Aug. 31, 2012 at 4:22 PM ET
In these final weeks of summer, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy rosés and so, as we head into the Labor Day weekend, here is a postscript to my broader look at the wines earlier in the season. Rosés, which are made from red grapes but share only brief contact with the color-producing skins during fermentation, are often highly versatile, easily paired with everything from fish to grilled chicken, pork and lamb, to name just a few possibilities.
They are made from just about every red variety and range in color from the slightest orange blush to deep ruby, depending on the grape and the length of skin contact, which can be as little as a few hours. Alcohol levels vary considerably as well, but most fall into the modest 12 to 13 percent range, which gives them enough “weight” but also makes them excellent food companions.
Given their versatility, I’ve often wondered why the rosé “season” is so short, but in wine, as in other things, habits and traditions don’t change easily. While many producers make limited amounts of rosé, there are certainly enough good bottles around to enjoy well into the fall.
Most rosés are under $20, and with that in mind, two more are worth considering. Apolloni Vineyards’ 2011 Rosé from Oregon’s Willamette Valley is made from pinot noir and, in an unusual twist, some white viognier blended in. This lively, refreshing wine is bursting with ripe fruit, mainly strawberry and raspberry, punctuated by floral, citrus and white pepper notes. It sells for $15 on Apolloni’s website.
Another standout is from Spain, the 2011 Artazuri Rosado from the Artazu winery in the Navarra region. This $11 bargain made from the garnacha grape (grenache in France) has refreshing acidity, raspberry and blueberry tastes and an underlying spiciness, all of it softened by a slightly creamy quality. Imported by Folio Fine Wine Partners, The Michael Mondavi Family, Napa, California.
Want more suggestions? On Vint-ed this week, I review an excellent red from Argentina, Susana Balbo’s 2010 “Signature” Cabernet Sauvignon.