5 Rosés to Drink This Spring
Wine buyers and consumers alike look forward to the months of April and May, when producers the world over release our favorite gardenside, poolside, beachside, patio pounder aperitif. There are a myriad of styles to explore, from the deeper scarlets of Spain to the pale oeil de perdrix of the Languedoc. As a sommelier, I spent each spring scouring producer portfolios for the best pinks released each year. Here are some producers I’ve found that make great rosé season after season. They’re generally inexpensive—and always delicious—so start thinking, and drinking, pink.
Vineyard Vin Gris de Cigare
Randall Grahm is a pioneer in the use of Rhône varieties in the California Central Coast. I can’t get enough of this pale pink rosé, crafted from varieties like Grenache and Grenache Blanc, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, Carignane and Cinsaut. It’s easy to find: it’s the only rosé—or wine, for that matter—that I’ve ever seen with a label depicting a UFO beaming a pink ray out over a row of vines.
Il Rosé di Casanova
La Spinetta is one of my favorite Italian producers, makers of serious, ageworthy Barbarescos and Barolos. But I always look forward to the release of their rosé, which is impossible to keep stocked in the cellar for long because it’s just so delicious! The Toscana Rosato IGT is generally composed of half Sangiovese, half Prugnolo Gentile, for a dry, crisp, textural style of pink.
Le Rosé du Château de Pibarnon
No wine list is complete without a selection of Provençal rosé. The Pibarnon pink is a classic blend of Mourvèdre with a smaller portion of Cinsault, grown on terraced vineyards overlooking the Mediterranean. A bit deeper in color, this is exactly what I want to drink with a big platter of fruits de mer.
I know, I know—Sancerre is for Sauvignon Blanc, right? But the little-talked-about red grape in the region is Pinot Noir, and this rosé, made 100% from the grape, is farmed biodynamically on flint and limestone soils. It’s delicate, pale and perfect for a hot day in France (or elsewhere!).
One of the things I love best about rosé is that you can find one anywhere, always crafted from the local grapes of a region. The CVNE version, made from 100% Tempranillo grown in the warm sun of Rioja, is deeper in color and more structured, packed with plenty of strawberry and red licorice candy notes.
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