Rosés have always been some of my favorite wines, being festive in color and, depending on sweetness, a crisp accompaniment to food. My personal tastes have varied over the years, though ultra sweet Rosés of the White Zinfandel variety are less palatable to me now. Rosés are usually made by pressing red grape varieties, with a very short period of skin-contact.
We recently had the good fortune of receiving tasting samples of some fine Rosés from the Lodi region, following up with another sample and then a few bottles purchased from our local grocery store (very few options there).
Lodi Wines (in no particular order):
McCaycellars 2012 Rosé: Carignane (102 year old vines!), blended with Grenache, dusty rose pink color, faint cream soda nose, peach and citrus flavors, round mouthfeel into dry finish, 211 cases made. ($18 Media Sample)
Sorelle Winery '12 Bella e Rosa: Sangiovese/Barbera blend, palest pinkish orange, faint cream soda nose, grapefruit flavor, bit of bite on finish, only 200 cases. ($16 Media Sample)
Onesta Wines 2012 Cinsault Rosé: light pink, grapefruit aroma, strawberry, peach, citrus flavors, nice balance between fruit and acidity, only 300 cases produced. ($18 Media Sample)
Heritage Oak 2012 Grenache Rosé: Grenache/Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc blend, very light pink, peachy cream soda nose, tart citrus flavors, very dry finish, only 80 cases made. ($18 Media Sample)
The crazy thing about these Rosés was that not only were they incredibly complex, but they were changing constantly, becoming better as they warmed; they were even better the next day!
Los Hermanos Vineyards (by Beringer from American grapes) Rosado N/V: "Afrutado y Refrescante," deep coral color, strawberry and melon aromas, strawberry and melon flavors, SWEET! with round mouthfeel, like drinking Strawberry Hubba-Bubba. ($8.99)
Stella Rosa Pink Semi-Sweet N/V (from Italy): pretty red grapefruit color, earthy citrus aromas, sweeter than it smells, strawberry, watermelon, and kumquat flavors, many tiny bubbles, creamy mouthfeel, medium-long finish. A bit too sweet, but might work on the beach or other hot location as long as it is served icy-cold. ($11.99)
Waterbrook Sangiovese Rosé 2012 (Columbia Valley, WA): fizzy melon aroma, tart citrus and gooseberry flavors, touch of sweetness, effervescent, plusher mouthfeel than expected, minimal finish, 3,200 cases produced. Nice simple Rosé on its own or with food. ($12 Media Sample)
Disclosure: Some of these wines were media samples -- all opinions are my own.
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