Spring is practically here on the calendar but Florida is ahead of the curve as usual. With spring comes rosé season is coming in most of the country, but in true Florida fashion, it’s always rosé season here. Sales of rosé were up over 40% in the US last year and Florida did more than its part. Americans finally have come to understand that most rosés are dry. They make great matches to light grilled meats and snacks. I like to start with one as I’m grilling and it doesn’t last to the meal.
Rosés are made all around the world. Some are made with rosé in mind and the grapes are picked earlier to yield a lighter color and freshness. Many are made by the French saignée method by which grapes for a red wine have juice “bled” from the tank as it’s becoming pink. The red wine becomes more concentrated and the resulting rosé can be anything from light salmon in color to light red.
Here are just a few rosés from around the world. ABC has many more.
Château de Pibarnon Bandol Rosé 2014 – Provence, France
Bandol is a small fishing village on the French Riviera but the hills behind the town are the source of some of the country’s best rosés. Mourvèdre is the dominant variety with a little Syrah, Grenache and others adding complexity. Pibarnon is a bright salmon color with notes of quince, strawberry and spice. It’s a great sipper but can handle meats and stews. Not much escapes the country as most of it is drunk at the outdoor restaurants of the area with the local bouillabaisse. $27
Reserve Ste. Olive Syrah Rosé 2014 – Pays d’Oc, France
This is one of the best bargains in rosé available. 100% Syrah, it’s bright pink in color with notes of raspberry, strawberry and a hint of cherry. The crisp, dry finish is perfect even with grilled fish. $10
This estate is the property of the Bignon-Cordier family, owners of Château Talbot in Bordeaux. The grapes are typical of the area; 32% Grenache, 31% Cinsault, 27% Syrah and 10% Rolle, a white variety common to the area. The rosé is made by the saignée method from the estate’s red wine. Salmon in color, the wine has the spicy note of the red wine complemented by white fruit notes and a racy, dry finish. $15
High Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2014 – Lake County, California
Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t often used in rosé but Clay Shannon and crew make this one by saignée. The Cabernet shows in the deep pink color and notes of currant and plum on a firm, dry finish. This one begs for meat on the grill. You need two bottles. One won’t last. $15 (on sale for $10!)
Casas del Bosque Syrah Rosé 2014 – Chile
Made from Syrah, the wine shows deep pink–almost red–color, black fruit notes and a firm finish that is enough for any grilled meats, South American style. $13
L’Ostal Cazes Rose 2014 – Pays d’Oc, France
The Cazes family of Château Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux have ventured into the south with this estate. The rosé, derived from the red by saignée, is pale salmon in color with hints of the local garrigue, lavender and flowers. $12
Domaine des Carteresses Tavel Rosé 2014 – Rhone, France
One of the world’s darkest and deepest roses, this Tavel is 50% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 13% Clairette, 12% Picpoul and 10% Syrah. It’s almost red in style with plum, currant pepper notes and more body than most. Think of it as a lightly chillable red. $14
Brad Lewis, Consulting Wine Expert