Pink Wine, Pink Wine Everywhere

National Rosé Day is this Saturday, June 8th. Learn all about the pink wine that is in fact everywhere during the spring and summer. Ellen Clifford is here to breakdown rosé country by country and give you her best pick for rosé shower wine. Cheers! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ “Where you drink your rosé from is a badge of honor,” declared restaurateur/all-over-wine-badass Matthew Kaner in a seminar on Loire Valley wines. I couldn’t agree more. Rosé gets respect these days. I’ve long declared my rosé badge to be Tavel, but get me going on styles of rosé and “my absolute favorites” list expands. Rosé comes in many guises and there is love in my heart for them all. And that’s before I even bring up bubbly rosé—SO MUCH PINK! Is it un-goth or subversive ultra-goth of me to be so obsessed? There is a belief that has been propagated that both Kaner and I would like to change, which is that rosé has to be dry and of the current vintage. Well. Rosé comes in every rosy shade under the occasionally-Tuscan sun, and sometimes they aren’t completely bone dry. And sometimes they are more than a year old and that’s okay, or even a good thing! Sweet does not equal Sutter Home. I will now delve into the wealth of rosé subcategories. I guess I should declare a shower rosé. Even though I shouldn’t. Yet I persevere in frivolity because life is bats and short. Chateau Trinquevedel remains my heart-throb lover so if I feel luxurious I’d take that. Although my local Angeleno Wine “The Meadow” vibes with everyday bathing. Either is a thrill. Let’s get on with business, country by country. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ITALY-PINOT GRIGIO RAMATO Did you know that rosé can be made of Pinot Grigio? The grape’s skin has a slightly pink tinged skin. It may be blushing because it has such a bad reputation now. Take a look at the next Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris you drink and see if you don’t see a hint of copper. In Italian “Rame” means copper and in Friuli they call their Pinot Grigio rosés “Ramato”, which actually translates to auburn. Either way I’ve been a bit of a “quality Pinot Grigio/Gris rocks” evangelist so I am vibing hard on the Ramato. - 2018 Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato Light with a bite. Quite a bit of melon. I imagine lying in the sun (in my imagination my pale self won’t burn) eating ice-cold paper-thin slices of honeydew and cantaloupe and perhaps even watermelon that have just a small sprinkle of salt and lime juice. And maybe there is a sprinkler to run through. I dig. ITALY-CHIARETTO (BARDOLINO!) If you see an Italian wine called Chiaretto, it’s a rosé. Bardolino is the also-ran subregion of the Veneto, a region where Valpolicella gets a lot more glory. Perhaps it is the alliteration. Vardolino anyone? Anyway, Bardolino Chiaretto is made primarily of the same grapes as Valpolicella: Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. ITALY-CERASUOLO Is it a deep rosé or a light red? I will let you make the call, but the name comes from Cerasuolo’s cherry-red hues.. If you see a bottle of Cerasuolo d’Abruzza, please give this Montepulciano-based wine a whirl. And use it to convince your friend that says they hate rosé that they are wrong. I did. Annona makes one of my favorites. FRANCE-LOIRE VALLEY There are 5 major categories I think of when it comes to the Loire Valley. After all, they produce more rosé than red there! Rosé de Anjou is a genre with a minimum of 7g/L residual sugar (RS) that tends to be based on Grolleau and may also contain Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Pineau d’Aunis and Côt, aka Malbec. With a minimum of 10 g/L of RS, Cabernet d’Anjou is based on both Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The dry answer to these sweet guys is Rosé de Loire, again usually a blend of the myriad red grapes you will find in the Loire. Lastly I’ll give nods to Sancerre, where rosé is made of Pinot Noir and Chinon, where Cabernet Franc is the grape of choice. Two exemplary picks: - Marquis de Goulaine Rosé d’Anjou Off-dry and that is a good thing! This has acid to back it up. Imagine taking one of those strawberry candies that comes in the wrapper printed to look like it is one, unwrapping it, and chucking it into a glass of lime-aid. I LOVE this wine. - Le Charmel Rosé de Loire Zingy on the nose, a summer sipper all day. Half Cabernet Franc, half Gamay, 100% gulpable by the pool. FRANCE-MARSANNAY If you cannot get enough Pinot Noir rosé from Sancerre how about one with nerd intel from Burgundy? Marsannay is the only village-level AOC in Burgundy that includes rosé. Marsannay rosé is going to be mineral and brisk. At least all my interactions with it have been. It is a small appellation, and you might need to work to find it but… you will sound cool telling your peeps that they are drinking the only appellation in Burgundy for rosé, so do it up. - 2017 Domaine Audoin Marsannay Lemon limestone was my tasting note. Biting minerality and wants salty cheese. Or fries but rosé always wants fries and vice versa. Drinkable on its own though, even better with a salty snack. FRANCE-PROVENCE Fun fact: They make pale pink wine in Provence. Oh you heard? Oh but did you know that hourglass shaped bottles that are traditional there are called “skittles”? I just learned that. Sure, Provence makes goodly amounts of summer water bland pinks, but if you want to taste the rosé rainbow you’ll need to include the subregion of Bandol in your tastings. Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé is my pinnacle of Provençal wine. Made of primarily the Mourvedre grape, it is my sweet heaven. For the rest of the regional wine though, there’s so much pale porch pounder swill. But, if you are at the grocery store grab that funny shaped Miraval. OR then there is: - 2017 Chateau de Roquefort ‘Corail’ Rosé It’s Syrah based! Red and white grapefruit, white cranberries, salinity and a touch of floral white pepper funtime. And of course, I love a winery with a cheese name. FRANCE-TAVEL Tavel is the area in the Southern Rhône where only rosé is allowed. It will be Grenache and Cinsault based and it will be a deep pink. I’ve tried a lot of Tavel in my short time in wine because it is my favorite and for my money—or anyone’s money, really—you cannot do better than Chateau de Trinquevedel . FRANCE-CORSICA Corsica is the French outlier-an island closer geographically to Italy. The grapes are different and so is the rosé. It will be a fuller style than most Provence although still distinctive from Tavel. Grapes used there include Nielluccio (aka Sangiovese), Grenache, Sciaccarella and Vermentino. - 2015 Domaine Antoine Arena Patrimonio Rosé (80% Nielluccio, 20% Vermentino) It’s got minerals and notes o’ lemongrass for days. And a creaminess which I’m guessing comes from malolactic fermention. There’s a lemon yogurt tang to it I dig which is funny because I tend to hate yogurt. But I’m into this one. SPAIN-TXAKOLINA (OR TXAKOLI) Fun to say (chock-oh-LEE-na), even funsier to imbibe. It comes from the Basque! They have an affinity for making it crisply bubbly ever so slightly. And so far every example I have had is mildly spritzy, so get ready for crisp. Hondarrabi Zuri is the white grape of the region and Hondarrabi Beltza the red. I cannot honestly say I’ve had enough to speak authoritatively on it but I will confidently recommend you try the following if you see it: - Ameztoi Rubentis Getariako Txacolina Hondarrabi Beltza Hondarabbi Zuri Rosé Lightly effervescent. Highly addictive. Peachy and mineral and gulpable. You should, you must. UNITED STATES-OREGON Once upon a time David Lett planted Pinot Noir in Oregon, and it was good. Eyrie was the first. I just realized that Pinot Noir is ubiquitous as a rosé. Given its high acid, low tannins and friendly cherry nature I suppose it makes sense. I recommend Gothic Wine rosé (of course I do) but also: - 2017 Maison Noir Love Drunk Rosé SO much Maison Noir has going for it beyond a goth-adjacent name. I love wines names for love and I also love puns, so I love the fact that the wine comes from “Garage d’Or” as the label notes (okay so on the back it mentions that it is Oregon but ya know) and I also love well-made wine. It is a lime-cherry-kiwi fizz without the fizz. Effervescent sans bubbles. Energetic rosé. As hyper as new love can be. UNITED STATES-CALIFORNIA Oh Cali, you do it all. From boxed sweet plonk to the most elevated of rosés. From light pounders to wines on par with Southern Rhone heavyweights. I am going to rattle off some favorites I’ve written up and then highlight my recent findings below. The regular solid hits: Seebass “Fantasie” , Angeleno Wine’s “The Meadow", and Dragonette Happy Canyon are just a few of my ride or dies. Below, a couple of my newfound favorites. Get in. Especially the first because it is White Zin You Need. In Your Life. - Pedroncelli Dry White Zinfandel Non-sweet fruit punch with a freshness factor. Try this, and try their regular Zin! - 2018 Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris de Cigar Look I cannot get enough word play, especially as it pertains to wine, French Stuff, and outer space. Although I’d like Uranus jokes over UFO ones. That joke wrote itself only because I also adore alliteration. Anyway this homage to Chateauneuf de Pape’s refusal to allow UFOs in its terroir (I wouldn’t let them in mine either, honestly) is ever so transparent, ever so zing pow wow, but shhhhhh chillout sweet baby that I am now a Bonny Doon convert. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: Seder Sips Old World vs. New World Round Five: Zinfandel! But Is It Vegan? Classic Pairings for the Veggie Soul: Pairing Five Classic Pairings for the Veggie Soul: Pairing Four You can also listen to Ellen's podcast with Shaughn Buchholz, The Wine Situation here .

Charles Smith

Band of Roses Washington State Rosé 2014

An over-deliverer always, that Charles Smith. I suppose when your name is that close to Charles Shaw you had probably better show up on point. Smith’s wines though—dependably tasty, more complex than your average bear which is saying something because bears are in fact fascinating mammals. Anyway. You know what else? This is a rosé of Pinot Gris aka Grigio ooooh. Tropical and a bit of funk and stone. It’s a disco-themed dance party. Which is a great party. I stand behind this statement. — 7 months ago

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Matt Perlman

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Cannot agree more wrt bears and disco parties
Ellen Clifford

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@Matt Perlman Oh fantastic! you get it

The Collection (Target)

California Rosé Blend 2018

You know what? It’s decent. Better than I expected from Target. — 7 months ago

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Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

Why are you buying wine at target? Under-ware & toothpaste only
Ellen Clifford

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@Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum haha it’s for an article about buying wine at places you shouldn’t 🤣

Jean-Luc Colombo

Cape Bleue Rosé Blend 2017

Not that I’m writing a Rosé column or anything but how about a gratuitous Monday Rosé (Monday-rosé sorta rhymes) theme? I’ll contort with whichever pink I find worthy? I’ll try to be discerning. This delivers more than its price tag. It has a whiff of the rich fun of Tavel with some of the bright acid fun of Southern France and like do we care..(I do care but I like people who tell me things so you can feel free to tell me what to think I may say cool but I know better though) but lest you do not wanna think a bunch: There is peach Melba (aka there are vanilla-raspberry notes too) on cool wet stone. This is a pal. You wanna meet its buddies aka are there more Colombo mysteries to be solved? Is that a decent metaphor? or am I just prepping too hard for the Colombo-themed storytelling show I’m in this weekend? — 7 months ago

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Pedroncelli

Signature Selection Dry Rosé of Zinfandel 2017

White Zin I can get behind. I love Pedroncelli Zin (the red stuff) so had high hopes, and this did not squash my dreams. Thank goodness. Because nothing says heartbreak like a go-to winery doing you dirty. Omigod what has my life become? I’ll get on with a flavor profile. It’s like a fruit punch but not sweet and has the body of something with a bit of residual sugar but...it’s pretty dang dry. With a hint of green interestingly enough. Would recommend. — 7 months ago

Neil, "Odedi" and 10 others liked this

Mouton Noir Wines

Love Drunk Rosé Blend

I’m into this winemaker. This has all the verve and energy of something bubbling without bubbling. — 7 months ago

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Trixie

Trixie

Cool bottle! Cheers!
Ellen Clifford

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@Trixie cool bottle, cool winery! Cheers 🥂

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Vin Gris De Cigare Rosé Grenache Blend 2018

I cannot get enough word play. Especially as it pertains to wine, French Stuff, and outer space. Although I’d like Uranus jokes over UFO ones. That joke wrote itself only because I also adore alliteration. Ahem. Anyway this homage to Chateauneuf de Pape’s refusal to allow UFOs in its terroir (I don’t let them in mine either, honestly) is ever so transparent in what is in it, ever so zing pow wow, but shhhhhh chillout sweet babygirl that I am now a Bonny Doon convert. I wish I could say I was more than a half glass in writing this but you can blame to wordplay/slight tawdry-ness/silliness on...me. And the following tasting notes don’t do anything to actually explain this wine. Less than the prior paragraph anyway. But know it is more than the sum of its parts. But! If you want tech:
Appearance: pale pink. Nose of red fruits of all types, Whole Foods bulk section and a new fountain perhaps in a cheeky avant- garde art garden. Tongue: dry, medium acid, medium alcohol (whoops it’s 13.5!) body is silky and neatly suede-y. You’ll taste bright underripe strawberries, overripe raspberries, maybe an iris or so and something mineral and also green let’s call it pussywillows just to keep me thematically on track. Finish is medium plus with a hint of candied fruit punch.
— 7 months ago

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TheSkip

TheSkip

Quite possibly the finest descriptor I have ever heard for wine. Bulk food section! Tops the previous “freshly opened tennis ball can” which I believe was either @David L or @Shawn R
Ellen Clifford

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@TheSkip thank you! Fun wine deserves fun descriptors 😊

Ameztoi

Rubentis Getariako Txakolina Hondarrabi Beltza Hondarrabi Zuri Rosé Blend

So damn good. Lightly effervescent, nose is peachy but the body has a mean streak of mineral but it’s the good kind of mean. Keeps you coming back for more. — 7 months ago

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Matt Perlman

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Someone should write a “Txakolina” song to the tune of Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina.” Here ends my intelligent contribution to this discussion; you’re welcome
Ellen Clifford

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@Matt Perlman I appreciate this contribution

Domaine Charles Audoin

Marsannay Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

Lemon lime-stonnnnne babeee. Very mineral. Needs a side of fries or a side of anything really but would also be fine solo but...could use fry fat. — 7 months ago

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Attems

Ramato Friuli Pinot Grigio 2018

Comes a time in a young wine scholar’s life she discovers a new rosé genre and this time it is Ramato. How did I not know there were Pinot Grigio rosés? I’m suggestible (see the label) but this is salty in a way that I imagine eating icy melon with my feet in the sea. And like it’s all the melons—honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon...probably not bitter melon though. Although this wine has a kick. Or maybe it’s just a nudge. — 7 months ago

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Ellen Clifford

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@Severn Goodwin right?! I was happy to make the discovery🥂
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

Stylish! Cheers 🍷
Ellen Clifford

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@Neil Valenzuela thank you! Cheers!!

Château Miraval

Côtes de Provence Rosé Blend 2017

Think I like this better than the last Miraval vintage which is to say, totally solid and yum grocery store avail rosé that when the warm weather beckons you can crack alongside your springtime frolics. But like, better than a lot of rosé. Maybe not on par w my faves but damn enjoyable. Okay WSET-(ish)analysis.
Eye: almost salmon
Nose: medium intensity raspberry meringue and an invigorated river
Tongue: medium plus acid, medium alcohol (13%) and medium plus bod for a pink. Flavors of raspberry foam, vanilla cream and, like big stones tossed into a cobbler, damn that is not technically wset but I’ll save those notes for the test I have coming. Anyway yum. Maybe I am too happy to drink a happy pink lime Miraval but I’m into this one about as much as I was the year I discovered it which I believe was the 2015 vintage. Yay. Go on now. Taste n tell me your thoughts.
— 8 months ago

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Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

Thats too much math for Sunday🤔
Bob McDonald

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@Ellen Clifford Fantastic - well done to you. I might have a crack at the Diploma when I retire - seems like a lot of study.
Ellen Clifford

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@Bob McDonald it is toooooo much study, yes.