Taste of Wine – Time to Smell the Rose’s

Rose’ wines are produced along the south coast of France from Bordeaux to Nice.

There is no more elegant bottle of wine than a well crafted Rose.’I am always captivated by this hybrid wine that radiates pleasure, coolness and seduction.

Rose’ of course is not a grape varietal, it’s a style of wine; the artistry of a winemaker turned artist. Colors range from a peachy to a salmon look.And it can mate up with a number of food pairings, especially in the summertime.

Sales have gone through the roof lately, with the largest Rose’ wine country,Provencein the south ofFrance, reporting a large increase in sales in theU.S.over the year before.Provencehas over 600 Rose’ producers, enough to make it the world capital of Rose,’ where the wine is at once lively, dry, aromatic and fruity. To underline the importance of this wine toProvence,it is by and large the only wineproduced in this district. InProvence, the red grapes used to make Rose’ include:Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cabernet, Caragnan and Tibouran.Winemakers in theU.S.and elsewhere are using every other red varietal including Zinfandel and Pinot Noir.In the appellation of La Londe, shown in the photo, the vineyards literally slide into theMediterranean Sea.

Rose’ can be a difficult wine to make.Its delicate color and fresh aromas require skill and attention, as time is of the essence.The pigments that give the wine its color are locked in the skins of the grapes and are dependent on how long these skins are in contact with the juice, or in other words, color depends on the amount of time the skins “macerate.”Rose’s are lighter and pink in tone because the grapes macerate for less time.And that’s’ just the beginning. It takes about a year of care and attention to produce a dry, light, aromatic rose.’TheProvencepeople emphasize that when consuming their rose,’ for the best tasting experience, drink it at 46 to 53 degrees.The chilliness excites the senses and brightens the flavor. Age is not a factor here.”Drink now,” as they say.The wines ofProvenceare fascinatingly detailed in the book “Provence Food and Wine, the Art of Living by Francois Millo and Viktorija Todorovska.Visitwww.agatepublishing.comfor more.

The actor Brad Pitt and actress Angelina Jolie have acquired aProvenceestateand are making Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose’2012.

In checking on the local San Diego Rose’ scene, I visited Jim and Bill Tobin and their North County Wine Company inSan Marcos.The Tobins have seen a noticeable uptick in sales, expecially in the $8 to $17. range and it’s been year-round, not just confined to summer tasting.Most buyers go for theProvencedry style Rose’s.They carry close to a dozen brands, and most buyers are younger women.An impressive Rose’ on the shelves this week is the Bella Vista Franciacorta Rose 2008, a vintage Italian sparkling wine with the taste of apples, rose petals and sweet almonds.

The international wine brand Freixenet has released a Spanish style Rose’ called Mi’a byBarcelonawinemaker Gloria Collell.Visitwww.freixenetusa.com

The California State Fair has come and gone and from it, the “Best of Show Pink” was a 2013 Dry Rose’ of Zinfandel from Pedroncelli Winery of Sonoma.($12.)This one racked up 98 points and a double gold medal along with Best of Class of Region.

Pedroncelli wine maker John Pedroncelli has been making this wine since the early 1950’s. The appellation is the Dry Creek District, with well-drained rocky soils and hillsides.

Rose’s inCaliforniahave come a long way since the sweet “White Zinfandel” jug wine days.The best are now exhibiting fruit-forward characteristics and crisp acidity. ..and that oh so sensual pink rose look.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web.View and link up with his column atwww.tasteofwinetv.com.Reach him at[email protected].