With a touch of Granache, Syrah, Viognier and Albariño, the Chesebro 2012 Rosé is a "true rosé," made by adding a little red wine to the white wine. The wine is bright, refreshing, of medium body, and a magnificent light pink blush color. At only $15, it is a remarkable deal. (And if you're a club member, which we both are now, it's only $12!)
The two "Carmel Valley by the Glass" adventurers continued their exploration of valley rosés by moseying down the East End Wine Row to the Holman Ranch Winery tasting room. There we talked with Nick Elliott, one of the winery's owners, about their rosé, the 2011 Rosé of Pinot Noir. Theirs is bolder, more acidic than the Chesebro rosé, yet good, light and crisp as well. In fact, it won the 2013 First Blush Competition in San Francisco for Rosés from California. Holman Ranch Winery also has their own dynamite peppery olive oil...for members only--yet another motivation to become a wine club member.
We then continued our rosé exploration by visiting the Georis wine tasting garden, always one of our favorites on a beautiful sunny valley day. There, we had the Georis Les Abeilles Rosé. Another shade of pink, a light dry taste, a unique bottle shape, and just a great summer wine, at $24.00 a bottle (less for wine club members), $9.00 a glass, $5.00 during Happy Hour. (If you haven't tried their Happy Hour, do. Great appetizers, including their tasty pizza slices, and good wines at good prices in a delightful setting. Quintessential Carmel Valley.)
Our final rosé of the day was at Will's Fargo restaurant. It was a Bernardus Santa Lucia Highlands 2012 Saignee Rosé, made from Pinot Noir. It was full, a ruby shade of rose, and very refreshing. According to the Bernardus website, here's how it's made: "As the grapes are being crushed we bleed off a small percentage of the juice before it has a chance to absorb much color from the grape skins. For the juice that is left in the fermenter, this means a better juice to skin ratio resulting in a Pinot with more intense color and structure. The barely colored juice we obtain is then fermented to dryness providing us with a delicious, light and fruity rosé."
We think "refreshing and beautiful" are the operative words when describing rosés. Try them. They are just as pretty to look at as they are delicious to drink. You can have some sent to you from the above wineries or explore what is available in your area. Either way, they are the perfect accompaniment for light meals on these long warm summer days.