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July 10, 2012

Rosé Rules

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Here are 10 really yummy bottles to try:

Chateau D'Esclans Whispering Angel 2011, $20. This has the typical Provence salmon color, and is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, and Rolle. It's pretty delicate with some dusty citrus and a hint of strawberry. Lots of people buy Domaines Ott as their go-to rose — that's also from Provence, but it's 40 bucks and you could have this for $20 (and I actually like it more).

Hecht & Bannier 2011, $11. This one's from the Languedoc region in France, and is equal parts Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. It's an awesome flavor mix of raspberry, strawberry, and orange with a little minerality. Solid acidity makes it great with food.

Wolffer Rosé 2011, $15. This Bridgehampton winery was originally a potato farm but is now a sprawling estate. Their rosé is 54% Merlot, 21% Chardonnay, 9% Pinot Noir, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, and is similar to the leaner Provençal-style rosés with that pale salmon color. The strawberry fruit is subtle and light — perfect for an outdoor summer lunch.

Anaba Turbine Pink 2011, $22. A great winery from Sonoma that makes their delicious strawberry-heavy rosé from Grenache grapes. They also use wind turbines to generate electricity for the winery, hence the name!

Bedell Taste Rosé 2011, $18. This winery's on the North Fork of Long Island, an area that's really improved their wine quality in the past few years. Their rosé is 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Syrah. Full of red berries and very zippy.

Bergstrom Rosé 2011, $19. My hands-down new fave — one of those wines that after my first sip I said, "Wow." It has a really elegant peachy flavor with a hint of smoke. Lots of Oregon wineries are really small, and Bergstrom only produced 652 cases of their rosé so try to get your hands on some stat!

Ochoa Rosado 2011, $12. This one's made from Garnacha (which is Spanish for Grenache) grapes and is from Navarra, a great Spanish region for rosados. Dry, watermelon, wild strawberry, orange peel. Yum.

Artazuri 2011, $10. This is also all Garnacha and the second rosado I've had from Navarra that's been neon pink. It's freaking cool and so are the wines. This one's very strawberry with just a tiny bit of minerality.

Gran Familia Rosado 2011, $12. This is a Tempranillo–based Rosado from Rioja. It has a deeper ruby color, just like the ripe strawberries it tastes like.

Biohof Pratsch 2011, $14. Going out on a limb here since I'm guessing most people don't buy a ton of Austrian wines, but I really like this one. And come on, I gotta give you one wacky recommendation. You may not have ever heard of Zweigelt and maybe you can’t even pronounce it (z-VI-ghelt), but that's the grape used to make this. Tastes like white peaches and apricots with a little mineral on the end. Also has some mild fizzy thing which I love.

And don’t forget the bubbles…

Sparkling rosé is made in a whole different way than regular still rosé (most commonly, a little red wine is blended with the base white wine before the second fermentation). It's a great alternative to regular bubbly, and sometimes even better!

Some great ones to try are Tarantas Organic Bobal Rosé ($10 and you can get it at Whole Foods), Mumm Napa Brut Rosé ($20), Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Cuvée de la Pompadour ($36), and Taittinger Brut Prestige ($50).

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