Rose Wine Los Lunas NM
Los Lunas, NM
Bosque Farms, NM
It's Time for Rosé
Summer is coming….at least in the Northern Hemisphere….so it’s time to put a bottle of dry fruity rose in the fridge, chill it well, and then screw off the top or pop the cork and enjoy! The 2009 roses from Argentina, Chile, France, South Africa, Spain, and the U.S. are already on the store shelves, but there’s an awful lot to choose from. We took on the arduous task (somebody has got to do it!) of tasting thirty some rosés to identify some of the best, and the best values. The rosés reviewed here offer a wide variety of flavors and styles for the palate. Rosés pair well with a wide variety of foods, from salads to seafood to chicken to spicy Asian fare. Want to read more about pairing rosé and food ?
Readers interested in learning more about how rosés are produced are encouraged to consult our technical note on Techniques for Making Rosé Wines .
There are some lovely and affordable dry rosé sparklers on the market from all over the world. They are produced from Pinot Noir, Grenache, Cabernet Franc and other varietals. Rosé sparklers are festive and easy drinking.
Graham Beck NV Brut Rose Chardonnay Pinot Noir ($15) 88
This is a very clean, fresh tasting sparkler that would be perfect for weddings, public receptions and the like. Light red cherry fruit shows on the nose and palate with a nice creamy mouth feel and crisp acidity on the finish. Nothing complicated here but quite delicious nonetheless.
Graham Beck 2008 Brut Rose ($20) 91
This blend of 80 percent Pinot Noir and 20 percent Chardonnay is one of the sparkling wine world’s best values. Light strawberry, earth, and brioche notes appear on the nose and palate. Extended time on lees contributes to the creamy mouth-feel. The Pinot Noir for this cuvee comes from new 115 and 777 clones. This sparkler is gorgeous vintage after vintage. See our notes on an earlier vintage .
Marquis de la Tour NV Brut Rosé Loire Valley ($11) 87
Rémy Pannier’s sparkling rosé blends Cabernet Franc, Grolleau, Syrah and Grenache. It is a delicious offering, light salmon in color with fresh strawberry aromas and flavors, a touch of sweetness on the mid-palate, and a dry crisp finish. Great price.
Bodegas Pinord NV Reynal Frizzante Rose Penedes ($10) 87
This off-dry sparkler of Tempranillo and Garnacha has a dark rose color with a ripe raspberry nose and a fresh and flavorful palate of red and blackberry fruit. Fresh tasting and offered at an attractive price.
Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA
NV Wolfberger, Crémant d'Alsace, Brut Rosé Alsace ($22) 89
This light copper salmon sparkler of Pinot Noir has a lively fresh mousse and clean light cherry aromas. It is dry and crisp on the attack offering delicate raspberry flavors and a dry finish. Delicious.
Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA
Techniques for Making Rosé Wine
by Mike Potashnik, PhD
What is rosé wine and how is it made? How do winemakers get that attractive pink color typical of rosé wines? Why are some rosé wines fruity and sweet while others are bone dry? What are the main challenges in making top quality rosé?
Rosé wine isn’t simply defined by color, according to Emile Peynaud, France’s famed enologist. It is an intermediate style of wine between red and white. From red wine rosé takes the original grape variety or varieties (e.g. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsalut, Mouvedre, Agiorgitiko) and a small amount of color or anthocyanins from the grape skin. From white wine, it gets its light character, fruitiness, and vinification techniques. Thus, some rose wines are similar to reds in terms of color and body in having a high concentration of anthocyanins and body resulting from malolactic fermentation. Others are more like white wines, having undergone less extraction, have more freshness and retain their malic acid.
Winemakers use two main techniques in producing rosé wine:
Maceration: In this technique, red-skinned grapes are essentially produced like white wine. The grapes are crushed and the juice and skin are macerated (kept in contact with each other) for a period long enough to extract the desired amount of color or anthocyanins. The juice is then separated from the skins (usually by pressing and draining) and is fermented like white wine. Fermentation usually takes place in stainless steel tanks in cold temperature to maintain freshness. Fermentation is done to total dryness or some residual sugar retained for a semi-dry style in most instances malolactic fermentation is avoided, or only partially done. In a few instances winemakers will store rosé wine in neutral barrels for a brief period to gain added roundness, but this technique is relatively rare.
Saignée: In this technique a portion of free run pink juice is run off or bled from just-crushed red grapes after a short partial or pre-fermentation maceration (usually 12 to 24 hours) to extract primary aromas and color. The juice is then separated from the skins, fermented in tank in cold temperature and bottled. This process is often a bi-product of winemaking that attempts to increase the concentration of phenolics and flavor compounds of red wine that results from the bleeding of juice from the tank.
Wine 'Doggy Bag' Regulations in New Mexico
House Bill 124 (Senate Bill 332) allows for the removal of a partially consumed bottle of wine from a restaurant if the bottle is recorked and sealed in a tamper-proof bag.