‘Tis the season to drink some pink
You know that spring has finally arrived when the balmy breezes begin to blow and the perfect wine to have in your glass is anything pink. For many wine drinkers, rosé signifies the season. It has both crispness and a warmth that’s perfect for early spring, with fresh berry and fruit flavors that promise the season to come. Rosés are get their pink hue – which can range from barely blush to nearly fuchsia – via a technique called “abbreviated red wine vinification” in which red-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins remain in contact with the juice for up to three days, before the juice continues on for fermentation. It’s kind of like steeping tea. The skins lend some color and tannins to the juice. This technique means that the best rosés combine the light, lively freshness of white wines with the fruitiness and depth of reds. They also pair particularly well with a remarkable range of foods.
We always try to represent several rosé styles from different regions and terroirs. To kick off spring, we are currently pouring the following:
- Our local favorite, Wolffer Estate Vineyard Rosé from Sagaponak, Long Island. The unique combination of loamy soils and ocean breezes from the nearby Atlantic provides Bordeaux-like conditions for these wines, which are grown sustainably by winemaker/partner Roman Roth and vineyard manager Rich Pisacano. Roth describes this wine as having “wonderful aromas of ripe apples and lilac with hints of freshly cut hay and a spritz of citrus. The mouth-feel is playful yet refined with ripe fruit flavors buoyed by vibrant acidity and elegant minerality. The wine finishes with great balance, a touch of saline and natural CO2 mousse.” It’s truly lovely.
- From Provence, which could be considered the epicenter of all things rosé, we have an old school classic from Clos Cibonne. The wine is made almost entirely from the Tibouren grape, which is most often used as a blending grape in the region. It is rare to see it taking center stage like this. Tibouren is a Mediterranean grape that dates back several centuries. It was found in lower Mesopotamia and in Rome, and historical texts suggest that Julius Caesar enjoyed Tibur wines. It is a finicky, demanding grape that thrives only in places along the Mediterranean coast, such as the shale-filled, sunny slopes at Clos Cibonne. This wine is fresh and fruity, with notes of citrus and salinity.
- Lastly, our most full bodied rosé (perfect for this in-between, nearly spring weather) is from just outside Barcelona, Spain. Castellroig is a family-owned estate that has been producing terroir-driven wines from its own vines for 4 generations. They take terroir extremely seriously, and have identified 18 unique patches of terroir on their small property. They make incredible Cavas and still wines that speak to each parcel. The rosé is no exception. A beautiful strawberry red with red fruit aromas, it is well-structured and full-bodied, well-balanced and persistent. This is the type of rose that can stand up to heartier dishes, grilled meats, and sauces.