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Originally Posted: June 08th, 2014
Of course, that’s not true – the rest of the world has always been pink. The need for refreshing rosés for summer is recognized all wine regions, and the best of them show the distinctive characteristics of the places they come from. This season at Pour, we have a truly international selection, featuring rosés from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Greece, and the good ol’ US of A, all with one thing in common: they are delicious! But you knew that already, because they’re Pour selections.
Let’s begin in our own backyard. Just out on the South Fork of Long Island, in the hamlet of Sagaponack, Wölffer Estate Rosé ($20) has raised the bar for domestic pink to the level of Provence, than which there is no higher. Their blend of Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, softened (unusually) by a generous dollop of Chardonnay, is a real fruit basket in a bottle: the strawberry and red cherry of Pinot Noir, the cranberry, red currant, and red apple of Merlot and Cab Franc, and the pear and yellow apple of Chardonnay, all with a peachy mouthfeel that makes this wine a real quaffer and perfect pair for steamed lobster. This is one to grab quickly, too, because it will run out soon!
Store favorite Cascina Pace from the Piemonte, known for its Langhe Nebbiolo, lets some of that juice stay rosato, as well, favoring us with us with the saignée Pace Rosanebbia ($20), a delicious mouthfiller that shows how well the Italians understand pink wine. Settling into our Plush section quite comfortably, Rosanebbia sports rich strawberry and red cherry set in an unctuous, peachy mouthfeel and is my wine of choice for the cool of evening, and a plate of salumi and cheese. Another rosé made from a noble grape is the Markowitsch Rosé of Pinot Noir ($19) from Carnuntum in Austria. This is a riverbank rosé (Danube or Hudson, it doesn’t matter), with flavors of roses and violets, cherries and raspberries, and a delicious creaminess that make it a perfect picnic sipper (it comes in screwcap, too). If there’s no riverbank handy, your couch will also do, with a savory chicken salad. Don’t rule out armchairs, either, or crosslegged on the floor.
For value, nothing beats wine from an ancient winemaking region in the process of rediscovering itself. At Pour this summer, we are pleased to showcase two pinks in this category. Akakies Rosé ($18) from famed Greek maker Kir-Yianni is made from Xinomavro, the best of the native Greek grapes, another noble variety often compared to Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo. It brings you really bright strawberry (so fresh, right out of the basket), red cherry and raspberry, with an underpinning of savory herbs and a touch of tannin fine enough to please Bacchus himself. It makes me want tuna carpaccio, or salad Niçoise. From Hungary, a region not so well-known but just as ancient in wine, comes the delicious Apátsági Pannonhalmi Rosé ($16), from a winery so old that the interruption of forty years of Communism was just a blip on its history. Founded in 996 by Benedictines, refounded in the Nineties after Communism fell, the monks of Apátsági Pincészet aim to convince you Hungarian wine is great. And this pink is a strong argument, too, one whose soundness you may want to check out time and again. Both light and rich, this blend of Pinot Noir (50%), Merlot (30%) and Cabernet Franc (20%) begins in roses (pink, red, and yellow), moves on to watermelon, strawberry, and red apple, and finishes with a supple softness. Have it with a salad of spinach, walnuts, and strawberries.
Last we come to the most rare and interesting of our pinks, the perennial favorite and highly-allocated Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina ($30), (ask for the chock-o-lee-na) a mysterious and amazing wine from the Basque region of northern Spain. Slightly fizzy, made from grapes even we don’t know well (Hondarrabi Belza and Hondarrabi Zuri), this year’s version is rich and ripe, with luscious red cherries and cedar, raspberries with brambly notes, acidity and effervescence in perfect balance, a wine through which you can feel yourself gathering speed as it goes down your throat – remember the first time you took off in an airplane? It’s like that. Check it out. It only gets better with ceviche and heirloom tomatoes, with manchego to follow.
Pink! Drink it while it’s hot! We’ll be there to help you out.
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