By Justin Taylor
One of the most misunderstood wine styles on the market today represents a starting point for many consumers in the wide world of wines. The names Boones Farm, White Zinfandel, Lancers and Mateus are often the first association we have with blush or rosé. However, in France, Spain, Austria, and even parts of Italy, rosé has little or no residual sugar, expresses very little tannins, bright acidity, and soft fruit aromas and flavors.
This versatile wine style has been produced from many combinations of grapes around the world, but they have the same concept at heart: subtle extraction of red pigments into juice before fermentation. There are multiple ways to achieve this end goal for producing rosé. For example, at Burntshirt Vineyards we press separate lots of red grapes just as we do our whites, yielding the soft pink juice we desire for our rosé. A more traditional approach is to saignée, or bleed off some portion of juice from a red fermentation before high color extraction.
When you are ready to take the adventure of comparing and contrasting global interpretations of rosé, there are certain regions that set a base foundation. The appellation of Tavel in the Southern Rhone is the most iconic region to sample the depth of rosé. In the early 1900’s, winemakers decided they would become world class at producing only rosé. These wines are Grenache based and will compare very well with wines from Côte de Provence and Bandol, also known for their rosé.
Those looking to try something really on the unique side should consider an Oregon Pinot Noir rosé. These wines can show such delicacy coming from this varietal but the bright finish and tart, fresh flavor make these wines perfect for the beach or picnic basket. Seize the chance and savor the wine as well as the scenery no matter where your travels take you this summer.
The answer to the most recent Wine and Vine trivia is Greece. In some wine regions of Greece, the basket structure helps protect the vine and fruit from very strong wind, creating quite a unique appearance. Trivia for next issue: What does the abbreviation “AVA” mean in the wine market of the United States?