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It only took a few years, but rosé has become synonymous with summer weather wine. And while there are many delightful bottles of pink-hued wines on the market, there are other summer friendly varietals to consider as well, from Albariño to Sancerre.
Here’s a sampling of eight bottles to consider opening during dinner on the porch or small, socially distant gatherings.
Le Grand Courtâge: Le Grand Courtâge produces Blanc de Blancs Brut and Brut Rosé, which are sold in both 750-milliliter and 187-milliliter bottles, and an annual vintage of its still rosé wine, Très Chic Rosé. A blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Cinsault grapes, both varietals—vinified separately for optimal expression—thrive in the windswept soils and Mediterranean climate. The grapes were pressed directly, yielding a brilliant pale pink hue. The resulting juice was fermented at 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit) in stainless steel vats to preserve the aromatic freshness, then aged for three months on fine lees and gently stirred. The coastal terroir produces a rosé with flavors of red berries, citrus, and tropical fruit, balanced by floral notes and a nice length on the finish. It pairs well with both cheeses and spicy food. SRP: $19.
Robert Mondavi: A richer style of Sauvignon Blanc (with a small blend of Sémillon grapes), the 2018 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Fumé Blanc is bright with refreshing notes of grapefruit, green apple, peach, melon, and a subtle hint of jasmine. Bottled in April 2017, all of the juice was barrel-fermented for added richness and complexity, with 5% in new French oak for added texture and complexity. The winemaker suggests pairing it with main courses, such as rosemary chicken or pork chops. SRP: $23.
Dog Point Vineyard: In addition to the distinctive taste profiles found in the wines, Dog Point stands out from other producers in New Zealand for hand-picking 100% estate fruit at low yields—virtually unheard of in the country—farming organically, green harvesting at times to improve the flavor concentration, and fermenting partially with indigenous yeasts. The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc is wonderfully expressive, silky in texture, and blooming with perfumed aromas characterized by freshly squeezed citrus, completed by flinty and smoky tones. SRP: $25.
Big Cork Vineyards: Just launched in June, the Saignée Rosé is a fruit-forward blend of Malbec and Cabernet Franc grapes. With notes of strawberry jam and a nice balance of acidity, this rosé is ideal for summertime pairings with a creamy goat cheese. SRP: $26.
Langlois-Chateau: One of the leading producers in France’s Loire Valley, the winery’s Sancerres are bright, intense, and expressive in depth and minerality from its chalk and flint terroir. The grapes that went into the 2019 Sancerre come from a selection of the best vineyard plots as well as from sustainably managed vineyards, resulting in a wine that is serious and complex, while remaining delicate and approachable at the same time. SRP: $27.
Chandon: The Napa Valley winemaker’s newest sparkling wine just debuted in May. A reserve Blanc de Blancs, “By The Bay” was named in homage to the vineyard’s proximity to the San Pablo Bay. A blend of 92% Chardonnay and 8% Pinot Blanc grapes grown primarily at Chandon’s Carneros estate vineyard, this cuvée is crafted in the traditional method with 42 months on the lees. Approximately 15% of the blend is aged in French oak barrels to add a subtle toastiness and complexity to the wine. SRP: $30.
The Prisoner Wine Company: A bold Chardonnay blend, the 2017 Blindfold is clean, refreshing, and vibrant, filled with juicy citrus flavors balanced by notes of butterscotch and toasted hazelnut. The finish is rich and creamy with flavors of lemon zest and caramelized sugar. SRP: $32.
Château Minuty: Inspired by the Saint-Tropez coast in summer, the number “281” in the name of the 2019 Château Minuty 281 stands for the royal blue Pantone color down the side of this bottle. The bottle’s designers suggest the rich hue reflects the same shade in the sky as far as the eye can see on a delightful afternoon as the wind blows by the seaside vineyard. Within the Minuty portfolio, the 281 is the most complex and rich rosé. Ideal for a cooler evening on the coast, the pale wine offers intense aromas of citrus fruits and white flowers, balanced by great depth with a pronounced mineral structure. Pair with scallop risotto, grilled prawns, or baked John Dory fish with fennel. SRP: $90.
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