Feature Coverage

Wine Review: Rose a sorely overlooked variety

“‘Pretty in Pink’ is the name of a cult teen classic movie that’s also a pretty good descriptor of rose wines.

“Rose wines have been sorely overlooked by many wine lovers because of its similarity in color to syrupy sweet pink zinfandel wines; nothing could be further from the truth.

“Rose wines are simply a red wine where the color-producing red skins are removed immediately after pressing. The inside of almost every red wine grape is white and even the momentary contact with the juice will add some pink color. Rose wines, often called the wines of spring, are fresh, fruity and display exciting aromas.

“Southeast French rose wines have been popular since prehistoric times. The Greeks enjoyed them and the Romans so admired them that it became a sign of stature for the Roman gentry to have their own personal vineyards in that region. During the Middle Ages, the region even became the seat of the Roman Catholic Church when the city of Avignon, France, became the residence of the pope, in part, no doubt, because of its proximity to the wine.

“Unfortunately, American winemakers have failed to gyrate toward the style so there are very few traditional rose wines produced in this country. However, those produced here are worthy of consideration.

Chateau Gassier 2015 Esprit Gassier ($19)
“A pure delight of a wine made from grape varieties indigenous to the French region, this wine is best served chilled. It displays an inviting pink color and the obvious aromas of white peach, orange and grapefruit. The flavor is also quite obvious with white peach, mandarin oranges and grapefruit. The standout is the long and lingering finish.

Chateau Gassier 2015 Le Pas du Moine ($25)
“Another rose, but this one has a slightly different grape makeup. In this wine, the usual complement of red grapes is augmented by the ugni blanc, a white grape used in making Cognac. The aroma features a host of summer light-colored fruits, while the flavor concentrates on guava and grapefruit and ends in a fruity finish…”

Bennet Bodenstein, June 3, 2016
Wine Review: Rose a sorely overlooked variety