The dog days of summer mean one thing - rosé season. While rosé is produced worldwide, not all rose is made equally.
In fact, not all rosé is even made with the same grape variety. One can make rosé from essentially any red grape varietal or a blend of many red grape varietals. A winemaker can make rosé sweet or dry, sparkling or still, and even light to heavy-bodied. It really is the wine makers' decisions that dictate the style and quality.
In red winemaking, it is necessary to leave the grape skins, stems, and seeds on the must (the freshly pressed grape juice) to extract color, flavor, and tannin. Rosé can be made in a myriad of ways, but there are three main techniques:
1. Direct Pressing - The red grapes are crushed and pressed in the same manner as white wine production. This extracts a light color from the skins and is used to create delicate styles of rosé.
2. Short Maceration - Red grapes are crushed and allowed to macerate to extract flavor and color. The duration of the maceration depends on how much color and tannins the winemaker wants to extract from the grape skins.
3. Blending - A small quantity of red wine is added to white wine to create a rosé. The EU does not allow for this method, and it is typically used for inexpensive new world wines.
Here's what's open:
2021 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé Bandol
Southern France has some of the best dry-style rosés in the world. Provence, in particular, is the largest growing area within France, with Bandol heading the Mouvedre-based blends.
Some consider Tempier Bandol rosé to be the best rosé on the planet, blended by Kermit Lynch, one of the foremost names in wine.
It is a blend of 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, and 20% Cinsault.
It was a pale salmon color with youthful aromas of grapefruit, raspberry, white peach, and anise.
On the palate, it was dry, medium-bodied with zippy acidity, which kept me coming back for another sip. There was a slightly spiced note with a long finish. I had this bottle chilled - it simply tasted like summer.
Many drinkers hold onto this bottle as it can age wonderfully. Have you ever had aged rosé? It's certainly worth a look.
Have any questions or comments? Don't hesitate to reach out and let me know what you have open this month!