A variety of appealing rosés landed on my porch just in time to combat the sweltering heat that slammed us here in Virginia. None of the wines we tasted are from everyone’s go-to for rosé wines, Provence; I felt as if we should explore the world a bit and see what else is out there.So these wines hail from several continents, are crafted from various varietals, and are as different in style as wines in the same category can be: There is something for everyone in this line-up. Six people (two professionals and four civilians) participated in the blind tasting, which proved educational when an avowed dry wine drinker fell in love with a juicy rosé that was frankly sweet — it just goes to show that tastings can reveal preferences we never knew we had.
Based on the winemakers’ tasting notes, I tried to arrange the wines from sweet to dry, which wasn’t entirely successful. So here, in no particular order, are the results:
Seven Sisters “Twena Rosé” 2014
Western Cape, South Africa
This cheerful, brightly hued wine, made from South Africa’s own 100 percent pinotage grape, is unapologetically sweet. The nose is pure strawberry, and it replicates intense strawberry with a touch of Kool-Aid on the palate. A short finish; heavy, round mouthfeel; and low (11 percent) alcohol make it easy to drink alone; anyone who loves moscato should give this wine a try.
Otazu Rosado 2014
Crafted from 100 percent merlot grapes, this wine is a very pretty raspberry color in the glass. This is a surprisingly light wine for a Spanish rosado: faint strawberry with a hint of that raspberry in the nose, light fruit on the palate, light body, and light, acidic finish. It is quite dry, but lacks the character we’ve come to associate with Spanish wines at this price point.