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Back in 2011, our friend Eric Asimov wrote an article about rosés in winter ("A Rosé Can Bloom in Winter, Too" January 24, 2011) in which he said "More than any other wine, rosés suffer from a sort of seasonal affective disorder. Near the end of summer, sales begin to slow. By winter they are depressed, if not dead. It really makes no sense. For most wines, the old seasonal guidelines are largely passé. We drink reds all summer, whites all winter. But rosé? Because it is marketed as a summer accessory, its relevance evaporates at all other times of the year. But what if we consider rosé as a wine, rather than as a prop?... Good rosés are another matter entirely... like Jean-Paul Brun’s Rosé d’ Folie, a minerally pink Beaujolais that I would drink any time of the year, especially if I had a plate of chicken roasted with garlic, rosemary and thyme. Chambers Street is that rare retailer that keeps an active supply of rosés throughout the year, up to two dozen in the spring and summer, and 9 or 10 through the winter."
Thank-you Eric, we couldn't agree more, and our rosé crop has expanded to four dozen in summer and two dozen in winter, as we firmly believe that "real rosé" - from organic farming, fermented naturally with wild yeasts and bottled later in the year - can be a superb food pairing for many winter menus. Grilled tuna, roast chicken, pork chops, Indian food, even a hearty lentil stew are all complemented by a rosé with ripe, subtle fruit, firm acidity and a mineral finish, like the wines offered today. If you don't agree, well, buy some anyway, as these outstanding 2018 rosés will be drinking beautifully when spring comes and drinking rosé is legal again...
(Tasted in December 2019, this beautiful wine still shows firm acidity and is opening and softening slowly - peak drinking summer of 2020 and beyond.) The 2018 Bourgueils of Stéphane Guion, tasted in early February 2019, are just extraordinary, with an extra layer of vibrant fruit, beginning with this gorgeous rosé. 50 years of organic farming and great traditional winemaking give this refreshing wine its perfect balance with beautiful fruit and great earthy expression of the limestone/clay terroir. The wine shows lush strawberry/raspberry aromas with citrus, rose and earth. Raspberry, blood orange, melon and earthy flavors on the ripe but dry palate which is framed in firm acidity and saline minerals. This is a real rosé of terroir, and for lovers of Cabernet Franc it's one of the greatest values around - drinking beautifully now and through 2020, with burgers, roast chicken, grilled pork and charcuterie. David Lillie
We don't have Bernard Baudry's Chinon Rosé to offer for Thanksgiving, but this lovely wine from his neighbor Patrick Lambert is a delicious and worthy replacement. - This delightful Chinon Rosé comes from Patrick Lambert's 6 hectares of organic vines in Cravant, around the corner from his friend and mentor, Bernard Baudry. Hand harvested from 20-year-old Cabernet Franc vines on gravel and sandy clay soils over limestone. The 2018 shows lovely aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, citrus and rose; the palate is ripe and pretty with raspberry, citrus and stone flavors with nice density and texture, a bit more weight and ripeness than the 2017, with juicy acids, berry flavors and minerals in the finish. This is drinking beautifully now and will open up nicely through the spring and summer and will keep well into 2020. This is a fabulous value and highly recommended. DL
Jean-Paul Brun releases small quantities of this Beaujolais rosé each year, and it's always a treat. Strawberries, bright red fruit, and a tangy side that contributes to its joyful drinkability. The finish is mineral and crisp, with a very subtle tartness that keeps the impression of a flavorful but overall dry rosé. EL
"L'Aubigue" is a generously round and fruit-driven rosé made from Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Vermentino grown on soils of clay and schist near Hyères in Provence. Yves Gros and his family have been practicing Biodynamic agriculture at the domaine since 1991, and this meticulous care for their soils shows in the exquisite mineral depth of this cuvée. The 2018 is a beautiful salmon color and offers complex aromas of peach skins, wild flowers, brown spice, and grapefruit pith. The palate is supple with a dense mineral core. Flavors of peach, strawberry, and nectarine coalesce over cool herbal notes akin to licorice. The finish is suave and awash with citrus and stone, hinting at a nascent complexity that should reveal itself after a few years of cellaring. Another fantastic vintage that we will happily sip alongside salads, mild cheeses, and ceviche this summer! Amanda Bowman
Domaine les Fouques has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for over 20 years, and also raises sheep, ducks, chickens and guinea-hens on their old-fashioned mixed-use farm. The La Londe "Cuvee L'Estelle" is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle. Unlike the majority of Provençal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. The 2018 is a subtle and beautiful wine showing a very pale pink color and aromas of peach skin, orange peel, rose, earth and raspberry. The palate is elegant and silky with stone and saline mineral flavors beneath peach, wild strawberry, brown spice and citrus peel. The finish is refeshing and long with nice density. This is a lovely rosé of terroir that will drink beautifully over the next three years. Serve with grilled fish, pork and chicken, salade Niçoise, or just sip by itself. David Lillie
Domaine Turenne, northeast of Bandol in Provence, produces this lovely rosé from 80% Cinsault, 10% Grenache and 10% Syrah, certified organic. The terroir is a unique bed of limestone and sandstone debris with sand/clay stones called "Gavroches" which bring a pronounced minerality and good drainage to the vines. The grapes are harvested by hand, fermented with wild yeasts and the wine is bottled with minimal SO2. The 2018 "Camille" is a pretty, very pale pink/orange color with aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, rose and citrus, with a hint of stone fruits as well. The palate is light and elegant with subtle berry fruits, a hint of citrus and stone, and has nice density and length. This is a light and lovely rosé for all year enjoyment, sipped by itself or with grilled fish, white meats, salade Niçoise and mild cheeses - and it's a fabulous value! David Lillie
Domaine Turenne produces beautiful wines in Provence through many years of organic farming, hand harvesting and wild yeast fermentations. The elegant rosé Cuvée Gravoches is made from 90% Mourvedre with 5% Grenache and 5% Cinsault, similar to the blend in nearby Bandol. The 2017 shows a lovely bight pink/orange color and aromas of ripe raspberry, blood orange, peach, rose petal and brown spice. The palate is supple and dense with mineral flavors underlying ripe berry liqueur and stone fruits - it's quite well-structured and very long, a young wine that will open nicely with aeration or with a few years of aging. A rosé of cuisine, serve with white meats, grilled pork with Provencal herbs, chicken in sauce, bouillabaisse, tagines and goat cheeses. David Lillie
Thje lovely "Sera" Rosé is made from Syrah, Cabernet and Vermentino organically-grown on clay/limestone soils south of Avignon. The 2018 shows a bright pink/orange color, with aromas of candied raspberry, rose petal and orange peel. There is subtle raspberry/red currant fruit on the palate, elegant and balanced with nice length. This will drink beautifully this fall and winter with pesto, grilled port, roast chicken and more. Who says Rosé is just for summer? David Lillie
50-60% Grenache, 10-30% Clairette, 5-15% Cinsault, 0-10% Bourboulenc, 5-15% Syrah (av age 45 years) from sandy, clay, galet stony soils, cool harvested, 12-24 hour cool maceration. Bright pink/orange color. Aromas of ripe raspberry and strawberry, orange peel, rose petal; the palate is ripe and sapid with lovely raspberry and cherry fruit with hints of citrus and stone, with nice length of refreshing acidity supprting the lush fruit. This is a delicious fairly full-bodied rosé that will accompany a salad Nicoise, grilled tuna and pork, ratatouille and it's a great aperitif or picnic wine as well. Drink over the next two to three years. David Lillie
Another delicious wine from the affable and talented Eric Laguerre, from organic Syrah, Carignan and Grenache vines grown on granite soils high in the mountains of the Roussillon. The 2018 shows beautiful ripe cherry and red currant fruit with blood orange and spice. The palate is full-bodied, round and ripe with supple red currant and black cherry fruit with citrus, stone and refreshing acidity. Eric's great farming, his natural vinifications and the high-altitude granite terroir produce this lovely, inexpensive rosé. Serve with grilled tuna, chicken and pork, salad Niçoise or by itself as a lovely apéritif. Highly recommended! David Lillie
100% Malbec (known in Cahors as Auxerrois). The vines are 40 years old, grown on clay and limestone soils at an elevation of 320m. Fermentation and aging take place in small tanks."The Splendid Antidote to the Heat of the Causse" is the amusing and appropriate name of this refreshing rosé. (The Causse is the high limestone plateau around Cahors, which gets brutally hot in the summer.) The wine shows a pretty pink/orange color and aromas of ripe cherry, raspberry and cassis with citrus and spice. There are creamy cassis, raspberry and citrus flavors on the palate which shows lovely ripeness and density, with hints of orange peel, earth, smoke and brown spice that continue in the long finish. This is quite delicious and a great value - as are all the wines from Jean-Pierre and Julien Ilbert at Combel-la-Serre. DL
Despite its origin in Collioure, in the sunny south of France, the 2018 Traginer Rosé is light and refreshing at only 11.5% alcohol. Made from Grenache and Mourvedre that is certified Biodynamic, the wine shows a pretty light pink color with intriguing aromas of raspberry, stone, brown spice and citrus peel. The palate is mineral and earthy with tart berry fruits and floral hints, finishing with thirst-quenching acidity. Delicious now, the Traginer rosés always improve with a few years in the bottle so don't be afraid to hold a few for next spring. David Lillie
Passetoutgrain rosé? Not something we see everyday. And this one is a cracker. Racy minerality, bright acidity, and vivid fruit. The nose combines fresh raspberry, sour cherry, and crushed herbs, while the medium-bodied palate features lush, savory minerality, and a lively spicy finish. Broad enough to enjoy with pan-roasted salmon or chicken paillard, with wild mushrooms, or aged goats cheeses. John McIlwain
This Pinot Noir rosé is a blend of the saignée from villages and 1er cru fruit in Maranges, a straight pressing of Hautes Côtes de Beaune fruit, and pellicular maceration of fruit from Hautes Côtes de Beaune. Pale pink, effusive on the nose with aromas of cherry blossom (of course), wild strawberry, cherry, and chalk. Palate is ripe, racy and juicy. Ripe stone fruit and savory herbal notes lend interest. Lip-smacking finish. This is nearly incandescent with bright fruit and crackling energy. A fabulous rosé for an aperitif or with dinner. John McIlwain
The delicious "Il Meticcio" is a blend of Canaiolo, Malvasia and Ciliegiolo - a blend dedicated to their mixed breed dog "Tiberio." The wine shows a deep pink color in the glass, with hints of salmon. The 2018 is a hearty and structured rose, with notes of dry tart cherry, ripe strawberry, red currants, and an interesting herbal character. Quite firm on the palate, with a bit of structured tannins yet quite bright acidity, and an undercurrent of earth and mineral notes. The finish is long and lingering. Quite delicious now, but I wouldn't hesitate holding this for a year or two to see where it goes. Oskar Kostecki
Monterosso is named for the reddish Etna soils of sand and pumice in which their vines are grown. The Volcano Rosato is produced using 100% Nerello Mascalese, sourced from vineyards that Monterosso either manages or knows are being farmed with organic practices. In the glass, it shows an elegant shade of rose gold. The nose is redolent of cherry, wild raspberry, white and red flower aromas, with a lean accent of green herbs. The palate is more assertive, with cherry, cranberry fruit, and laced with iron minerality. David Hatzopoulos
A co-harvest of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara, and Sangiovese from biodynamically farmed 53 year old, pergola-trained vines on the western shore of Lake Garda. Considered too atypical to be labeled under the Bardolino Chiaretto DOC, Daniele Deliani just labels this as a humble vino rosato, yet it was one of the more captivating ones we've discovered this year. Very energetic on the palate, with notes of wild strawberry, raspberry, grapefruit, grapefruit pith, and hints of an herbal character. The wine has good acidity, and a definite energy, with a shifting character; sometimes showing more the red fruit aspects, sometimes the slighty bitter and herbal. A thoroughly enjoyable and delicious wine that is very engaging on it's own or with a wide variety of food. Oskar Kostecki
The Ronchi di Cialla Rosato is made entirely from Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso and in the few years that it has been produced has quickly become a feature on our shelves every spring. It is certified organic, fermented on native yeast in steel tanks, and bottled after a few months on the lees. The 2018 has wonderful bright acidity and fine structure, with elegant, husky minerality on the nose and a bit of funk on the palate wrapped in fine, fresh strawberry notes. Perfect as an aperitif or with any manner of Mediterranean feasting options like mezze, cured olives, anchovies, aged sheep's milk cheese, hummus, or the traditional Istrian stew of Trieste, Jota. Andrew Farquhar
Keeping up with demand for Espelt rosé is a full-time job! Certified organic from a family winery in Emporda, Catalonia, this bone-dry, buoyant, and refreshing rosé of 100% Garnacha continues to wow us with its value and deliciousness. Notes of crushed stone and wild flowers on the nose lead to a tangy palate of citrus zest, blood orange, crushed berries, and sea spray. A delicious accompaniment for squid and tuna.
A new release in the same vein of the 'Nacht' from last year, the series now includes four different wines, all aged in concrete egg. 'Morgen' is 100% Sankt Laurent (~35 y/o vines) biodynamically grown on sandy loam soils. According to the ZRS website, the grapes go through a brief whole cluster maceration followed by spontaneous fermentation, 9 months of aging in aforementioned concrete egg, bottled unfined and unfiltered with low amount of sulfur added. Lees, caramel and citrus on the nose, the palate is singing with bright notes of wild strawberries, red peaches, blood orange juice and peel, balanced with subtle florals. Cari Bernard
This 100% Gamay rosé comes from the Witters Vineyard of volcanic, clay soil and the Barsotti Ranch Vineyard composed of mostly granite soils. 2018 was a warmer vintage for El Dorado than the previous year, but the Gamay maintained a great balance of freshness and ripeness. I am a firm believer that rosé should be enjoyed year-round, and the Edmunds Bone-Jolly has a rich savory quality to it that makes it a perfect food-pairing for any season. The granite soils show through on the nose with a hint of that dark rocky minerality, mixed with ripe strawberry and watermelon juice. The palate has a nice weight to it and a salty finish. I will happily drink this alongside paella in the summer and butternut squash in the winter. Michelle DeWyngaert
80% old vine Carignan from the Trimble vineyard in Mendocino and 20% Zinfandel from Porter Creek's own vineyards, this dry rose is one of my favorites of the summer. Crackling with acidity, bright fruit and a lovely seam of minerality on the nose, this wine is complex and hefty enough to pair with grilled meats and barbecue, while also having the snappy mouthwatering agility to be drunk as an aperitif. Winemaker Alex Porter always creates balanced wines, and this is no exception. All the fruit is dry-farmed, whole cluster pressed, and aged in neutral oak before bottling. Andrew Farquhar