By Rick Riozza
So here comes Mother’s Day 2022—and what can you say? Well, what I heard from more than a few women customers in my wine aisle these past few days is: “Forget giving mom a dozen roses. What mom really wants is a dozen bottles of rosé.” Humorous for sure—not only were the ladies smiling, but their cheerful expression, seemed to really confirm the notion.
“A Bouquet of Rosés” was in fact one of our early titles to a rosé wine column. Back then, rosé was making its move in the popular wine market. Today, everyone knows that rosé is great and so versatile with sips & dips and everything on the table, indeed, every winery in town and around the world is producing pink!
So let’s make it easy for us all and list and describe some delicious rosé brands out there that’s available at almost every supermarket nearby you.
What’s a celebration without bubbles? As we should, let’s cover a rosé bubbly that is perfect for the Mother’s Day toast: The Non-vintage Scharffenberger Brut Excellence Rosé ($29). What a beautiful bottle for presentation. Just put a bow on it and it’s ready to go! Beyond its chic but classy pink label, those of you in the know already appreciate the Mendocino winery that produces some of the best sparkling wine in California at the most reasonable prices.
The bubbly is made in the Champagne method which keeps the bubbles real as the wines are individually bottle-fermented before being riddled and disgorged. With a pale salmon hue, you’ll find aromas of fresh raspberry jam, cherry and wild strawberries. Look for flavors of white raspberries and white peach. And if you’re a super-taster—you’ll find some pear and apple undertones.
It’s full-bodied with a creamy texture and balanced acidity. Taylor-made for just about every dish on the table: salads, pasta, seafood, poultry, and light meats. A dozen of these bottles will keep the ladies happy for a year!
All right! So let’s get to the rosé still wines that are just as exciting for sipping and accompanying the Mother’s Day table. 2021 Vina Robles Rosé, Huerhuero Vineyard ($19). Paso Robles wine country is fast becoming one of California’s premier regions. And enjoying a rosé from the region speaks much about your wine savvy as it does for your tastes of world class wine at a great price.
And check out the blend: 58% Syrah, 37% Grenache and 5% Viognier for good measure. You Syrah and Grenache fans will love this California version of your favorite grapes that make up a majority of rosé wine from the south of France.
As you would expect, this wine shows “rosé” red fruit flavors. One could easily match this wine with all types of Mediterranean fare and tasty spicy dishes. Further, because of its fresh red fruit flavors, it’s a perfect chilled apéritif before the meal, and a lovely dessert wine afterwards. It’s a great wine for the price!
2021 JUSTIN Rosé Central Coast ($20). The Justin Vineyards & Winery is one of our favorites to report on. Its fan base is huge in our valley and how can we not recommend the dry, aromatic and refreshing wine that reminds us that while rosé is great on a hot summer day, it is also a versatile wine worth reaching for all year long.
A Rosé of mostly Syrah that is whole cluster pressed and fermented like a white wine, it shows a beautiful salmon color in the glass. Aromatic with red berry, apple, chamomile, and floral notes. Medium-bodied and complex, as one would expect with JUSTIN, with light strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, melon and red apple fruit at first taste, with lemon and chamomile flower following. The finish is fresh with a textured mineral component that lingers with red fruit and herbal notes.
What’s not to adore here! Just delicious! Why not try it with traditional seafood paella, made with prawns, clams, mussels and saffron rice, or, simply with a watermelon and goat cheese salad.
2020 La Crema Montery Pinot Noir Rosé ($25). As with the JUSTIN brand, La Crema is one of the most popular wines sold in America. But the wine mind knows quality. La Crema’s original name, La Crema Vinera, means “best of the vine,” setting the standard for all La Crema has done for decades. I’ve met the winemakers and they exhibit the best in vino integrity.
This wine boasts aromas of Mandarin orange, pink grapefruit, white strawberry, guava and watermelon. Can you imagine taking in these aromas at one time? La Crema does it again! Flavors of watermelon, strawberry, blood orange, cranberry/raspberry are complemented by undertones of flinty minerality. The result is a delicate, crisp, and vibrant wine that is a complete hit with salads, light pastas, seafood, grilled shrimp and wild salmon.
The final wine to this fine rosé roster, is the 2021 Banshee Rosé, Sonoma County ($28). It’s good to wind things up with a Sonoma Rosé. The Sonoma wine region is still one of the best to visit and to enjoy its traditional rustic charm along with their fantastic culinary scene.
And matching that consideration are the wines from Banshee wines out of Geyserville and Healdsburg. Their 2021 Rosé is a lovely blend of Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and smaller doses of Syrah, Black Muscat, Carignan, and Zinfandel. A great example of “Sonoma Field Blend”.
The winery notes hit it perfectly, “this Rosé is a lovely shade of pale salmon with aromas of orange blossom, guava, creamsicle and fresh-picked strawberries. Bright, mouth-watering flavors of juicy strawberry-apple and watermelon are highlighted by hints of ripe Meyer lemon, minerality and a soft creamsicle finish. Racy acidity and elegance are balanced perfectly in this dry, crisp rosé.” A definite “creamsicle” favorite.
Cheers To Everyone!