Does Vintage Matter when Choosing a Rosé?


Spring has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest, and of course this brings to mind picnics, drinks on the patio, and of course dining with rosé! What better accompaniment with lighter dishes than an acidic, lighter & fruit forward wine with a palate complimenting dryness. Rosé has surged in popularity in recent years in the States thanks to its ability to be paired with a vast range of foods & appealing color.

Choosing a Rosé
First off, there are quite a few misconceptions about this delightful drink. Firstly, color does NOT matter. Many people think that a lighter colored rosé means better finesse and overall improved quality; this is not true. One of the best known rosé producing regions (Tavel) is known for making deep-colored, bone-dry, robust rosé wines. Another example is a Languedoc rosé: expect a very deep blush colored wine that is not only light, but refreshing! It really comes down to the producer and the quality of the wine in the bottle: color does not apply.

Production
True rosé is bled, not blended. Look for the word ‘saignee’ when choosing a French rose, meaning the production is in fact ‘bleeding’. When producers combine two separate grapes (one red and one white) the overall quality is compromised and the final product does not stand the test of time.(Note: one area where blending is practiced is Tavel, so in this particular region choosing the latest vintage is necessary.)

Vintage
People have come to believe that rosé is only good in its current vintage. This again is only true with poorly made rosé wines. Rosé of good quality can age in the bottle for a few years and be even better than in its current vintage. The taste is what matters, not the year.

Here are a few of our favorites (updated June 2014):

Domaine de La Croix Bouquie 2011 Pinot d’Aunis Rosé (FR)
(pictured above & one of the prettiest in the shop!)

Reg. Price: $15.99 | Insider Price: $14.99 | Mixed Case: $12.79

Tenuta Montecchiesi 2011 Selverello Sangiovese Rosé
 (IT)
Reg. Price: $15.99 | Insider Price: $13.99 | Mixed Case: $11.19

Chateau Rivière 2012 Minervois Rosé (FR)
Reg. Price: $14.99 | Insider Price: $13.99 | Mixed Case: $11.99

Isenhower 2012 Paintbrush Rosé (WA)
Reg. Price: $16.99 | Mixed Case: $13.59

Chateau Barbanau 2013 l’Instant Rosé (FR)
Reg. Price: $22.99 | Insider Price: $21.99 | Mixed Case: $18.39

Cheers!
Kyle

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