Four Seasons of Rosé

I confess to having joined the rosé bandwagon this past summer despite my usual pattern of drinking reds regardless of the weather.  After attending several rosé tastings this fall, I realized there was no reason to give them up even with winter at our doorstep. The variety and abundance of rosés has never been greater with colors ranging from the palest pink whisper to the deepest cherry red. Styles abound as well with a cornucopia of minerals, earthy notes, and a full fruit basket of flavors. 

There is also a newer entry into the rosé category with Prosecco Rosé which marries two very popular categories into one.  There is truly something for everyone if you’re willing to give rosé a try. Here are a few that will provoke joy in any season.

La Spinetta Rosé ($18)– Made from 50% Sangiovese and 50% Prugnolo Gentile (a Sangiovese clone), this is one of my favorites of the rosés I’ve tried.  Starting with the fiery sunset color, this rosé is more Provençal in style but with more weight to it.  It exudes lovely stone minerality encased in Tuscan garrigue flavors of lavender, cherry, strawberry, and fresh-cut herb notes. 

Villa Sparina Rosé ($18)– Made from a rare blend of Dolcetto and Barbera in the Piedmont, Italy region, this one had one of the paler colors I tried with searing acid (due to its cooler climate) and sour cherry, dried fruit, and citrus notes.  Dolcetta contributes the red fruit flavors while Barbera brings the herb notes.  While pale coral in color, don’t be deceived into thinking this is a soft wine as it has robust tannins and a fuller body (and also a very cool bottle shape).  Incidentally Villa Sparina was just awarded European Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast.

Domaine Magellan Fruit Defendu Rosé ($12)- From Pays d’Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, this wine’s name comes from an old Cinsault plot.  At the time, Cinsault was an ill-regarded grape however, the plot produced such lovely wine that its grapes were preserved.  This rosé offers splashes of watermelon, lavender, and sea breezes in a glass.  One of the darker-colored rosés, this wine is made of 70% Cinsault, 20% Grenache, 10% Syrah and has tamer acidity (due to its warmer climate) and sweeter red fruit on the palate. 

Domaine Skouras Zoe Rosé ($14)– A fascinating wine from Peloponnese, Greece, this wine is made from 70% Agiorghitiko (a red grape) and 30% Moscofilero (a white grape). Full-bodied for a rosé, this wine would stand up easily to chicken, pork or a variety of meat dishes.  There is a distinctive note of petrol on the nose which is unique among the rosés I’ve tried (reminiscent of Riesling).  On the palate, ripe cherry, raspberry, plum, and a spicy BBQ-like flavor abound. Agiorghitiko brings the fruit and spice while Moscofilero contributes honey and white flower notes.

Don’t miss trying Prosecco Rosé when you see it. This new category was approved in Spring 2020 by the Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco (the consortium of Prosecco producers).  Like Prosecco, Prosecco Rosé must be made from a minimum of 85% Glera (the traditional grape used in Prosecco) with Pinot Noir being the only red grape allowed in the blend.  Prosecco DOC Rosé is made in the Charmat or tank method like Prosecco but it must be in tank for 60 days versus Prosecco’s 30 and it is also vintage-dated. Style or sweetness levels may include “brut nature”, “extra brut,” “brut,” or “extra dry” which are terms that correlate to residual sugar level.  These levels can range from zero to no more than 17 grams per liter. However, the sweetest categories of “dry” or “demi-sec” are not permitted.

Corvezzo Prosecco DOC Rosé Extra Dry Millesimato 2019 ($13) is one to look out for.  Family-owned Corvezzo has been making wine since 1960 in Italy’s Veneto region. Organic and vegan, this pale-pink wine is made from Glera (85%) and Pinot Nero (15%).  On the nose, wild strawberries and woodsy brush notes abound while the palate marries Acacia flowers and citrus flavors. Lively acidity rounds out the long finish.

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Tags: Corvezzo, rosé

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