It’s still hot down here in Houston. My Philly self would say “it’s really &%#$@^! hot down here!” Looking at the forecast, the lowest high over the next ten days is predicted to be 92° which will feel absolutely chilly since today it is 108° according to the heat index.
Yeah, that’s pretty hot.
And I am not going to lie: even though I drink rosé all year long, a chilled pink wine does taste particularly good when just the thought of going outside makes your t-shirt stick to your back and your armpits start to glisten.
Yeah, it’s pretty disgusting.
Oh well, when most of the rest of the country is under ice, slush, sleet, and generally cold nastiness, I will be wearing shorts and probably looking for a rosé to sip after a forty-mile bike ride.
I realize completely that there is nothing I have written so far that will convince anyone to drink rosé outside of the summer months, but luckily, there are another three solid weeks left until the first day of Spring.
Or you could just come down to Texas when you are tired of shoveling your walk or salting your steps.
Regardless here are a few of the rosé wines I have tried recently:
2019 Domaine Bousquet Rosé, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina: Retail $13. 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Tempranillo, 10% Pinot Gris, 10% Viognier. Organic grapes. I have sampled many wines from Domaine Bousquet at this point and I have always been impressed. I searched, but could not determine definitively if this is a True Rosé, but based on the flavors (tart, reserved fruit, flinty), I am guessing that it is. Quite Provençal in appearance and taste with tart fruit, zingy acidity, and a chalky finish. This is not a rosé that will blow your mind, but at $13 it doesn’t need to be. Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2015 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc Sylviane St. Helena, Napa Valley, CA: Retail $35. I think that I received two bottles of this wine to sample three years ago after my first trip to Ehlers, which, to me, is a must-visit in the Napa Valley. I have written a few articles about the winery and I find that despite being in the heart of the Valley, they are about as un-Napa as you can get. After tasting the first bottle three years ago, I saved this one to see how it might age. Well, I could have waited even longer, this True Rosé is gangbusters. Vibrant dark cotton candy pink in the glass with aromas of strawberry rhubarb pie, a bit of baking spice, and even some pink bubblegum. The palate is delightful: tart, fruity, expressive, refreshing. Even though this is nearly four years out from harvest, it is still fresh and delicious. Excellent. 91-93 Points.
2018 Halter Ranch GSM, Paso Robles, CA: Retail $28. 68% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 9% Picpoul Blanc. Under screw-cap. SIP Certified. Another True Rosé from Paso and it shows: brilliant light pink with white flower, peach, and strawberry on the nose. The palate is clean and precise with just a touch of roundness on the midpalate. The finish is tart and refreshing, encouraging another glass (or more). Very nice. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
2018 Bodegas Latúe By Latúe, Spain: Retail $11. 100% Tempranillo. Pink bubblegum color under a screw-top closure with tart strawberry, peach, and a hint of funk on the nose. The palate is tart, bright, fruity, and refreshing on a sweltering August night here in Houston. It is far from complex, but that is often desirable in a rosé–it’s sometimes better to pour a glass, sit back, sip the wine without distractions, and watch the nightly news. In horror. Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2018 Riverbench Vineyard & Winery Pinot Noir Rosé Riverbench Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, CA: Retail $25. 100% Neutral French Oak, 75% Malolactic Fermentation. There are a ton of Pinot Noir Rosés on the market since the variety naturally produces fairly high acidity even when slotted to be red wine. It seems as though Riverbench gets it, however. A largely Pinot Noir house from the Central Coast, this does not appear to be a saignée. No, according to their website, this is straight to press or True Rosé, using fruit that had been grown and harvested to be pink. Medium color with a slight orange tint, there is plenty of enticing flavors on the nose and the palate (strawberry, rose petal, orange rind), with a rich yet tart mouthfeel. Scrumptious, and Excellent. 91-93 Points.
2018 Château Roubine Côtes de Provence La Rosé: Retail $35. 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 10% Syrah. In France, this wine is called “La Vie en Rosé” but that was apparently already trademarked in the US, so they settled on “La Rose.” I am not sure how I feel about that name. Actually, I do, but I am trying to be nice and not nitpick. Look at me winning at being an adult. The wine, though? Yowza. A bit dark for a Provençal Rosé, but who am I to quibble? I’m too busy being “mature.” Floral (rose petals, naturally) and fruity (strawberry, peach, even mango). The palate is equally enticing with an initial wave of fruit followed by a mid-palate tartness, and a lengthy finish (at least a minute). This True Rosé will also age particularly well, given its balance. Excellent. 91-93 Points.