Admittedly, “rosé season” doesn’t even exist anymore, as #DrinkPink fans unapologetically uncork and unscrew it all year long. But there are some new–and revamped–offerings hitting store shelves this season that you’ll definitely add to your rosé repertoire. Don’t forget the sunscreen and floppy hat. You’re welcome.
Southern France by way of the summer vacation lifestyle found in the Hamptons – that’s the idea behind this wine with quite an evocative name, a collaboration between Languedoc winemaker Gérard Bertrand, iconic musician Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse Bongiovi. “This project was inspired by all of the good times I’ve shared with my friends and family out East,” Bongiovi says. “For us, rosé is something that brings people together and we wanted to share that feeling of the perfect Hamptons day.” The wine was recently released at a private party at the former Versace Mansion on Miami’s South Beach, where Bon Jovi performed an acoustic set and spoke of how special this project is to him. “Truly working with [my] own son is probably one of the great thrills that I’ve ever had,” he told the crowd. After several trips to the South of France for tasting and blending spread out over nine months, the project became a reality. The wine is produced from a blend of grenache, cinsault, mourvèdre and syrah that are harvested and vinified separately, and bottled early to preserve a fresh and fruity character. Citrus notes, delicate strawberry and an attractive mineral-driven finish make this super quaffable all season along–and a natural match for finger foods, salad and seafood. But its perfect partner, Bongiovi says, can’t be found on a platter. “My favorite pairing is Hampton Water and good friends; if you’re sharing this drink on a beautiful night, you can’t go wrong.”
This offering is one of the most stellar rosés coming out of Virginia today: elegant, balanced, restrained and fresh. The blend is similar to that of other years, says winemaker Ben Jordan, although its hallmark is a bright core of acidity that sets it apart from other vintages. “Syrah is the soul of the blend, adding color and complexity, while merlot gives it texture and malbec and cabernet franc round out the aromatics,” he notes. Pale salmon in the glass, it appeals with notes of strawberries, white peaches, a touch of bitter citrus and an intriguing line of minerality. “The level of acidity combined with ripeness sets this vintage apart and gives a mouthwatering character with a lot of depth of flavor,” Jordan touts. Super versatile at the table, it partner up particularly well with goat cheese, salads and fresh fish. Find it online or at Virginia and DC area stores; or better yet, make a trip to their gorgeous tasting room, then buy a bottle to sip on their sunny patio.
The latest release from the ever-popular Provençal winery Château d’Esclans is meant to inspire thoughts of the luxury of travel, and the palm leaves on the label signify the idea that you can live the rosé lifestyle wherever you go. Made in the region’s signature style (pale pink hue, dry, light and crisp), it’s approachable and versatile. “As the brand who created the rosé renaissance in America, we see an opportunity to continue educating rosé lovers around the world with a more approachable Provençal rosé that’s fresh, fun, and undeniably affordable,” says Paul Chevalier of Château d’Esclans. Try it with light salads, cheese platters, grilled salmon or just by itself as a patio sipper.
A recent switch from saignée to early picked zinfandel grapes gives this wine more acidity and balance than in previous years (it’s actually been produced since 1954). “Our house style of rosé is fruitier mainly because of the varietal and of course it is darker in color as well,” says Julie Pedroncelli St. John, third generation family owner. It’s made in a dry style, yet retains a bit of residual sugar because of the zinfandel grape. Zesty aromas of orange, strawberry and rose petals are joined on the full-flavored palate with candied cherry and raspberry and a touch of peppery heat on the finish. She recommends it with watermelon salad, mango turkey burger slides, escarole salad with walnuts or salmon with balsamic glaze.
Opening a pop top instead of uncorking a bottle keeps wine friendly, not stuffy. And wine in a can is easy to transport, environmentally friendly and perfect to throw back at the beach, by the pool or camping. Mancan’s new Sonoma rosé blend is made with chardonnay and zinfandel. “We chose these varietals because they compliment each other extremely well with bright acidity and round, fruity flavors,” explains co-founder and CEO Graham Veysey. “We did drop in just a hint of riesling to provide the sweetness you’d expect in such a bright, well balanced rosé.” He goes on to add that there are other benefits to canned vino. “Because there is no light penetration with a can, you don’t have the structure alter if it is exposed to sunlight,” he says. “Secondly, we dose each can with nitrogen — a heavier gas than oxygen, [which] displaces the oxygen and locks in the flavor profile so that we can deliver that same universal drinkability year after year.” The wine is ballet slipper-hued in the glass, with ripe aromas and flavors of candied watermelon and sweet cherry. Drink it on its own, or serve it over ice with some seltzer for a refreshing spritzer.
Editors notes: For further reading on all things rosé, we recommend picking up a copy of Drink Pink: a Celebration of Roséby sommelier Victoria James (Harper Design, $20).
And for a handy infographic on the trends of pink-hued wines and how they’re made, please click here.
Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website www.kellymagyarics.com or follow her @kmagyiarics.