Woman on Wine with Amy Reiley
I know I said earlier this summer that I wanted to guide readers to wines other than Rosé for summer drinking. And I did. But now that the air is turning crisp and the leaves prepare to fall, I’m going to talk about that ubiquitous summer wine. Why have I dedicated my wines for Indian Summer column to a wine synonymous with hot weather? Probably because I have a little trouble following the crowd.
But in all seriousness, I’ve never understood why fair weather wine drinkers break up with such a beautiful style of wine as soon as the season turns to sweater weather. That’s why I’m dedicating my column to Rosés to drink with the last barbecues to liven your backyard this year and the first pots of soup warming your stove.
Like most wine writers, I tend to favor the Rosés of Provence. These pale, salmon wines with their elegance and faint minerality go a long way toward quenching thirst in the hotter months. But for this article, I’m mixing it up with a global selection of wines. And some of these recommendations may lack that hypnotic, blush hue or simple sophistication of Provence. But these wines offer character, body and sometimes even a bit of a bite robust enough to stand up to the change of seasons. I think you’re going to like autumn Rosé.
Some of my favorite wines for Indian Summer
2017 The 50 by 50 Wines Rosé of Pinot Noir, Carneros
This is one of the nicest American Pinots I’ve tried of late. It offers lovely ripe berry aromas and buttery brioche flavors. It has a pleasant, almost silky mouthfeel and a dry, slightly saline finish. It’s one of those gentle, afternoon drinking kind of wines but one I’d never turn down with dinner.
2017 Domaines Ott, Chateau Romassan, Bandol
Yes, I realize I said I wasn’t going to talk about classic, South of France Rosé. If you’re a fan of French Rosé, you need no introduction to Ott. But I just tried the 2017 Romassan for the first time and I just had to share it. This is a wine as finely textured as an Hermès silk scarf. A Mouvedre-based wine, it has notes of ripe berries, Herbes de Provence and a cleansing grapefruit note. Although it is a wine I just want to enjoy on it’s own, it’s one to serve with grilled, white fish and could even stand up to a vegetarian dish of roasted autumn vegetables.
2017 Hillersden Rosé, Marlbourgh
This is one of my favorite new discoveries. The wine is from a family-run estate best known for Sauvignon Blanc. The 2017 Rosé is a vibrant pink, almost the color of watermelon juice. Watermelon is also echoed in the flavor along with citrus zest and a faint something at the back reminiscent of wet grass. The combination, in this medium-bodied wine is unexpected and thirst-quenching.
2017 Simple Life Rosé, California
I’m always a little skeptical of a wine with a cute name and label. But at about $10/bottle, this is a Rosé I’d never turn down. The wine is, as the name implies, simple, with watermelon, strawberry candy and maple flavors and a nice mouthfeel. It’s a wine for bbq ribs, a pizza party or back-to-school night.
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