We were on a mission. Taste rosé wines from our Carmel Valley wineries. And that we did, over several summer days.
First, what is a rosé wine and how is it made? Most rosé wines are made from red grape varietals. The varietal can be used "solo" or in a blend. And in some cases, both red and white varietals are used.
The color comes from the red grape skins coming in contact, but only for a short time, with the grape juice. The lightness or intensity of the rose color is determined by the amount of contact time. The wines we tasted were all beautiful tones of pink; some even had a slight orange tinge to them.
Most people think of rosés as a sweeter wine, but the ones we tasted were definitely on the drier side, which we liked. And we also liked all the romantic names for the wine-- rosé (French), rosado (Spanish), rosato (Italy) or blush.
Here are some of our favorites:
Chesebro (2011) Arroyo Seco Rosé --a blend of Grenache, Viognier and Albarinho grapes from the Cedar Lane Vineyard. It is crisp, fruity, and a full-flavored rosé. We have both bought quite a few bottles ($14.00) for easy drinking on summer evenings. If you want this wine, get it now as there are only a couple of cases left.
Georis-(2011) Carmelo Rosato--made from a Merlot varietal. It is an easy fun, light, fruity, refreshing table rosé ($16.00). Les Arbeilles, one of our all-time Georis favorite rosés, is currently sold out! So we all have to wait until next year to enjoy this wonderful wine.
Silvestri 2011 Rosé --A vivid salmon color and easy on the palate, it is a new addition to Silvestri this year and only available in the wine tasting room as long as the supply lasts. (By the way, did you know that Mark Chesebro is the wine maker for Silvestri?)
And even though it's not from our valley, we did drink the glass in our valley--at the restaurant Toast-- of a 2009 Miguel Torres Santa Digna Rose from Chile and loved it. Made from a Cabernet Sauvignon grape, it is a vibrant pink, dry rosé that was luscious with our fish-themed meals.
There are more rosés out here in Carmel Valley and we will continue our mission of research and reportage--what a job! Enjoy the summer and consider enjoying it with a glass of rosé.