|Chateau de Berne Rose Casts an Elegant Golden Hue Photo Credit Bill Rockwell|
For years, I’ve been touting (and enjoying) the pleasures and virtues of rosé wine. This from someone who puts White Zinfandel, all too often sweet and syrupy, at the very bottom of my list of drinkable wines.
American wine drinkers familiar with White Zinfandel probably equate rosés with the sweet, pinkish wines that originally came out of California in the 1970s and still do. But Old World wine consumers know that rosés can be bone dry, palatable and pleasantly flavorful.
Rosés are made with red grapes, but instead of letting the skins rest among the pressed juices for a prolonged period, they’re removed before they impart a deep red color to the juice (usually for a few hours up to several days), leaving behind a wine that can vary in color from pale pink to nearly red. As a rule, the longer the skins sit on the juice, the deeper the color.
Rosés have an often overlooked advantage in that they’re very versatile. They’re a perfect marriage to barbecue, they lighten up any picnic and are a good pick for entrees like chicken, pork, seafood and dessert or just sipping on its own. Inexpensive to produce, they are usually equally inexpensive on the wine store shelf as well. Another advantage is that they don’t need to age and are ready to drink soon after bottling.
Rosés have the advantages of both red and white wines and occupy the middle ground between these two wine types. While less intense and robust than reds, they have more body and depth than whites.
Recently I came across a dry rosé from Provence, the region most often equated with the heartland of rosé wines, although they are now also made in places as far flung as Chile, South Africa, California and New Zealand.
Chateau de Berne has been making wine since at least 1750 and currently tends 292 acres of vines in Provence between the Mediterranean and Verdon Canyon. The Chateau’s 2013 rosé, made with 50% Cinsault and 50% Grenache, comes in an unusually shaped square bottle in which the wine has a tint of golden color. The vintage is very dry and reminds me of a Sauvignon Blanc.
The 2013 vintage earned a 90 score and a Publisher’s Pick from the Wine Enthusiast and 89 points from the Win Spectator. It was also a finalist in the Ultimate Wine Challenge with 90 points.
Pale salmon in color and with 13.5% alcohol, the rosé’s flavors are very subtle and delicate with insinuations of citrus, apple and peach. Chilled, the Chateau de Berne rosé is a wonderful summer treat that can also be enjoyed year-round. Suggested retail price is $19.99.