Rose for Spring
By VIRGINIE BOONE
Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Making rosé is a winemaker's chance to make a red wine taste as refreshing as a white, though still retain the body and texture and complexity he or she loves so much about the red wine varietals they choose to play with.
For some, grenache is the go-to varietal, a pretty wine with lots of raspberry and strawberry aromas whether red or white. For others, it's pinot noir. Some of the more interesting rosés are made from more unlikely sources, be it mourvedre or petite sirah.
In the end, there's lots to choose from for spring drinking, a good rosé the perfect accompaniment to a range of warmer weather foods or the right first glass of the evening that can hold through a first course or two. Try these this spring.
Bedrock 2009 Ode to Lulu Rosé
Morgan Peterson's rosé made from 120-year-old Sonoma Valley mourvedre vines, a dusty, chewy rosé with plenty of bright fruit aromatics and length, perfect with, as Peterson puts it, “the holy trinity of summer food — cured meats, cheese and great bread or cold chicken, fresh tomatoes and basil.” $22.
A blend of petite sirah and pinot noir, fermented cold and aged in neutral French oak that refreshes like a white wine, but has the body and texture of a red wine. Plenty of pretty strawberry and orange blossom amid the wine's stolid structure. $15.
MacPhail 2010 Rosé
of Pinot Noir
Winemaker James MacPhail drains 20 to 30 gallons of Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast pinot noir every year to make this strawberry-tinged rosé, giving the wine a one-day cold soak along the way. The juice is then stored up in a closed-top stainless-steel tank to ferment for crispness, with a smaller amount stored in neutral French oak barrels to add a touch of creaminess, too. $20.
Midsummer makes wines from all over Northern California with this rosé a blend of grenache and viognier from the Button & Turkovich vineyard in Yolo County. The result is an easy-drinking fruit-forward wine with peach and lime notes that's still textured enough to stand up to a range of food. $18.
Occasio 2010 Rosé
of Pinot Noir
Made from the Del Arroyo Vineyard in Livermore Valley, Occasio's rosé is full of cherry and strawberries, a glass of spring that can stand on its own or be paired with mussels in tomato and saffron, Spanish-style (see the winery's website for the recipe). Owner/winemaker John Kinney harvests pinot only for this wine, making 50 cases that will be officially released mid-April. $22.
(925) 371-1987, www.occasiowinery.com
Made from a grenache block in the corner of the Scaggs's Mount Veeder vineyard where the fruit ripens later and is allowed to carry a heavier crop, this stunningly beautiful bottle is bright and full of acidity, the wine made using whole clusters that are gently crushed and left in some contact with its skins and seeds. The result is an elegant and aromatic wine full of strawberry and raspberry aromas and a nice texture you'll remember. $25.
Virginie Boone is a freelance wine writer based in Sonoma County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: Thursday 24 March 2011