Around the World in Six Rosés
There is a great glass of perfectly chilled rosé for every summer meal and every occasion. Born in sun-soaked Provence in the France’s deep south, rosés are taking world by storm. These days they are vinified with great variety of grapes and made in pretty much every wine producing country in the world. The grapes used in the production of rosés are usually red. The grape juice and skins are left in contact for a short period to allow for colour transfer. Another method is “bleeding off” juice (saignée) after the pre-fermentation maceration process.
Outside of France, look for more fantastic rosés coming from Italy, Spain, Australia, Canada and even Argentina. In addition to using traditional French varietals; Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, rosés around the world are vinified with many different grapes, from Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, to Tempranillo, Carménère and Malbec.
Low in tannin, light and fresh with vibrant acidity, rosés are perfectly matched with light summer salads, seafood and shellfish. Here are a few of my favourite picks for this summer:
A perfect warm-weather patio sipper, this lively and refreshing rosé is crafted with a blend of Monterey County Syrah and Grenache. Just off-dry with a beautiful strawberry nose and abundant aromas and flavours of ripe red berries with a subtle touch of juicy citrus. Bring on some chèvre and enjoy this elegant Californian rosé on a warm afternoon while catching up with your girlfriends. LCBO # 284943, $ 19.95. Tasted April 2016/90 points.
The grapes used for this crowd-pleasing rosé come from the northern Rhône’s cooler climate vineyards at the altitude of 300 meters, on the slopes of the renowned Mont Ventoux. This is an intense and well balanced blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. Lovely pink in color with rose petals on the nose and an intense burst of cherries and strawberries on the palate, followed by a fresh finish. Served at 10-12 C, it’s great as an apéritif or a perfect companion for a light summer lunch.
Crafted with a 100% county-grown Cabernet Franc from the South Bay vineyards. Beautifully articulated and intense aromas and flavours of ripe wild strawberries and raspberries, with subtle floral notes and pronounced minerality. Closes in a clean, tangy finish. Pair with summer salads, soft cheeses, grilled seafood and planked salmon.
From sandy soils in the sunny Camargue region of Mediterranean France, the land of pink flamingos and wild horses, comes this lovely and elegant rosé. Light and refreshing, this is a delicious blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Carignan grapes. It’s bursting with aromas and flavours of strawberries, melon, white peaches, and pink grapefruit. Fantastic match to grilled lobster and sunny & light Mediterranean dishes. Serve at 8 C.
This lively and refreshing rosé was vinified with 100% pinot noir grapes, hand-picked in the world’s most southern wine growing region, Chilean Bio Bio Valley. It’s extra dry with intense nose of sour cherries, strawberries and raspberries. Well balanced acidity and crisp finish. It makes a great value summer sipper, lovely as an aperitif or to end a meal with a strawberry & raspberry based light summer dessert. Serve chilled.
Delightful Ontario rosé blend, vinified with 50% cab franc, 25% gamay 20% pinot noir and a touch of cab sauvignon grown on the rugged Niagara Escarpment and vinified with minimal environmental impact. Bursting with sweet forest strawberries, red cherries and raspberries. Dry, fresh and fruity it makes a great companion to an appetizer tray filled with smoked meats and cheeses, with seafood or on its own as a perfect patio sipper. VINTAGES#: 559088, $ 15.95. Tasted May 2016/91 points.
HAPPY SUMMER SIPPING!!