Have you tried dry rose wines with your meal? While it may sound relatively new to a consumers' palate there is actually a growing popularity of this kind of wine. Below are the suggested dry rose wines for your enjoyment.
The Rise Of The Rose Wines
Following a monthlong food and wine tour through France, I came home with dry rose wines on my mind. It is the pause that refreshes the French at this time of year, particularly those who flock to the beaches along the French Riviera in late summer.
To my pleasant surprise, in the stack of wine samples that awaited me upon my return there were three very nice examples of domestic dry rose, all from California producers. This is something of a sea change driven, I believe, by increasing demand for pink wine.
Consumer interest in dry rose is relatively new. Until very recently, the market for rose was dominated by sweet or off-dry rose that were drunk mostly by folks who enjoy sweet wine as a rule.
The more food-friendly dry rose wines that were available were a tough sell. While it is difficult to pinpoint the reason for this shift in consumer taste, it's rather easy to champion the change because dry rose wines are remarkably versatile and easy to recommend.
I firmly believe you will enjoy the three roses spotlighted in this week's tasting notes. The one thing they all have in common is a refreshingly crisp finish. They vary in color and aromatic characteristics, but all merit serious consideration.
Wines are rated on a 100-point scale. Wines are chosen for review because they represent outstanding quality or value, and the scores are simply a measure of this reviewer's enthusiasm for the recommended wine.
Decoy Rose Wine, California ($16)
At first glance, this dry rose from Decoy has the pale-onion skin appearance of many dry roses from the south of France. A blend of syrah and pinot noir, it shows its California roots with more juicy fruit on the front of the palate than a French rose. Serve this wine well-chilled on a hot day with salty snacks.
Goldeneye Winery 2014 Pinot Noir “Ten Degrees,” Anderson Valley ($120)
This is arguably the finest pinot produced at Goldeneye. It brings together the very best of the winery's four estate vineyards in the Anderson Valley. The 2014 vintage is a superb expression of the Alexander Valley, exhibiting the extraordinary depth and complexity pinot can achieve there. This one shows layered aromas of bright-red and dark fruits, exquisite structure and a subtle leafy, savory note that is extremely inviting.
Shafer 2015 Chardonnay, Red Shoulder Ranch, Carneros ($52)
Fans of richly layered chardonnay that is both powerful and alluring will love this vintage from Shafer's Red Shoulder Ranch. It delivers that rare combination of richness and structure that proves elusive for most. The flavors are layered and complex, showing tropical fruits and citrus with ever-so-subtle notes of brioche and mandarin orange. Despite its heft, bright acidity keeps it all in balance.
Robert Mondavi 2015 Fume Blanc, Napa Valley ($20)
The Mondavi fume style was the inspiration of the late Robert Mondavi, and it remains true to his vision today. It has a definite touch of oak — just enough to provide an inviting backdrop for the complex aromas of the sauvignon grape (with a touch of semillon). This vintage exhibits aromas of citrus and tropical fruits, a grassy back note and a stony mineral quality.
Paraduxx 2016 Rose Wine, Napa Valley ($32)
The 2016 Paraduxx dry rose is a classic blend typical of the south of France, where syrah and grenache thrive. This Napa Valley version sings with bright strawberry and watermelon aromatics, a clean, refreshing burst of fruit mid-palate and a dry, crisp finish. It's an excellent example of California's growing romance with dry rose.
Groth 2015 Chardonnay, Hillview Vineyard, Napa Valley ($30)
The feathery touch of oak on Groth's Hillview Chardonnay is a sign of the times. It dials back on the oak and emphasizes the fruit tones — a note of lemon oil, pear and apple — along with a touch of baking spice. It's very nicely measured in the vineyard and very nicely handled in the cellar. It's a beautiful Napa Valley chard with a relatively modest price.
Tongue Dancer 2016 Rose of Pinot Noir, Putnam Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($25)
Winemaker James MacPhail has jumped enthusiastically onto the dry rose bandwagon. This single-vineyard rose is a beauty, showing notes of strawberry and red raspberry with a dry, crisp finish that is exceedingly refreshing. This one has the chops to stand up to grilled fish and fowl, but it's perfectly satisfying as a sipper, too.
Groth 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($22)
Groth has a long and excellent track record with sauvignon blanc, and the 2016 vintage follows down that well-worn path. It has a splash of semillon that adds roundness and softness and eliminates the sharp edges sometimes found in New World sauvignons. And it shows notes of green citrus and fig with gentle acidity.
Follow Robert on Twitter at @wineguru. To find out more about Robert Whitley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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