In part two of our celebration of mom this weekend, we toast her with dry, still Rosé wines. Over the past decade or so Rosé has changed its tune from being the cloyingly sweet wines that reminded you of a watermelon Jolly Rancher to being lush, refined, gastronomic selections that shine with character and a sense of place with a dry palate and a whisper of pink color. As we ramp up for summertime, what has become known as Rosé season, now is the time to start sipping Rosé. Mom will thank you for it! #Cheers
One place that Rosé has been produced with superior quality for generations is Provence. The Romans originally planted vines in Provence, France centuries ago, and today the picturesque region, where the pretty people lounge on sun-drench beaches of the French Riviera, produces some of the world’s finest Rosé wines. Surrounded by olive trees and wild, fragrant herbs de Provence, like thyme, lavender, sage, and rosemary, the wines are crafted from Rhone varieties including Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Grenache, and often Rolle (Vermentino) the Rosé wines of Provence are delicate, elegant, aromatic wines, and always produced as a blend. Thanks to their surroundings, Rosé wines of Provence often have a seductively savory quality to them, which makes them quite irresistible.
Miraval emerged on the scene when the Rhone’s prestigious Famille Perrin family partnered with then couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Thankfully, even though the Hollywood couple split, the winery remains intact producing some of the prettiest Rosé wines found in Provence. (The couple continues their partnership in the winery as a legacy for their children.) The classic Miraval Rosé ($25) from Cotes de Provence blends primarily Grenache and Cinsault for a lavender, jasmine, and tangerine filled wine with a touch of crushed stone on the end thanks to the limestone filled soils of the estate. From vineyard plots on the French Riviera, heavily influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, STUDIO by Miraval Rosé ($20) brings a briny salty note to the honeysuckle, golden melon, pink grapefruit, and mandarin filled wine.
Brad and Angelina aren’t the only ones to understand the quality Rosé wines produced in Provence and want to jump on board. When the incomparable John Legend wanted to expand his LVE wines with partner Jean-Charles Boisset, he looked to Provence for the fruit to create LVE Cotes du Provence Rosé ($25). With a mineral-rich, wet stone note, the floral, slightly herbaceous wine exudes style and sophistication, melding stone fruit notes of nectarine and white peach with zesty citrus.
With an elevated quality and a bit of a more approachable price point, Cotes du Rhone Rosé wines are similar to those of Provence, crafted with at least 70% of the blend being primary varieties and no more than 20% of the blend coming from white varieties, produced under the regulations of the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) coming from throughout the Southern Rhone with a juicy, fruit-forward character.
In addition to their work in Provence, Famille Perrin’s presence throughout the Southern Rhone is impressive. In fact, they are considered to be one of the leading and most respected organic winegrowers in France. With deep respect for the land, their terroir-driven wines have character, and a sense of place, whether it be a $100 bottle of wine or a $10 bottle. Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve Rosé ($13) layers ripe strawberry and fresh and dried cherry, with a medium-bodied, textured palate. La Vieille Ferme Rosé ($9) is aromatic, fruit-forward, and very fresh, with a nice softness to the palate, balancing the acidity.
Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Rosé ($11) is a steal for the price, as the medium-bodied wine tastes like it should cost quite a bit more. Layering Asian pear, tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, and a touch of earthy minerality, creating a wine with an easy style and drinkability.
With a Rhone style and a California personality, 2019 Adi Rosé ($28) from Abigail Adams Wines shines with punchy freshness and acidity, melding into aromatic orange blossom, wild strawberry, raspberry, and nectarine. With a delicate open, followed by gorgeous floral and herbal aromatics, the character-filled wine is perfect for Mom and quickly becoming one of my favorite wines of spring. Through tomorrow the winery is generously giving a Mother’s Day treat of 20% off with the code 051020, follow the link here to purchase.
From some of the most prized vineyards in Paso Robles, 2019 EPOCH Estate Rosé ($30) blends a punchy 62% Mourvedre with Grenache and Syrah for its small production selection. Well rounded and distinctly textured, while maintaining softness, thanks to the refined touch of winemaker Jordan Fiorentini. With the palest of pink color, and rich strawberry and golden peach flavors, this is a wine mom will be extremely thankful to receive.
One of the most well-known producers of Rhone-style wines in Paso Robles is Tablas Creek. Begun in 1989 by the Perrin family and the Hass family, who together saw the potential in the rugged, dusty region, planting their vineyards from cuttings from the Perrin’s family estates in the Rhone, developing a completely organic and biodynamic property. Rosé has a long history with Tablas Creek, with the Dianthus Rosé ($30) showcasing Mourvedre in a Bandol style with a bright, almost fuchsia pink color and tropical fruit flavors of guava, quince, and passionfruit, the succulent wine is an ideal food wine, specifically anything with seafood, and a Mediterranean influence.
Celebrating one of the classic Rhone varieties for Rosé, but produced in Calfornia’s Central Coast, Grounded Wine Company’s Space Age Rosé of Grenache ($15) reveals mouthwatering layers of watermelon, raspberry, tart cherry, and cranberry, highlighting bright acidity, freshness, and a well-rounded, easy palate.
Paso Roble’s Justin Winery Rosé ($16) leaps from the glass with a Syrah dominant Rhone-style selection, revealing aromatic notes of wild sage and lavender, followed by ripe berry, red apple, and golden peach for a pleasing wine.
Aside from classic Rhone varieties used to make fragrant Rosé wines, I adore a Rosé made from Pinot Noir, particularly those from Willamette Valley, Oregon, and Sonoma, California.
From the Sonoma Coast, benefiting from coastal Pacific breezes cooling vineyards throughout the long, hot summer, ensuring a long growing season, slowly ripening fruit while maintaining acidity, Flowers Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir ($35) shines with delicate Tea Rose, violet, and orange blossom aromas, opening to tangerine, ripe melon, and juicy berry.
Sonoma’s Walt Wines travels up and down the Pacific Coast from Willamette Valley to southern California in their portfolio of expressive, single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. In addition, they make a tiny amount of Rosé of Pinot Noir from vineyards sourced throughout California. Bright, and refreshing, with a clean, crisp backbone, the strawberry, lemonade, and tangerine filled wine is the perfect pairing for a springtime evening.
With definitive texture and finesse, Benovia Russian River Rosé of Pinot Noir ($32) highlights the subtle elegance you can always expect from the Benovia Wines, allowing the quality of the fruit to shine, focusing on freshness with effortless luxury. The winery is offering a special Mother’s Day pack as well, including the Rosé, along with their stellar Martaella Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with ground shipping, for $150.
For the first vintage release from Sonoma’s Carneros region, Gehricke Winery introduces their inaugural 2019 Los Carneros Rosé of Pinot Noir ($29), highlighting the textures and zesty acidity Pinot Noir from the region develops. Crisp, aromatic, and supple, the wine layers ripe watermelon, golden peach, orange blossom, and crushed stone for a nice touch of minerality.
A consistent favorite, Willamette Valley’s Stoller Family Estates Rosé of Pinot Noir ($28) effortlessly marries classic wild strawberry and raspberry notes of Pinot Noir with a mineral-rich earthiness, creating a wine that is delightful on its own, but structured enough to pair perfectly with grilled salmon, sushi, or shellfish.
Willamette Valley’s Argyle Winery Rosé of Pinot Noir ($20) shines with vibrance and intensity, revealing juicy fruit-forward layers of watermelon, ruby red grapefruit, and juicy tangerine.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, especially my incredible mama, Anne, and my funny, vivacious sister, Daphne. I raise my glass to you both.
And, to my sweet boy Yoda, thanks for letting me be your mama. #mykidshavepaws