Thursday, July 6, 2017

California Rosé Delivers Warm Weather Satisfaction

Rose collageRosé could be the most versatile wine for pairing with food. Add to that the visual delight and the refreshment value and you have a winning combination. These two rosé from California make our point.

Elevating The Art of Rosé

We previously declared this part of the year as the Summer of Rosé. Everywhere you look, pink predominates – on store shelves, at wine shop tastings and at backyard cookouts.

There are at least two reasons for this. First, the public is becoming more educated about rosé. Poorly made, overly sweet rosé is a thing of the past. That’s been true for a number of years, but now an increasing number of wine lovers are tuned in. It’s caught the public’s imagination -- like the fidget finger stress reducers. The second reason is that a wide array of quality rosé is now available at great values. As part of the Wine Studio online education program, we had recently an opportunity to enjoy rosé from Bonterra and Conn Creek.

Raising A Glass

We enjoyed the Bonterra 2016 Rosé with maple glazed cedar plank salmon. The wine is mostly Grenache (74%) blended with smaller amounts of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. The vineyards at Bonterra have been farmed organically since 1987 and Mendocino County producer has a focus on sustainability.

This is one of the most enjoyable rosé we’ve had in recent months. As with all rosé, we suggest serving with a nice chill. In the glass this is a pale salmon color – perfect for our fish. The aroma is a swirl of tropical fruit and strawberry.

On the palate there is more strawberry with peach notes. It’s light, crisp and refreshing. We dig the blend, incorporating three of our favorite grapes. Nebbiolo is a rarity in rosé.

There’s no deep thinking involved in the Bonterra rosé – just sit back and enjoy the experience. At $16, it certainly is an affordable luxury.

Conn Creek is known for producing premium Napa wines, including Anthology, their high-end Cabernet Sauvignon blend. With their Conn Creek Rosé of Malbec 2016 Antica Vineyard, Atlas Peak, Napa Valley they show a more delicate touch.

This wine was part of a patio gourmet pizza party. Beneath the bright blue sky and wafting white clouds of Ohio, we uncorked the Conn Creek and savored.

The grapes come from the Atlas Peak appellation of Napa Valley. This is usually the domain of premium Cabernet grapes. Conn Creek is a boutique winery and so the rosé is a small lot made in the spirit of experimentation and fun. Only 67 cases were produced.

As you might expect from such a renowned winery, this is a well-crafted wine. The grapes were handpicked and were whole cluster pressed. The later gives more body to the wine and we found greater depth of flavor in the glass.

The wine veers to the redder end of the pink spectrum. In the glass there are flavors of red berries and cooling minerality. It paired nicely with the variety of pizza we enjoyed, which had toppings ranging from feta cheese to pineapple.

The Conn Creek rosé retails for $24. That’s an exceptional value for a single vineyard wine from a premier Napa Valley producer.

There’s still time to enjoy the Summer of Rosé. Grab a bottle and join the parade!

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