Think PINK. What better way to kick-off the warm weather than with a bottle of dry rosé. There’s something about sitting on the patio or at the beach with a glass of rosé that just feels right. It’s nice to see that the US has finally found its love (and thirst) for dry rosé! Moreover, US wineries are catching the “pink wave” more so now, than ever before.
For years, US producers only offered a rosé at their winery or through their wine club; however, that has since changed and there are plenty of domestic rosé’s readily available.
The concept of rosé has been a standard in many countries for decades, if not centuries. However, it is still a relatively young category in the US; compared to the rest of the world. The category is liberal and loose in terms of winemaking practices and the use of varietals; simply put, if you are a Pinot Noir producer then you probably will offer a Rosé of Pinot Noir! Every winery has a chance to get in the game, but still it’s up to the consumer to decide which style of rosé they prefer.
Why choose rosé wine?
Rosé can be made from almost any red grape and receive their color from the contact with the skins of the red grapes. The color is determined by how long the skins are in contact with the wine. Although French Rosé has been the go to rosé for years, we are beginning to see a rise in sales of Domestic Rosé as people have started to drink rosé year round, where as in the past it was limited to 3-4 months of the year. Rosé is ideal for summer because it is light and refreshing with the primary flavors being, Strawberry, Raspberry, other red fruits flowers, citrus, and melon.
How is rosé made? There are a few different ways it is made:
Maceration Method is when the grapes are pressed and sit on their skins thus taking in the pink and before it gets too dark they are separated. Once it reaches the desired color, it is transferred to a different tank to finish the fermentation process.
Direct Press Method is usually the lightest color Rosé that you can find, but the red grapes are pressed and the juice is allowed to come in contact with the skins. It is a short period of time they do not have a dark pigment to them.
Saignee is a method of making Rosé, “bleeding” off a portion of red wine juice after it’s been in contact with the skins and seeds. Saignee is usually bolder and darker then rose because it is a byproduct of a red wine that becomes more concentrated, and the juice that is bled off is left to ferment on its own and becomes Rosé.
Blending is a method where white wine is blended with red wine to create Rosé.
Rosé wine around the world
Over the next few months, Horizon's wine team will be highlighting rosés from all over the world. For our first installment of “Think PINK”, we decided that we’d wave our patriotic flag and highlight a handful of domestic rosé’s we are currently offering this season. Don’t worry Provence lovers, next month we will showcase our classic Provence offerings and dig into why this area has been and continues to be the world’s benchmark for dry rosé.
Why Central Coast: Known for producing some of California’s most captivating wines, the Central Coast AVA spans over 280 miles from the coastline of San Francisco Bay south to Santa Barbara. The cool morning fog and coastal breeze combined with warm, sunny afternoons allow for a longer growing seasons, creating fully developed grapes with robust aromas and flavors.
Tasting Notes: Chloe Central Coast Rosé is a dry, bright and delicious wine that is light and elegant in style. Delicate notes of fresh strawberries, raspberries and watermelon dance on the nose and palate, unfolding into a crisp and well-balanced wine with bright acidity and a refreshing finish.
Winemakers Notes: The grapes for Chloe Rosé were night harvested at 21-23 degrees Brix and fermented at a cool temperature to maintain the expressive aromas and natural acidity of the wine. The grapes are then moved directly to press, where the juice is gently released and remains in contact with the skins for the optimal period of time, resulting in a beautiful pink hue.
Region: Cupcake Rosé comes from vineyards in California’s Central Coast, where the sundrenched days slowly ripen the grapes while cool nights ensure a bright, crisp wine.
Tasting Notes: Elegant flavors of watermelon, strawberry, raspberry and white nectarine lead to a silky texture and a refreshing finish. Serve with prosciutto wrapped honeydew melon, an arugula salad, or just as a delightful complement to a warm, sunny day.
Winemakers Notes: The grapes are harvested for this delectable Rosé at night to ensure they remain cold, leading to optimal ripeness and acidy. Grenache, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot help make up this gorgeous pink blend.
Tasting Notes: Delicately pink in color, Meiomi Rosé is delightfully dry with vibrant acidity. The wine opens to delicate aromas of watermelon, orange peel, and subtle hints of rose petal. The palate offers a lush mouthfeel with flavors of stone fruit and strawberry with a cool minerality on the finish.
About Simi Winery: Simi Winery was founded in 1876 by Giuseppe and Pietro Simi in Healdsburg, California. The first harvest was in 1890 and the stone cellars that were originally used continue to be not only used but a major an icon to Sonoma today. Additionally, Simi has been in continuous operation longer than any other winery in Sonoma County. Simi has over 400 acres of estate vineyards in the Alexander Valley (Sonoma) and over 100 acres in the Russian River Valley.
Region: 95% sourced from Alexander Valley (5% comes from Sonoma Valley). Within the Alexander Valley, the rosé grapes primarily come from the Los Amigos vineyard. This vineyard is a classic, valley floor vineyard possessing sandy loam soils that are ideal for growing Bordeaux varietals.
Tasting Note: The color is a vibrant pink with a coral edge. On the nose, find ripe strawberry, rhubarb, fresh tarragon, and white pepper with a hint of minerals. These enticing aromas set the stage for the palate of fresh strawberry, pineapple, sweet herb, and anise. This rosé is forward and focused with a lingering tart cherry and balanced acidity that invigorates the taste buds. This wine is perfect as an aperitif, or pairs well with fresh flavors like summer salad with smoked chicken and mango.
About Acrobat: Acrobat is Oregon wine made by the King family with the steadfast determination to handcraft wines of the highest quality whose family also appreciates pairing an honest wine with casual meals and gatherings. This led to the creation of Acrobat, artfully crafting every vintage in the gorgeous hills and valleys of western Oregon, with an eye on sustainable winemaking practices.
Tasting Notes: Acrobat Rosé of Pinot Noir has an exuberant pink color with salmon hues. The nose exudes a freshness of lime zest, pomegranate and just ripe strawberries, structured with a pleasant violet aroma. Red cherries are immediately apparent on the palate with orange blossom, key lime and potpourri. This wine is lively and playful from the onset with focused acidity that balances the juicy fruit flavors.
Winemaking Process: Pinot Noir grapes were cold soaked for 72 hours before being saignée and pressed. This wine was fermented with cultured yeasts in 100% stainless steel tanks, which were temperature controlled to maximize fruit character. Aging took place over two months in stainless steel tanks.
Washington State Rosé:
Band of Roses Rosé
Region: Washington State vineyards including Art Den Hoed, Shaw, Evergreen, and Roza Hills
Tasting Notes: Created by two-time Winemaker of the Year Charles Smith, this pure, vibrant, fresh, penetrating perfume gives way to lilac, guava, tangerine, and passion fruit. Delivered on a silky palate, this rosé has got the beat!
Canoe Ridge Rosé
About "The Expedition" Rosé by Canoe Ridge Vinyeards: Inspired by explorers Lewis & Clark, who, during their 1805 exploration, thought the ridge above the Columbia River resembled an overturned canoe. We'd argue the best exploration of all is discovering the Horse Heaven Hills' delicious quality in every bottle of Canoe Ridge wine. Uncork your expedition and enjoy.
Tasting Notes: Beautiful salmon pink in color, this wine opens with aromas of watermelon and ripe peach. Floral and strawberry notes are followed by hints of mineral, crisp acidity and a bright, refreshing finish.