I constantly drink pink wine. But most of those bottles are blends, particularly in the style of Provence. Lots of Grenache, Carignan, Syrah,Mourvèdre, and/or Cinsault in various percentages. (And other grapes, too.) But I want to focus on Pinot Noir and particularly the Rodney Strong Vineyards Rosé. The winery sent me a sample bottle along with a few other current releases.
2017 Rodney Strong Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir ($25)
This Sonoma winery makes its rosé from 100% Pinot Noir, sourcing it from the prestigious Russian River Valley region. Something about Pinot Noir rosé I find striking in very good examples (like from Sancerre or Burgundy) is that have a…well…how to say this?
This is going to sound really dumb.
OK, I’m going for it.
Great Pinot Noir rosé has a lovely…Pinot Noir-ness to it. Whew. Ok, I said that and the world didn’t stop turning.
My point is that a lot of nondescript rosé, particularly from Provence, it doesn’t smell or taste like much. Though, truth be told, I drink a hell of a lot of rosé like this. Falling on my corkscrew for you here on this blog.
It’s really nice to stick your nose into a wine glass, or in my case a juice glass/rando Fernet short (not shot) glass/enamel tumbler, and get some nice whiffs of classic, pretty, elegant Pinot Noir. Extremely pleasant.
2016 Rodney Strong Vineyards Upshot Red Wine Blend ($28)
I’d also like to call attention to the rosé label. It’s a departure from the old-fashioned ones you find on other bottles from the winery. Shifting wine gears, if you are a red blend fan and want to see a very modern, unique, and informative label check out Rodney Strong Vineyards Upshot. Ok, I’ll just post it here. It’s a Zin-based mix with Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and even 3% Riesling (!) invited to the party. I drank it at a Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) lunch. Don’t worry, it’s not sweet. (Also, there is a ton of dry Riesling out there, even from Germany. Sorry, getting distracted.)
So while rosé blends are great, it’s really fun to drink one made 100% from a single grape. And then think about the red wines you’ve had from that grape and how much you get a sense of it from the pink stuff. (Cabernet Franc is another grape I find very interesting in both rosé and red form.) And by all means, keep on drinking those rosés made from a unique, thoughtful hodgepodge of grapes. Just keep slaking your thirst with rosé, period, forever.