With spring and summer leading into longer days, the outdoors become more inviting to stay and linger into a warm, dusky night. There is nothing like the taste of a cold, frosted glass of a dry Rosé wine and simple foods for hotter weather. This is the time of the year when big, tannic red wines, a favorite throughout the late fall, winter and early spring, become too heavy in hot weather and don't particularly compliment the lighter fare served on patios and decks throughout the late spring and summer. Rosé is the French word for "pink." The wine is made from red grapes, but the skins are removed early in the process, resulting in a light pink color. Rosés can be produced from just about any grape, including Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Tempranillo. Serious wine drinkers scoff at a "salmon-colored wine" as being too sweet and lacking any character or oomph. We'll see if they are banging that same drum as they try to down their big glass of Cabernet with a chilled pasta salad and bruschetta on a 90 degree day.
There are three methods for crafting Rosé:
Maceration Method: After the grapes are crushed, they're moved to a large stainless-steel vat, where the juice stays in contact with the grape skins. After the desired color is achieved, the juice is drained off the skins into another vessel to ferment. Thick-skinned grapes, such as Syrah, Cabernet, or Zinfandel, have shorter skin contact time, while thinner-skinned grapes, such as Grenache or Pinot Noir, are left on the skins longer. The longer the maceration time, the more color, flavor, and character are imparted to the finished wine.
Saignée, or "bled" Method: Saignée, pronounced "sonyay", is a French term meaning "bled" and this relates to the running off, or bleeding, a certain amount of first-run juice from red grapes. The grapes and skins - usually a blend of dark-skinned, intensely flavored grapes that would make a big, powerful red wine - are crushed and left in a large, stainless-steel vat. After an hour or two, a certain amount of juice is drawn off or "bled," and fermented into a delicate rosé (the juice that stays behind is made into red wine). Saignée allows a winemaker the option of making a delicate rosé wine from intensely flavored grapes (it also concentrates both the color and the flavor in the juice that remains with the skins). The resulting rosé will be complex and flavorful, but lighter than the resulting red wine would be.
Blending red and white wines together: Blending is the way rosé Champagne is often made, and in France, that's the only time blending red and white wines is legal.
The wines have flavors of strawberry, raspberry, cherry and even plum, with some spice, a light complexity of flavors and a balance of acidity that works very well with food.
2015 Lovely Liv's Rosé
Lovely Liv's Rosé is produced by la method Saignée from our estate grown Pinot Noir. After being upstaged for years by her older sister's Avery & Celia, it was finally time to relent and name a wine after our youngest daughter Olivia. This Rosé offers fresh fruit flavors of strawberries, cherries, raspberries, with hints of ruby red grapefruit and watermelon. There is a nice acid balance, delicate fruit flavors and a clean, crisp mouth feel on the finish. Lovely Liv's is an excellent food wine due to the balance of acidity and fruit and a light to medium body. It is a great companion to shrimp, scallops, crab dishes, cold meats and meat salads, chicken salad, pasta salad, barbecued chicken, grilled halibut, pan-seared fish, paella or salmon in parchment paper. In the South of France, rosés are famously associated with salads, especially salad nicoise from the Cote d'Azure. This is one of the few times you will find a wine paired very successfully with a salad. Lovely Liv's Rosé is meant to be consumed early on. So, get some while you can, because it sells out fast.