The kids went back to school a couple of weeks ago, Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, and most of the country is starting to experience cooler temperatures, at least at night (although not yet in Houston, it is still hot as you know what, in case you were wondering).
All of the above are indications that summer is over.
As you start bringing in the patio furniture, pack up your white patent leather shoes, and gather up the Jarts scattered all over the lawn, it’s time to realize that you should not be in any hurry to drink the remaining rosé wines in your arsenal.
As I have said time and again, rosé has no season. In fact, along with sparkling wine, rosé wines in general are the most versitile of styles and can be paired with a variety of food. We often have at least a bottle or two on the table for Thanksgiving, Christmas, you name it.
Still there are those who are determined to associate rosé with summer. For those who remain steadfast, here are a few pink wines to enjoy until September 21st when summer “officially” ends:
NV Bella Grace Rosé Extra Dry, Treviso, Italy: Retail $50. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot. Usually, I have found when wine writers use the word “interesting” they really mean “I don’t like it.” While searching for descriptors for this wine, the “interesting” certainly applies, but, in fact, I do like this wine. There are several interesting aspects, though. First, the grapes are grown and the wine is made and bottled in Italy. That in and of itself would not be all that interesting. It is, however, labeled and sold by a winery in the Sierra Foothills in California. The varieties involved? Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. For sparkling wine? Interesting. Typically, these two varieties are generally lacking in acidity, an element crucial to a good sparkling wine. Also, Cab and, to a lesser extent, Merlot are known for their tannins, which most sparkling wines producers want to avoid typically. Last, it is labeled as a “rosé” and while certainly pink (albeit a fairly dark pink), the aromas and flavors are decidedly more akin to red wine (which makes sense given the varietal composition). Decidedly fruity, almost with a wine cooler aspect to it, wild blackberry and dark cherry mostly. The palate is equally fruity and Jolly Rancher-esque with some slight, but noticeable tannins on the finish. But I like it. A lot. This is much more of a patio pounder than a dinner companion, but watching a football game, with a plate of beef nachos? Heck ya. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
2018 Gassier Côtes de Provence Esprit Gassier Day Edition, France: Retail $25. 55% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 20% Syrah (I think–there is a dearth of information on the interwebs as to the blend of these two wines). A classic Provençal rosé, that is decidedly more delicate and fruity than its “Night” counterpart: pale pink, but more fruity than floral with oodles of peach and strawberry paired with some acacia and mineral notes. The palate is fruity as well, but more restrained than the nose would suggest. A fantastically balanced wine with a pesky tartness that balances out the fruit and minerality. Wonderful. Excellent. 91-93 Points.
2018 Gassier Côtes de Provence Esprit Gassier Night Edition, France: Retail $25. Although the labels, bottles, and color of the two wines are similar (even indiscernible), this wine is richer and, dare I say, “darker” on the nose than the “Day” version: dark berry fruit (boysenberry, wild strawberry), and it is not as floral, either, but I picked up some red rose petals on the back end. The two wines do share near impeccable balance, with a tartness that really holds both wines together. Originally, I thought I liked the “Day” version better, but as this warmed a few degrees, it became more complex, particularly on the finish. This gets a Whoa. Excellent. 92-94 Points.
2018 McIntyre Vineyards Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands: Retail $24. When I tasted this blind back in June, for the Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosé in the World, I wrote this: Pink with some orange tint. Fairly light. Bubblegum and a bit of peach. OK fruit and really nice flavors, I am guessing that this might be a saignée since it is on the round side. [Wrong: it’s a True Rosé!] 89-91 Points.
I had mistaken it for (potentially) being a saignée, but no one is perfect. This bottle holds mainly true to that original note, but I find this wine to be a bit more tart and decidedly less round. I’m bumping it up a notch. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2018 Herdade de São Miguel Colheita Seleccionada Rosé: Retail $15. 50% Touriga Nacional, 30% Syrah, 20% Aragonez. It has been a while since my visit to Alentejo in Southern Portugal. Every bottle that I open from the region, though, takes me back to the magical region, with its native varieties, its welcoming hospitality, and its traditional amphorae. While the massive clay vessels were not used in this wine, two local varieties were. Juicy, rich, fruity, and tart, if you don’t like this wine, you are incapable of appreciating pink wine. Excellent. 90-92 Points.