“Rosé all day” has not only become a popular new expression, a trending hashtag, & a recurring t-shirt logo, but it is also a forceful motto of the warm weather seasons. As soon as April rolled around, the shelves and fridges at American Provisions grew immensely brighter in color — that color is pink. Pink wine has carried a negative connotation for many years, but is now becoming one of the most sought after styles for wine drinkers. This major shift in rosé popularity can be attributed to a rise in rosé quality, a consistent level of affordability for such quality, and the all around versatility and general awesome-ness that is rosé wine.
At American Provisions we are currently carrying 15 different rosés, with an expected half dozen more in the very near future. We are loving the fact that the store is covered in pink wine, so much so that we are becoming pink wine pushers. Haunting memories of cloyingly sweet bottles of white Zinfandel still linger in the minds of customers as they gaze at the rows of pink wines on our shelves. We are determined to wipe away those memories and replace them with a shared love and acceptance of the misunderstood rosé wine. We are here to suggest – nay – INSIST, that you not be blinded by the bright colors, but instead embrace them and join us while we revel in their glory.
Despite all the praise and insistence I have just placed on rosés, I do believe that not all rosés are created equal and therefore not all worthy of our love. We understand the wary approach when it comes to choosing a bottle from the rows of pink wines, which is why we have taken upon ourselves to taste all the rosés in order to safely guide you through your choices. It was a lot of hard work, but here they are, and You’re Welcome.
We will start with France, as it is arguably the most well known and abundant producer of rosé wines:
Domaine le Clos des Lumières 2014: A classic example of a Southern Rhône blend, the Lumières rosé contains Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, & Mourvèdre grapes. This pretty pale salmon rosé is light weight and full of bright strawberry and tangerine flavors. The sunny climate of Southern Rhone shines through this wine with its rich characteristics, as well as subtle notes of wet stone. Pair this bottle with a salad of crunchy greens and ripe tomatoes to get a completely fresh experience.
Couly Dutheil Rene Couly Chinon 2014: The Chinon region of Loire Valley is known for producing mostly red wines made from Cabernet Franc grapes. This rosé is no exception, made of 100% Cab Franc, it boasts a medium body full of red berries, rose petals, & strawberries. This Chinon rosé has a strong personality, but is very approachable with its soft palate and light acidity.
Domaine du Petit Clocher Rosé d’ Anjou 2014: A new bottle to join our shelves is this Loire rosé from the family run vineyards of Petit Clocher. This wine is made from an indigenous grape variety called Grolleau; a variety that is primarily grown in the Loire Valley of France and is almost strictly used for making rosé wines. These deep black berries produce light, elegant bodies with noticeably high acidity, which is why this rosé carries some residual sugar for balance. Now I know what you’re thinking, but this is NOT a sweet wine! It may not be bone dry like some of the other options we carry, but the slight sweetness from the berry fruits only helps to offset the acidity — steering this wine towards the middle of the road as a very balanced option of our rosés.
To transition to domestic wines, we will start with a Provençal style that is made in California:
Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé 2014: This wine’s light coloring is owed to a very light pressing of the grapes, which were harvested at the specific maturity for this style — less ripe than necessary for red wines. Elegant and crisp, Bonny Doon’s rosé has a savory acidity with notes of strawberry, mint, and subtle bergamot characteristics. Made with a typical base of red Rhône varieties such as Grenache and Mourvèdre, this rosé is also composed of some traditional white Rhône varieties like Grenache Blanc and Marsanne, which give the wine an unexpected richness. The flying UFO over the vineyards on the label and alien eyes on the screw cap are also unexpected, if you are not familiar with the quirky style of vintner Randall Grahm.
Matthiasson Rose 2014: From a family run vineyard that likes to explore classical styles of wine, we have a unique expression of the California landscape that can easily match its foreign competitors. This creatively labeled bottle holds a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Counoise. A truly elegant wine, this rosé is light bodied with delicate acidity that will perfectly compliment springtime fare. Bright flavors of white peach and grapefruit will quickly seduce you, if the packaging hasn’t already.
Tuck Beckstoffer Hogwash 2013 (soon 2014): Made as a byproduct from a vineyard that mostly produces serious reds, Hogwash is a lighthearted offering for the summer months (specifically those times when it is too hot out to drink heavy reds during a pig roast). From 100% Grenache grapes, this rosé is vibrant and bone dry, with flavors of ripe melon, grapefruit, and wet granite. It is reminiscent of a a light red but seriously refreshing and beautifully concentrated.
Illahe Estate Rose 2014: From a slightly warmer site than most vineyards of the Willamette Valley, the Illahe rosé is made from 100% Tempranillo grapes. At the Illahe estate they whole-cluster press the Tempranillo grapes; a process that is more time consuming, yet produces wines with greater clarity. In this case it has produced a delicate wine with a crisp strawberry palate and a fleshy body that is begging to be paired with tangy goat cheese, like any of the offerings from Twig Farm in Vermont!
Martinez Lacuesta Rioja Rosé 2014: From a bodega more than 100 years old in Rioja, Spain, the Martinez Lacuesta rosé is made of 100% Garnacha. Know also as Grenache from France, this variety of grape originated in Spain and produces fresh, fruity wines. This rosé is lively with a supple medium body. Bright notes of mandarin citrus, strawberries, and roses will happily meet you mouth and liven your taste buds!
Ostatu Rosado 2014: Another offering from Rioja, the Ostatu rosé is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha. This is a very modern variation of a classic Rioja style, made from some of the oldest vines in Ostatu and fermented in stainless steel. A store favorite, the Ostatu rosé is medium bodied, tart, and lively. It runs the gamut for fruit, with notes of red berries, watermelon, cherries, and light citrus. This is one of three offerings we carry from the Ostatu vineyards, and believe us, they are all on point!
Cantine Mucci Valentino Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2014: From Italy’s eastern coast, Cantine Mucci is a vineyard that is run and loved by three generations of the Mucci family in the unique landscape of Abruzzo. This rosé is made from 100% Montepulciano, a dark, luscious grape. The particular method of reducing contact time between the skins and the juice of the Montepulciano grapes, is what gives this wine its lovely cherry-like color, hence the name Cerasuolo, which means cherry in Italian. This method also gives this rosé its bright and fruity (cherry & blackberry) characteristics, which stand out within its soft, full texture.
Colli di Salerno Reale Getis Rosé 2014: The deceivingly dark bottle of the Getis Reale rosé may have some thinking it is a red wine, but it believe us it’s not! This wine pours a beautifully rich orange-y crimson color, releasing a prominent scent of fruit and flowers. The incredibly pillow like texture of this rosé slowly rolls over your tongue, accented by very soft bubbles of carbonation. Made from two indigenous grapes, Piedirosso and Tintore, this wine shows off dark Mediterranean fruit like raspberries and strawberries. If you let it, this wine will hug you warmly like an sweet Italian grandmother.
Next up: Austria!
Schloss Gobelsburg Cistercien Rosé 2014: This authentically classy looking bottle comes to us from the vineyards around castle Gobelsburg in Kamptal, Austria. Pouring out a glowing hue of pale coral, this wine has quite a commanding presence for such a light body. The blend of Zweigelt and St. Laurent grapes are softly pressed and fermented in a manner that nudges this rosé closer to a white wine style. The fruit presence is minimal, yet there are whiffs of fresh berries and wild cherries beneath loads of bright acidity. This rosé will awaken your senses with its slight tingle of carbonation, as well as thoroughly impress you with its unwavering elegance.
Sattler Zweigelt Rosé 2014: Last but certainly not least,we have a Terry Theise selection from the Burgenland region of Austria. Erich Sattler’s rosé is produced in the traditional saignée method, where after a short period of maceration, the juice is separated from the must and then vinified similar to a white wine. This method produces the vibrant fuchsia color of Sattler’s rosé, as well as giving the wine a fuller body. The Zweigelt grape gives this wine zippy notes of raspberries and wild cherries, as well as herbal flavors like mint. The color of this rosé is so pink it is almost ridiculous, but believe us, the taste will make this a pink drink no one will be embarrassed to sip!
Armed with this new knowledge, we expect you to embrace these colors and make bottles of rosé your summer long companions. Come pick a lucky bottle from our selection or maybe grab a bunch and do what I did on this beautiful Wednesday — rosé all day!
All photographs and words by beer and wine buyer Caley Mahoney