Deeper Shades of Pink
Morgan Twain-Peterson, Bedrock Wine Co.
In the past decade, Provence ushered in a rosé boom lit by a pale pink. Sales of the southern French pink claimed nearly 30 percent of all retail rosé sales by volume (and 43 percent by value) in the US in 2016. Whether wine drinkers are choosing based on taste or reputation, the popularity of pale Provençal pinks on the marketplace has had one clear effect: light-colored rosés have become de rigueur—to the point where vintners feel pressured to keep colors light.
Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock Wine Co. in California felt this pressure with his Ode to Lulu Rosé in 2013. Thanks to the effects of the drought, he says, “that vintage was a dark year for wines across the board, and [Ode to Lulu] was two or three shades darker. We had trouble selling through the wine because of the color. We still take that into account when we make it.”
Although the color of rosé usually says more about the varieties chosen to make it than the wine’s taste or complexity, Twain-Peterson and other winemakers have found that wine drinkers assume the color communicates quality. But Twain-Peterson, for his part, is ready to go only so far to keep the color light. “What sets Lulu apart,” he says, “is that we are picking old vines for it. The youngest vines were planted in 1922. Everything else is from the 1880s and 1890s.” The result is a wine of innate complexity, regardless of color, and plenty of freshness.
Other vintners are taking inspiration from southern Italy (like Ryme Cellars, with their Gianelli Vineyard Aglianico Rosé) and parts of France other than Provence, like Chinon (Extea Cabernet Franc Rosé), and Savoie (Jaimee Motley Mondeuse Rosé), where there’s a history of rosé from other varieties across a broad range of pinks.
A Broader Spectrum
Or Portugal: Nathan Roberts and Duncan Arnot Meyers began working with touriga nacional grown in California’s North Coast for their rosé in 2011. “That first year, we went directly to press with little skin contact, thinking it would make a dark […].
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