In springtime, a wine geek’s fancy turns to thoughts of rosé, and each year at this time I gorge myself on the new arrivals from Provence, the Rhone, or elsewhere in southern France, branching off occasionally to try some rosados from Spain or Italian rosati. When I draw up my list of favorites, however, there is almost always at least one Californian on the list – the Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Rosé of Sangiovese. As usual, the 2011 vintage is delicious.
This is what I call an “intentional” rosé, meaning the grapes were grown and harvested with pink in mind, and was not made from juice siphoned off to concentrate a red wine. This year’s version, gussied up in a stylish new label (and still sporting that jaunty screwcap), has a bit of stemmy quality, which could conceivably be a reflection of the tricky harvest California experienced. Yet this only adds interest to the juicy flavors of strawberry and watermelon that follow. The screwcap keeps it fresh, too; a little bit left over was just as good the second night.
At $15, this is not a cheap rosé. But even at that price it is well within the range of the top European rosés, and it is well worth looking for.
Twist it open, pour yourself a glass, and sit back and enjoy our lovely spring weather.