I have mentioned before that I do not get caught up in all the National and International “Wine Days.” Most of the international wine varieties* get a day at some point on the calendar, as do many of the more well-known regions. Many U.S. States, not to play second fiddle to any foreign region, have claimed entire months as their own (but given that each of the fifty states has at least one winey, and there are only 12 months, well, I’ll let you do the math on that one).
*[Notice I said “varieties” and not “varietals.” The former is a noun, the latter is an adjective with an “s” added to it for some dumb reason.]
Personally, I think it is all a load of crap–no one needs to tell me what to drink or when. In fact, the only National “Day” that I try to “celebrate” every year is Open That Bottle Night, since it is an utterly fantastic concept and Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher (the founders of OTBN) are two of the finest people you could ever want to meet.
Back to the topic at hand.
One of the reasons that I despise (OK, that is a strong word, perhaps too strong, but it is pretty close) these wine days is that there is no consensus as to when they actually take place. Case in point: some people site the second Saturday in June as the International (or is it National?) Rosé Day. OK, that makes sense, I guess, but then I got an email yesterday alerting me to the fact that today (August 14th) is National (or is it International) Rosé Day.
While most people see Rosé as a “Summer Wine” I drink the pink all year round. Sure, you could make the argument that I live in Texas where it is as hot as Hades most of the year, but I was a year-round rosé kinda guy when I was living in Philadelphia, which is not known for balmy winters (at least not yet).
Nonetheless, since most Rosé is consumed in the summer, here are a few wines to get you through the remaining 4-6 weeks of ho.t weather
2018 Bodegas Beronia Rioja Rosado, Spain: Retail $13. 60% Garnacha, 40% Tempranillo. Yes, it is from Spain, Rioja, in fact, but this has a ton of Provençal markers: light color, subtle red fruit, a touch of funk (I love the funk). The palate is perfectly fine: fruit (I think?), acidity, It’s tasty, well-made, and a wine that I would drink on just about any day of the year. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2018 Château Ferry Lacombe Mira, Côtes de Provence, France: Retail $17. 80% Grenache Noir, 10% Caladoc, 10% Grenache Blanc. A classic pale pinkish-orange Provençal color with funky (I love the funk) strawberry, flint, and splashes of citrus on the nose. The palate is tart and angular, with subtle red fruit, mineral notes, and a strong finish. I expected this, and I am perfectly delighted to find it all here. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
2018 Château Minuty M de Minuty Limited Edition Ruby Taylor Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France: Retail $20. Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah. A widely available wine from the new wave of high-quality rosés from Provence. Classic Provençal pale pink with a shy nose of white flower and subtle red fruit. Tart and angular with wonderful balance and plenty of spunk. Delightful. And the new bottle is a ton of fun. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2018 Pasqua 11 Minutes Rosé, Veronese IGT: Retail $17. 50% Corvina, 25% Trebbiano, 15% Syrah, 10% Carménère. The name, 11 Minutes, refers to the amount of time the wine is in contact with the skins for this True Rosé. An attractive bottle and label house a pale pinkish-orange wine, reminiscent of the Provençal style. The nose is replete with peach, strawberry, and a touch of minerality. The palate continues that fruit theme with intense acidity and just a hint of sweetness. This is a solid effort from a rather large house. Very Good to Excellent. 89-91 Points.
2018 Smoking Loon Steelbird Rosé, California: Retail $10. 60% Barbera, 27% Syrah, 13% Grenache. Way back, when my love for wine far outweighed my income, Smoking Loon was a staple: good wines at more than reasonable prices. That holds true today, and this rosé is a good example. Medium pink with a slight orange. Strawberry dominates with peach and some floral notes. The palate is quite fruity as well with a noticeable sweetness. Far from unctuous, the sweetness seems to work well with the acidity. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2018 Veramonte Pinot Noir Rosé, Casablanca Valley, Chile: Retail $11. Quite light and more orange than pink but I’m no color expert. Bright nose of tart apricot and white flowers. Subtle fruit on the palate with a zingy peach on the mid-palate. Delicious. Very Good to Excellent. 89-91 Points.
Vilarnau NV Brut Rosé Delicat Reserva, Barcelona (Cava), Spain: Retail $18. 85% Garnacha, 15% Pinot Noir. I admit I have not searched all that extensively, but I have not found very many compelling Cavas. Sure, they are pleasant and refreshing, but not much more. This one comes close. Sure it’s a big producer, but it is a lovely pinkish-orange, loaded with red berry fruit, a bit of yeastiness, and a lovely freshness. Very Good. 87-89 Points.