We are smack in the middle of rosé season aka summer.
For those of you that feel confused about rosé, let me see if I can explain: rosé is made from an array of purple-skinned grape varietals (you know, the ones you already love so much, IE Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah, etc) but instead of leaving the skins of the grapes in contact with the wine for a long period of time, the winemakers separate the skins from the grape juice after only 1 to 3 days (before the start of fermentation) leaving the juice very lightly kissed with color.
You really can't deny the affordability of rosé paired along with a growing trend amongst winemakers who are actually making rosé wine with true intention versus it being an afterthought when they are attempting to make red wine. Over the past nine years, rosé has continued to grow at an exponential rate. Just last year, the sales on imported rosé increased 39% over the prior year here in the United States. The numbers don't lie.
Here are my top picks when shopping for rosé this summer >>>
<< 2013 Chateau Miraval / Provence, France ($25) >>
Grapes: Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle, Syrah
Yeah yeah, it's owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but wait, I promise it's the real deal. Wine Spectator blew everyone away when it awarded the 2012 vintage with a 90 point rating - one of the highest ever given to a rosé. For those of you not familiar with how the grading scale works, 90 points means the wine was "outstanding" on a scale of 1-100. And outstanding it is, with a wonderful balance of power and elegance and a perfectly floral nose. You will find that is there bright minerality on the finish and notes of strawberry and rose petal.
<< 2013 Liquid Farm / Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara, California ($24) >>
Grapes : Mourvedre, Grenache
This winery just started making wine a few years back in 2009. The winemakers call it "pink crack" for its highly addictive qualities. This rosé is bone dry and earth-driven with notes of purple basil, fresh gardenia, orange rind, and pomegranate. Very food friendly.
<< 2013 Red Car / Sonoma Coast, California ($24) >>
Grape: Pinot Noir
This wine has a delicate nose laced with floral notes and watermelon. The finish is bone dry and the overall flavor notes are packed with tangerine oil, pink grapefruit, and bing cherries. We enjoyed this wine at brunch a few weeks back and it was a major crowd pleaser - bright, refreshing, and delicious.
<< 2013 Vivier / Sonoma Coast, California ($19) >>
Grape: Pinot Noir
I loved this note about the label from the winery: The label depicts a famed 1906 balloon race over the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. Picnickers gathered in the garden and diners filled the neighborhood terraces, eager to watch the launch of this inaugural overseas race. It’s a perfect moment of joy and anticipation—exactly how you should feel when you enjoy a fine rosé. The wine has notes of apricot, raspberry, and pear with a strong flinty finish.
<< 2013 Crossbarn by Paul Hobbs / Sonoma Coast, California ($18) >>
Grape: Pinot Noir
With notes of white peach, rose hips, and grapefruit this wine is filled with scents of summertime. Renowned winemaker, Paul Hobbs launched his 2nd brand, Crossbarn, in 2000 with the goal of making approachable wines for a younger generation of budget-concious wine drinkers.
<< 2013 La Spinetta / Tuscany, Italy ($17) >>
Grapes: Sangiovese, Prugnolo Gentile
I am obsessed with this rosé. This is only the second vintage of this particular wine and it is so completely outrageous. The winemaker allows for only 1 hour of grape skin contact which makes the finished wine such a stunningly pale peach color. Super full and crisp, it has notes of mint, grapefruit, and orange peel with strong minerality on the finish.