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Friday, June 5, 2020

Time to Stop & Smell the Rosés

Summer is around the corner.  I can smell the roses blooming in the garden but I’m also yearning to smell summer’s Rosé in my glass.  Rosés can be made from any red skinned grape.  Their aroma and taste profiles vary depending upon the grape varietals that are used, the terroir in which the fruit is grown, and the style of the winemaker.  Below are examples of what to generally expect from four different varietals commonly used for Rosé, as well as stylistic elements of the world’s largest Rosé producing area, Provence.

Pinot Noir Rosé
Pinot Noir grapes have the lowest amount of pigment of all the red grapes, thus in general Pinot-based Rosé is lighter in color than others (although it all depends upon the amount of time the winemaker left the juice in contact with the skin).  Flavors of strawberry or raspberry are of often present.

Syrah Rosé
As Syrah is the most highly pigmented dark grape, these Rosés can be deep in color if left to marry with the grape juice for any length of time.  Syrah Rosé typically offers both fruit and savory notes:   strawberry and cherry can be mixed with white pepper and olive nuances.

Cabernet Rosé
Like Rosés made from Syrah, Cabernet can vinify a deeply colored Rosé due large amounts of color pigment in Cabernet skin.  Think cherry and black currant with touches of spice.

Tempranillo Rosé
One of the most common Rosés of warm weather Spain, Tempranillo can make a killer Rosé.   These Rosés often include a combination of fruity and savory notes:   strawberry, citrus and stone fruit, along with background notes of green peppercorn or fennel.

Provençal Rosé
This is a style of Rosé made in France’s southern region of Provence.  This area is one of the most famous Rosé producers in the world---nearly half of all of Provence’s wines are Rosé.   

Provence's Rosé are often a blend (rather than 100% varietal) of the region’s red grapes:  Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, or Syrah.  They are typically very pale pink (or even coral) in color.   Flavors are dependent upon the types of grapes used.  The profile can vary from citrus to exotic fruits, from stone fruits like apricot or peach to berry flavors such as strawberries and raspberries.  Often times these Rosés also have a salty minerality.

Take some time to stop and smell the Rosés this weekend!

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