Rosés: Not Just for Sipping

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
April 9, 2009

Channing Daughters RosesCelia Cheng

2008 Channing Daughters Rosato di Cabernet Franc
Union Square Wines
140 4th Ave
@ 13th St
New York, NY 10003

2008 Planeta Rosé (Coming Soon)
Chelsea Wine Vault
75 Ninth Ave
@ 16th St
New York, NY 10011
currently carries the 2007 vintage

Rosés have been the rage for a while now, but it’s silly to keep touting “Rosé is in.” What’s more interesting is the types of rosés winemakers are putting out.

This past weekend, I got to taste the just-launched Tre Rosati. I literally arrived at Channing Daughters, one of only three wineries in the Hamptons AVA region, on the day their rosé series was released. Comprised of three single-varietal rosés, the series includes a Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Just the gradation of pinks from the coppery Cab Franc to the deep strawberry Cab Sauv was inviting and eye-catching. And the taste of these 2008 wines was equally delightful. Rosés are no longer mindless sipping wines as each of these shows off the specific characteristics of the grape from which it was made.

I was especially taken with the Cab Franc ($19), bone-dry with a pretty acidity and notes of ripe peach and tart pink grapefruit. Winemaker Christopher Tracey is a pro at producing wines with tight structure, and here we have a rosé with fantastic composition and weight.

Planeta Rosé 2008 label

Then, on Monday for lunch, I popped open a 100% Syrah rosé ($16) from Italian producer Planeta. This wine comes from the Dispensa vineyard in the Southeastern Menfi region of Sicily. Here, fragrant floral notes of roses greet you first. The palate, by contrast, is much more restrained. Again, this is a wine with great body. At first I had it right out of the fridge, which really numbed the flavors, but once it warmed up a bit, the citrus notes merged beautifully with red berries and spring roses. I found a nice pairing with a Vietnamese chicken liver pâté sandwich. The acidity cut through the density of the pâté while the berry notes complimented the strong taste of the liver.

For me, rosés are not limited to picnics, the beach or warm weather. I love them with food — especially if I can choose from a wide range of well-made and well-thought-out choices!


Comments (2)

Arnold Manheimer

Apr 11, 07:15 AM

I agree with your perspective on Channing Daughters’ roses. I live one mile from the vineyard and discovered it two years ago.Although a bit pricey, it is a group of wines that can stand alone. Great for lunch.

Mark Levy

Apr 11, 02:16 PM

2 great Roses you might not know about:
Gualdo del Re Eliseo Rosato 2008
50 % Sangiovese (Cru vineyards),50% merlot (cru vineyard) .
Barnard Griffin Sangiovese Rose 2008
Washington State.
Taste these two and correct me if I’m wrong,they are both value,and pure spring enjoyment.

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