Wine Focus: Rosé of summer
In one of the many ways in which the world of wine lovers is divided into two parts, we have those who love to sip rosé wine, especially in the summer time, versus those who consider roseé neither fish nor fowl, a weak substitute for red and an odd replacement for white.
I used to be firmly in the "No rosé, José" camp, but in fairness, a couple of summer visits to Provence and a few memorable lunches al fresco gave me a quick attitude adjustment, at least insofar as Provence-style pink wine is concerned, with its crisp, dry, berry and herbal scents and flavors and its great affinity for the food of the country.
Now I'm far more willing to consider a rosé, and it doesn't even have to be from Provence as long as it's dry. (The sweet "blush" wines are not to my personal taste.) Nor does it have to be French. Italian Rosato, Spanish Rosado or pink wines from California, Australia and around the world all have their attraction, as long as the wine in my glass is flavorful and frankly interesting, good enough to enjoy with a light chill and not a taste-bud-numbing freeze.
Today's tasting features the 2009 Santa Barbara County Rosato from Mosby Winery in Buellton, Calif., a winery for which I've held long affection thanks to proprietor Bill Mosby's fierce devotion to growing Italian grapes and making Italian-style wines on California's Central Coast.
This pink wine is made from estate-grown Cannonau grapes, the Sardinian version of Grenache. It's a rich, dense rosé, almost dark enough to qualify as a lighter red, and its dry, acidic red-fruit flavor gains heft from a solid but not overbearing 13.5 percent alcohol. It's a fine pink wine indeed, an attitude-changer for those who think they don't care for pink.
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Today's Tasting Report
Mosby 2009 Santa Barbara County Rosato ($18)
Clear, bright garnet, so dark for a rosé that it could pass on sight for a lighter-style red. Pleasant red-fruit aromas are complex and elusive ... cranberries, for certain, and a more subtle touch of raspberry. Tart, mouth-watering acidity on the palate underscores the impression of fresh cranberries, lingering into a very long, clean finish. An exceptional rosé, to the extent that my long-suffering wife, normally a rosé-hater, praises it and requests a second glass. (April 29, 2010)
FOOD MATCH: Good for summer sipping but fine with food, particularly suited to grilled chicken, sausages or pork. It was splendid with a Misty Meadows Farm Kentucky natural ham steak in peanut oil with a little fresh sage.
VALUE: While $18 may seem on the high side for a rosé, it's fair for a wine of this quality irrespective of color.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Wine-Searcher.com offers only limited sources for Mosby Rosato. To order it from the winery, click Mosby's red wine shopping cart and page down to the 2009 Rosato.
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