Dry Creek Valley Rosés For Spring
“Rosé is a wine that entertains long before it even passes your lips. Its comely colors have in fact been likened to sunset in a glass.”
~Mark Oldman, Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine
Why rosé for Spring? Between “bud break”, our annual Passport celebration, and the natural resplendence of our idyllic landscape, we spend a lot of time outdoors during the Springtime. There are few winemaking styles that embody the emergence of this spectacular time of year like a chilled glass of rosé wine. Here in Dry Creek Valley, rosé is the quintessence of our seasonal surroundings in a glass. And with every swirl, you can share in our Springtime surroundings: sun-dappled trees and blossoming vineyards; bloom-scented meadows and the lush undertow of greenery along the hillsides. It’s the sunset of our longer days and dry oven nights… and it’s the perfect outdoor wine.
And now that it’s time to escape outdoors and savor the warmer weather, you’ll need a few outdoor-friendly wines on hand that will settle nicely into any situation. Rosé, with its wide array of styles, its versatility of taste, its approachability, ease of food pairing, suits just about any occasion.
Dry Creek Valley wineries span an array of rosé wine styles, from the light, southeastern French “Provencal” style to more robust, Syrah-based, magenta-colored wines that can stand up to grilled meats and spicy Asian or Latin cuisine. Traditionally, dry rosés can be made from an assortment of different grape varietals, grapes as diverse as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Pinot noir, just to name a few. The majority of Dry Creek Valley rosés are dry sippers intended for pairing with savory foods, especially when it comes to outdoor eating or dining, food that is grilled or cooked outdoors. So get your picnic basket and your cooler ready because here are some Dry Creek Valley rosés you want along for wherever your Springtime journey takes you.
Dry Creek Vineyard’s Petite Zin Rosé 2012
Now in its fifth vintage, this wine is composed of 80% Zinfandel and 20% Petite Sirah. It receives four hours of skin contact before the juice is bled off. This inviting Rosé presents an aromatic symphony of ripe strawberry, rhubarb, and cherry characters that are fresh and immediately appealing. After several minutes in the glass, nuanced spicy elements begin to shine through with cinnamon, clove, and pepper intermingling with a wonderful floral quality. On the palate, the wine is structured with silky tannins and fresh strawberry characters. Zinfandel’s varietal character definitely shines through with juicy fruit that is refined and downright mouthwatering. A fantastic sipper!
2012 Mauritson Rosé, Rockpile
This is only Mauritson’s second commercial release of Rockpile Rosé, but they’ve been producing it since 2003. To increase concentration in some of their best lots, they remove 5-10% of the juice from the tank 12-24 hours after the fruit is received. The juice extracted has a minimal amount of color from the skins, giving it the beautiful pink salmon hue. The rosé juice is fermented 100% in stainless steel and then a portion of the wine is aged in neutral French oak.
The nose is a bouquet of candied strawberries drizzled with vanilla cream all overlaying the subtleness of plum blossom. Soft and refreshing at the start, the wine has beautiful texture without being weighty. Since it’s Rockpile, that means there’s a complexity of flavors: hints of mineral, fresh cut spring flowers, and red fruits that’s bright and clean on the finish — as a rosé should be!
2013 Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel
Pedroncelli has been producing rosé wines since 1954. They source the grapes for their Dry Rosé of Zinfandel from the Pedroncelli estate; the area’s well-drained rocky soils, hillsides, and excellent microclimate enable Zinfandel to develop generous fruit flavors. They produce their Rosé by combining free run juice with 50% saigne (juice drawn from the fermenting tank) and finish fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The nose has fresh aromas of rose petals and sweet strawberry jam. Cherry, vanilla and red berry flavors are highlighted and the wine is balanced with crispness and a refreshing fruity finish.
Quivira 2013 Rosé Wine
Quivira has been making rosé for years, but their latest release is something of a watershed: it marks the first time they’ve have produced a Demeter-certified Biodynamic rosé. Composed of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvédre, the radiance of the rosé says one thing: time to kiss winter goodbye.
This is one of those wines that entices even before you hold the glass to your nose to partake of the strawberry and watermelon aromas. While the Grenache can be credited with much of what is going on in the glass, the Mourvèdre does its part, contributing spice and structure while the Syrah broadens the mid-palate and also adds subtle floral and pepper notes. A perfect wine to enjoy on its own or to try with a plate of artisan salumi.