A Learned Man’s Guide to Rose
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2013 Quinta da Raza ‘Dom Diogo’
Portugal, like Greece, is fast becoming one of the world’s most interesting growing regions, particularly when you’ve got your wallet in mind. Quinta da Raza is a reliably excellent, traditional producer, and their rosé is damn delicious. It has a slight effervescence — paired with deep, ripe berry notes, it drinks like adult soda. Indulge your inner child in a way that won’t earn your dirty looks from the woman in your life.
FROM: Vinho Verde, Portugal. Surprise! Vinho Verde is, in fact, both the name of a region in Portugal and a super-cheap white you probably bought once by accident. Pay better attention. The wines coming out of Portugal right now deserve it.
DRINK WITH: Bocci and burgers.
2013 Montenidoli Canaiuolo Rosato
Elisabetta Fagiuoli is a woman who doesn’t care what you think about her wine, and we love her for it. The whip-witted proprietress of Montenidoli once told us she prefers culture over fashion, and her wines are filigreed, contemplative testaments to her ideals. The rosato is supremely elegant with fine wildflower and citrus blossom notes over white peach and minerals.
FROM: Tuscany, Italy. Tuscany can do way more than just Chianti. The whites of San Gimignano are unparalleled, and Italian rosés have good structure and complexity tableside.
DRINK WITH: Handmade pasta.
2013 Ameztoi ‘Rubentis’ Getariako Txakolina
This wine is the pinnacle of shameless refreshment. It’s fizzy, it’s fruity, it’s briny, it’s crisp and it’s perfectly pink. It’s almost vulgar in its perfection. Say “Chalk-oh-lee” and try not to feel suave.
FROM: Getariako Txakolina, Spain. Look to any of the sub-appellations of Txakoli in Spain’s Basque country for wines of overt drinkability. Made in a slightly effervescent style from grapes like Hondarribi Zuri and Mune Mahatsa, the wines are traditionally poured from glass porrons (thin-spouted carafes) into small cups or — if it’s a really great party — directly into the mouths of revelers.
DRINK WITH: Gold lamé and pintxos.
2013 Bedrock Wine Co ‘Ode to Lulu’ Ancient Vine Rosé
Morgan Twain-Peterson has maverick winemaking in his blood: his parents started Ravenswood, one of the first organic estates in California, and he made his first wine at the age of five. Twain-Peterson is carrying the progressive wine torch as a grown-up, too, with old-vine wines that look to the Old World for their inspiration, honoring balance and freshness over blown-out fruit and alcohol. Twain-Peterson took his cues for this wine from Domaine Tempier, a revered Provençal estate. The result is a stunning, rich rosé with serious architecture and complexity. He named for the wine for Lulu, the estate’s proprietress. Grapes are sourced from vineyard plantings dating back to the late 1800s, and its pedigree is obvious in the glass — this is serious stuff, with deep ripe berry and citrus oil notes under a layer of fresh herbs and rocks.
FROM: Contra Costa County, California. California winemaking is seeing a return to its roots as a small band of young producers are looking to the state’s undervalued vineyards for unique, rare fruit. Contra Costa doesn’t get any more off-the-beaten-freeway, with hidden patches of centuries-old vines crammed in between fast food joints and manufacturing plants.
DRINK WITH: Something truly badass, like that duck you confited yourself using a recipe your great-grandmother carried in her pocket all the way from the Old World.
2013 Donkey & Goat ‘Isabel’s Cuvée’
Jared and Tracy Brandt are the husband and wife team behind Donkey & Goat, and we look to them as touchstones for the changes happening on the California wine front. A garage winery in Berkeley, foot-stomped fruit, biodynamic vinification, old-vine sourcing and pet-nat production are innovations that keep us wanting more from this duo, who learned their trade from Rhône Valley master Éric Texier. Isabel’s Cuvée is earthy and luscious, and the delicate herbal aromatics that pull around at the finish feel like a secret reward after the mouthful of perfectly ripe strawberry fruit up front.
FROM: The Brandts source much of their fruit from vineyards with cool microclimates, allowing them to hit desired ripeness levels without sacrificing acidity. Mendocino County was the birthplace of Isabel’s grapes, and it’s an excellent region to scour for naturally produced wines with freshness and balance.
DRINK WITH: Whatever’s at the farmer’s market right now. This wine loves fresh vegetables.