Spring has sprung all over the country, with wildflowers taking over once barren fields, bringing color, vibrancy, and Mother Nature’s intoxicatingly fragrant aromas. And, with the season comes the rosé season, the first wines released from the previous vintage, intended to be enjoyed shortly after bottling to ensure the fruit-forward and floral freshness of the wines are enjoyed to their fullest.
From the cool climate vineyards of Willamette Valley, one of the best rosé wines I have had recently is Resonance Rosé of Pinot Noir ($30). Energetic and expressive with great acidity, while displaying a beautiful delicate elegance. Crafted from 100% Pinot Noir grown throughout the region, capturing the complexity and structure of the variety, with notes of watermelon, cantaloupe, blood orange, wild strawberry, and violets. A special wine to enjoy throughout the season.
Provence is as akin to rosé wine as it is to lavender fields, fresh seafood, and the place where the beautiful people holiday. Since the 6th century, BC Provence has been crafting the luscious wine with a hint of pink color from classic Rhone varieties. One of my favorite from the region, Domaines Ott, showcases complete elegance in each one of their elevated Rose wines including BY.OTT Provence Rosé by Domaines Ott ($25). The wine shows lovely spiciness of clove and cardamon, with wild berry, Meyer lemon, subtle herb, watermelon, and a nice minerality.
To the west of Provence, the Languedoc region showcases everything from classic Rhone variety reds, to hearty Bordeaux-style wines, to balanced, bright Picpoul. When the robust red varieties are crafted as rosé, keeping the skin contact with the fruit limited, a light yet nicely structured wine is born capturing a sense of place while revealing freshness. Fleurs de Prairie ($22) meaning “wildflowers” in French showcases the garrigue, or wild herbs, with notes of lavender, sagebrush, wild thyme, and rose, with juicy notes of ripe red berry, lemon, tangerine, and a touch of briny salinity from the influence of the Mediterranean Sea.
Crafted from predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and a touch of Semillion from vineyards first planted within Bordeaux in the 16th century, Chateau Bonnet Rosé ($18) shines with layers of red cherry, juicy red berry, and currant, with soft herbs, a touch of wild rose, and spice. Nicely textured with good structure and balance, a great food wine, pairing with charcuterie and cheese, poached fish or chicken, steamed shellfish, or spring vegetables.
Showcasing a classic Bordeaux blend, including predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon along with a hefty portion of floral Cabernet Franc, Gamble Family Vineyards Napa Valley Rosé ($26) captures you with gorgeous aromas on the open, showing purple flowers, wild berry, and baked red fruits. Flavors of ripe raspberry, cranberry, and cherry follow, melding with toches of crushed stone and orchard fruit. A nicely gastronomic, and very dry rosé, paired with roasted pork tenderloin or grilled chicken or salmon.
Fleshy, rich, and nicely structured, the Corvo estate on the island of Sicily has been crafting elegant wines from native varieties for almost 200 years. Fleshy, rich, and nicely structured, Corvo Rosa Terre Siciliane ($10) melds a mix of local varieties grown in the central and western parts of the island, bringing a touch of salinity to the dry, fruit-forward wine showing notes of pomegranate, dried tea leaves, warm spice, wild berry, and blood orange. Pair with mussels or oysters, fresh seafood or shellfish, or roasted poultry.
Bubbles are good anytime, but bubbles in spring are even better. Bright and juicy, Brilla Prosecco Rosé DOC ($15) reveals the zesty characteristics of Charmat method production which takes the wine through a second fermentation in tanks to ensure the sparkler is vibrant and fresh. Floral notes of roses and white flowers meld into apple blossom, watermelon, wild berry, and golden peach.
Josh Cellars Prosecco Rosé ($15) is an easy to enjoy option bringing Pinot Nero and Glera together to create a lush, layered bubbly with ripe raspberry, strawberry, nectarine, and a touch of crushed stone. Balanced and bright, with food-friendly acidity.