5.27.09 ¡No Way, Rosé!

16 06 2009
5>27>09 –> Yes way! Summer’s on the way so bring on the rosé. No white zinfandel/Kook-Aid spiked with alchohol, SI VOUS PLAIT! Legit rosé, por favor. But what is legit rosé?
The three main methods include:
Saignée – literally, “bleeding” in French, refers to bleeding the storage vessel (oak barrell, stainless steal tank) at an early stage in wine production. So the lighter colored pink juice that hasn’t had much contact with the grape skins is “bled off” from the container to yield lightly colored pink wine.
Vin Gris – literally, grey wine. Really, it’s white/pink wine made from red grapes, usually pinot noir. The grapes are brought to the winery, crushed, and the juice that runs off from the pressing is removed from contact with the grape skins, which leaves flavor and color components from the skin behind. (This is how Champange can have red pinot noir grapes in it but have a yellow or golden color. )
Blending – usually discouraged, this simply means mixing red and white wine. French winemakers of “real” rosé will smack you until you’re “saignée” if you do this.
One Wednesdé los Young Winos of SF decided to play with rosés from across the globe. Here are our findings:

Our first pink darling? Carica’s Kick Ranch Rosé (Rincon Valley, Sonoma County), $16. This was likely the first wine most of us have tasted from the under-the-radar Rincon Valley area of Sonoma County. The nose was fresh, with a nice watermelon scent. Jessalyn smelled some Grandma’s lemon strawberry pie.
In the mouth it had some minerality, a watermellon flavor, and Jane found it sharp and crisp. Nikki got black cherries and Luke got strawberry. It had intensity of flavor and was full-bodied for a rosé.

Continuing with California, A Donkey and Goat’s 2008 Isabelle’s Cuvée Grenache Rosé (McDowell Valley, Mendocino) was next. On the nose, Luke got watermelon, Nikki got strawberry, celery, and tangerine. Alex and I smelled watermelon jolly rancher.
The palette was creamy with a super clean finish. Nikki found it very fruity but not sweet with great balanced acidity. Certainly a cool rosé coming from some 90 year old grenache.
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We were off to France with a 2008 Reuilly Rosé of Pinot Gris (France), $20. Nikki found white peach on the nose while Alex got apricot and citrus.
The palate was SO citrusy for Will and Nikki got clementine, meyer lemon, and lime peel.
This wine was solid. Très bien, Frenchies.

2007 Domaine Maby “Prima DonnaRosé (Tavel, France), $?, was next. I smelled popcorn and Alex got strawberry shortcake on the nose.
The palate was citrusy with higher acid on the finish. Nikki found it full bodied, the least sweet, and Luke thought it was creamy. Maby you should try it. Right, Alex?

2007 Lacramirosa Rosé, (Campania, Italy). Nose: bland. ‘Nuff said.
Palette: also bland, with unripe fruit, a little frizzante action, Alex thought it tasted like white wine, I got a little creaminess. Overall, I want to stick out my tongue, blow it, and make spit fly everywhere.
Pinky nubmer 6 was a 2007 Floresta Rose, (Empordà, Spain), $13. 50 percent Garnacha, 42 percent Merlot, 8 percent Tempranillo. Alex got ruby red grapefruit – Ocean Spray style – on the nose and Nikki and I agreed upon red cherry pie filling. Tasty.
The palette was fuller in body with some definite red cherry goin’ on. Good juice.
Pink is nothing to play with. Many of these were serious rosés with serious flavor. Utilize these blush-colored beauties on a hot day, with summer-themed foods, and next time you have a barbeque before you tap the keg.
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