What To Drink Now: Summer Rose

Many would agree that Rose is the wine of summer.  The new season releases become available in May or June each year with the hope that they be consumed within the year to ensure freshness.  Another bonus with Rose: they are often very affordable and delicious. Here are a few pleasing selections, some sent for editorial consideration.

endless crushPinot Noir is one of the best varieties to make a Rose from, with layers of raspberry mingling with subtle Ruby Red grapefruit and juicy strawberry notes. Kathleen Inman makes one of my favorites: the Inman Family Vineyards Endless Crush  she created as a gift to her husband on their anniversary. It highlights how special their Russian River vineyards is for growing great Pinot Noir. The 2013 release is available via her website for $25 a bottle.

Lange Twins Vineyards in Lodi, CA creates wines with great taste and remains committed sustainable farming practices.  Their newly released Rose of Sangiovese melds wild strawberry and raspberry with tangerine and citrus notes for a refreshing, special wine. $15. Available via their website.

Garnacha, Spain’s version of Grenache, makes delicious Rose filled with strawberry jam, sweet spice, and orange notes.  Las Rocas Rose from Calatayud, created from 30-to-50 year-old vines adding depth to the berry notes of the wine, layering in hints of earthiness with the varietal characteristics of the wine. $14, Widely available throughout Dallas.

mouton cadetProvence is thought to be the Rose region of France, but every region makes delicious Rose, like the Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon based wines of Bordeaux. Le Rose de Mouton Cadet, a part of the Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA portfolio, is from Right Bank vines. It’s made of predominantly raspberry-and-blackberry-filled Merlot, enhanced with 23% purple and white flowers with fresh herbs filled Cabernet Franc and a touch of spicy, Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has good weight and character, but maintains a light, crisp flavor profile. $10. Widely available throughout Dallas.

For a true Provence-style Rose made a little closer to home, grab a bottle of Charles and Charles Rose from Washington State. It’s widely available throughout Dallas at Central Market and World Market stores. It’s a blend of traditional Rhone varieties and remains a light, refreshing and incredibly affordable option, usually around $10 a bottle.

20140531_121355_resizedWillamette Valley also produces some of the best Rose wines available. They are created with  earthy, wild strawberry and spice filled Pinot Noir.  I have been a fan of Stoller Dundee Hills Rose for years, filled with layers of strawberry, grapefruit and watermelon, available via their website for $20 a bottle.

While traveling in the region, I tried the Rose from Archery Summit  one of the premier wineries of Willamette, known for their robust yet refined Pinot Noir. Their Archery Summit Vireton Rose is made in the Saignee method: gently bleeding the grapes to attain the optimal color and flavor in the wine. Fresh and vibrant, filled with red cherry, berry and mandarin orange notes, great for summer barbecues. $24 available via their website.

Tuck Beckstoffer offers his Rhone style Rose blend with Hogwash. I love this wine. It is incredibly easy to drink, filled with juicy watermelon, tangerine and grapefruit notes with subtle hints of flowers and a touch of herbal notes. Perfect on its own or paired with grilled vegetable flatbreads or grilled salmon salads. $16, available via their website.

For those that love the Rose of Southern France, there are two options I love that are both aesthetically pleasing with beautiful packaging, as well as beautiful wine inside. Chateau de Berne Cotes de Provence Impatience Rose, made from a blend of Cinsault and Grenache, presented in their rectangular bottle, fills the palate with fresh raspberry, juicy cherry and light herbal notes, perfect for sipping on its own or with summer salads.$20 available at Goody-Goody and Wine Poste.

tavel roseFrom the Tavel region of France, Chateau d’Aqueria Tavel Rose blend of predominantly Grenache and Syrah with other Rhone reds blended in for balance and depth. Hand picked fruit is kept separate through fermentation before being blended and slightly aged at the Cotes du Rhone estate, creating a wine filled with red cherry, red berry, light floral and melon notes. A perfect aperitif wine. $20. Central Market.