Rosé Time?

Staff Writer
John Tilson from The Underground Wine Letter discusses his favorite Rosé for spring

Flickr/Susanne Nilsson/CC 4.0

Spring weather means more Rosé. (Photo Modified: Flickr/Susanne Nilsson/CC 4.0)

Well I guess that depends. For me, almost any time I have lighter foods is Rosé time. For others, it may depend on the weather. But, this year, for those of us in the USA, the weather is literally all over the map – freezing in the East, drought and mostly warm in the West, and nearly everything else in between. Nonetheless, no matter the weather, it’s Rosé time. The first of the new 2014 Rosés are just coming to market. They will be here in increasing numbers over the next few months. That’s a good thing. Rosés are just plain delicious and some of the most food friendly wines on the planet.

Historically, the best Rosés have come from the areas of the world where they have a long tradition to making dry rosés to go with food. Think France and, in particular Provence, and other Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain. In the US we have been mostly stuck on sweet, inexpensive, mass produced rosé type wines like White Zinfandel which have nothing to do with dryRosés that are best consumed with food. The new vintage of imported rosés does not usually begin to arrive here until the spring and early summer. But, guess what?There is a new kid on the block and it is great domestic Rosé that is dry and screams out for food. This year I have been blindsided by the best domestic rosé I can ever remember tasting. The year was barely underway when this Rosé was released and what a revelation it is. If you love Rosé you must simply try this. The wine comes from one of California’s best and longest established Central Coast wineries. It is Calera Wine Company and it is a winery I have known from its earliest beginnings. Calera is mostly known for its great Pinot Noirs, but also has a wide portfolio of other lovely varietal wines from its estate vineyards as well as other Central Coast vineyards. Here is my note on this stunning, not to be missed Rosé:

2014 Calera Vin Gris of Pinot Noir Central Coast
Made from Pinot Noir grapes sourced 66% from Solomon Vineyard in Monterey County and 34% from Pinot Noir grapes sourced from Flint Vineyard in San Benito County, the production of this wine totaled 728 cases. Very simply, this is the poster child by which other domestic Rosés should be judged.

With a light reddish color showing a orange hue and a golden edge, the wine has a gorgeous perfume with cherry fruit and a hint of orange zest with a faint touch of spice. The fruit is very pure and bright with cherry tinges and a hint of Mandarin Kumquat. Totally delicious and absolutely stunning, this is a distinctive Rosé with great breed and charm and a finesseful and balanced crispness on the finish. There is also a definite yin and yang component to this wine that really makes it sing.  Bravo – Outstanding Plus.     $19      Best Buy

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