabrone Bolgheri Rosata from the Italian Antinori Family. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah this relatively low alcohol wine (12%) is named after a Robin-Hood like figure who lived in Bolgheri, Italy in the early 1800′s, Scalabrone. A medium-bodied wine with aromas of wild flowers, herbs, cherries and raspberries with a balanced mouth-feel. An excellent pairing with a goat cheese and herb frittata over brunch, or served well chilled on its own before dinner.