It’s spring, and as we cruise into summer, I’m already starting to taste my favorite summer wines. That would be, of course, Rosés!

Several years ago, I discovered the joy of Rosés. Up until that time,I saw Rosés as pink wines, cloyingly sweet, and I had no plans of revisiting any pink wine on any level for any reason whatsoever. Yuck. To tell the truth, other than Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, and Viognier, I am not even that much of a white wine drinker. The light wines of summer, such as Pinot Grigio and Muscato are just not my favorites. Most Pinot Grigios – in my humble opinion – don’t taste much better than lightly acidulated lemon water, and Muscato, while fragrant, is just too sweet for my taste. On the other hand, I love dry pink wines. They speak to my red wine lover’s soul even in the heat of summer.

Because my study group is doing a tasting on Rosé wines, I decided to taste three of them at reasonable price points. All of the wines will be tasted blind – it is a study group, after all – and I decided to test three of them. I have a wine from Australia, Spain, and one from France. It’s all international!

Don’t get me wrong, I love American dry pinks as well. It just turned out this way!

2014 Albero Bobal Rosé Wine ($6.99)

Roses_AlberoMade with organically grown Bobal grapes, this Rosé (and, yes, it is labeled Rosé, not Rosado) originates from the Valencia region of Spain in the Utiel-Requena DOP.

The color is a very deep pink with the faintest touch of coral. It is clear, bright, and it has been filtered. It’s a very pretty wine.

On the nose, it has the expected red berry fruits but with a stony character. The nose is more complex than the price would indicate.

On the palate, it is bone dry. There’s not a lot of fruit on the palate; in fact, the tannins are surprisingly firm for a Rosé. This is a character that’s generally unexpected with a Rosé, but considering the dark color, it is not altogether unsurprising. There is a flinty character to the finish. I would call this a really good buy considering the price. I would also not be shy about serving this for pairing this with any types of spicy dishes, tapas, or any type of pork, dark poultry, or seafood. I paid $6.99 at Trader Joe’s.

2015 Famille Bougrier Rosé D’Anjou ($13.99)

Roses_DanjouThis is not the first time I’ve had a Rosé D’Anjou, which is from the Loire. However, the last one I had was cloyingly sweet, and at first I thought it was a White Zinfandel.

Not good.

I did not care for it, and I had not picked up another in well over two years. This one is different.

The color has a richness that’s similar to the Albero, but a couple of shades lighter. It is a definite pink and like the Albero, a soupçon of coral keeps it from being a pure pink. Interestingly, however, it looks pinker in the glass than in the bottle.

The nose is super fresh! There are touches of raspberries, watermelon, a bit of strawberry, and also a little bit of stone fruit as well. Clean, clean, clean. Very fragrant.

As I expected, the wine was on the sweet side. Off-dry may be a better description, since it’s not so sweet as to be off-putting. The palate reflects the nose, adding surprising acidity, and a medium-long fruity finish. The grapes are Gamay and Grolleau which are two of the varietals permitted in the D’Anjou Rosés. I would have this wine with white-meat poultry, and I think it’d pair well with fruit salads and other summer fare.

2015 Yalumba Sangiovese Rosé the Y Series ($17.99, but I think I got it on sale)

Roses_YalumbaSangiovese? Australia!?

While I think I have had a Sangiovese Rosé, i’m pretty sure that it was not from the New World! I am doubly sure that it wasn’t from Australia!

This is another pretty wine. It’s the color of wild-caught Sockeye salmon and it is clear, bright, and unclouded.

On the nose there are definite hints of tart cherry, strawberry, melons, and a slight floral note. There’s an interesting touch of orange zest which lends a faint note of freshness.

As expected of a new world wine, there are a lot of fruit characteristics right up front on the palate. The cherry and floral characters predominate, and there’s no hint of the citrus character that appears on the nose. What surprised me was the mouthfeel which is rather rich, especially for Rosé. There is bright acidity with a note of minerality. The finish is fruity and dry with a fleeting touch of bitterness.

As for food, I think this would pair nicely with the salmon that it imitates. Stone fruit-based salads with citrus, seafood, and white meat poultry would be great fare with this wine.

As has been written before, Rosés are best served chilled. They are great for pairing with summer foods or even winter vegetables, but are terrifically quaffable without food as well. According to reports I’ve read, Rosés are increasing in popularity. Some of the reports are confused as to why this is so. In my opinion, the answer is pretty simple. People are discovering that not all pink wines are White Zinfandel.

Others’ opinions may vary.

Enjoy the Rosés this summer along with your favorite white wines, and bright summery and BBQ friendly reds.


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