Alaska News

Think pink: Rosé wine is fresh, zesty and perfect for Valentine's Day

The color of rosé is the color of love. In fact, rosés and roses are pretty good matches for Valentine's Day gifting.

Rosés are very special wines. They are rooted in history. In fact, they were the preferred style of the ancients. Traditionally, rosés are made by leaving the skins with the juice for a day or two until a light color appears. You see, grapes have white juice, whether they are green-skinned or black. There are exceptions, called teinturiers, but they are few and far between. Once the juice is removed from the skin, the rosé is fermented like a white wine.

The result is a fresh, zesty beverage that makes one happy. Below are a few stunning examples you can give with pride. Happy Valentine's Day!

2013 Miraval Rosé, Cotes de Provence, France

Owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Miraval Rosé became instantly famous around the world. Aside from that, Miraval is truly awesome. Production is handled by the Perrin family, owners of Château de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf du Pape. That is a very good thing! The wine is bright, citrusy and focused. It has beautiful white flower scents and firm, racy acids. They nailed this one. Costs about $30.

2013 Minuty "M," Cotes de Provence, France

Sunshine and vineyards close to the Mediterranean make the rosés from Cotes de Provence extra special. Hence I have three in this article. Chateau Minuty "M" is a beautiful, beaming, fresh blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah. Peach, orange and vibrant citrus are extra juicy. The winery is family-owned since the '30s, and the current generation is serious on quality. Costs about $20.


2013 Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel, Cotes de Provence, France

Chateau d'Esclans comes to us from Sacha Lichine, son of the famous wine merchant Alexis Lichine. This estate is like no other. Its use of technology is impressive; optical sorters de-stem the clusters and remove any imperfect berries and heat exchangers cool the fruit and produce three grades of juice. From vineyard to bottle, every step is taken to the most exacting standard. The result is a clean freshness that's like bottled summer. Costs about $25.

2013 J Vineyards Vin Gris, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

Judy Jordan grew up in Sonoma at her family's winery, Jordan. She made her mark with sparkling wine. You may have seen "J" around. Good sparkling wine requires pinot noir, and pinot noir allows one to make some very, very good rosés. The J Van Gris is produced by the saignee method, where a portion of juice is bled off from a tank of freshly crushed and stemmed red wine grapes. This raises the skin-to-juice ratio, resulting in a deeper, more concentrated red. The bleed can be used to make an awesome, killer rosé. Strawberries, citrus and a vivacious character greet you with each sip. Costs about $25.

2013 Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

This one from Oregon is more white than rosé. Still, it has a hint of color. This is free-run juice right from the press, with no or very little skin contact. The qualities in this wine are so special it's unlike anything else. Fresh white flowers, stone fruits, spice and zest are like fine-cut crystal, a real show-stopper. Costs about $25.

2014 Fabre Montmayou Rosé, Mendoza, Argentina

Fabre Montmayou is the creation of Hervé Fabre, a Bordeaux native and wine negociant who followed the wine migration to Argentina in the '90s. He set up two wineries and both make killer stuff. I love this syrah-grenache rosé done in the traditional method of cold soaking with the skins for eight hours. Citrus, light grapefruits and rose petal perfume show in this fresh, light-bodied wine. Costs about $13.

2013 Montevina White Zinfandel, Amador County, California

The ubiquitous white zinfandel. No rosé list would be complete without one. White zinfandel introduced so many to wine. Today, most of it is augmented in some way and blended down pretty hard, but Montevina has one with an Amador County appellation. A pretty great place to grow zinfandel. At 100 percent, it has a bronze copper hue. Its fresh berry aromas and strawberry fruits match a nice sweetness. Clean and lifting, this zinfandel is harvested early for firm acidity. Costs about $8.

Mike McVittie reviews wines available in Anchorage.