5 Rosés to beat the summer heat

Judith Papesh
Lifestyle grey Dot

Our best summer rosé

Now that the solstice has ushered in Summer, here’s five of my favorite rosés to pair with the thermometer to keep you cool. Rosé is a go-to wine worldwide, whatever the season; refreshing, food-friendly, and beautiful in the glass. Served chilled and often lower in alcohol than other wines, these dry, crisp wines are worth a sip. Rosé may be the all day any day wine, but I prefer to set a mood with our Summer Chill playlist and indulge in the wines of our Rose Wine Collection that bring the color of sunset to your glass.

Rosé wines are made by crushing or pressing red grapes and allowing the skin pigment to color the clear grape juice. The wines can be the faintest pink or salmon to richer colors depending on the varietal and the desired style. Skin contact can introduce tannin, and some winemakers use oak barrels for short-term aging, giving rosés a surprisingly complex body and texture.  

The classic rosé wines of Provence are typically made from the red grapes Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah and often include the white grape Rolle (Vermentino). Washington state is a happy place for the red grapes found in a classic Provençal style rosé and some winemakers use powerhouse Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc for deeply colored roses. Oregon shows the elegant side of rosé with sparkling wines from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in a classic Champagne region style.

Washington rosé of Syrah

Inky Syrah, with its typical black fruits, licorice, and spice, makes a beautiful rosé with surprising red fruity and floral aromas and showcases a range of enticing hues.

Rising Wines Collective 2021 Streetvine Rosé of Syrah

Our own Rising Wines Collective Streetvine Rosé of Syrah uses a direct press method (no crushing) and 12 hours of skin contact to create its beautiful pale pink color. A slow and cool fermentation has given us sweet red strawberry and cherry aromas with minty herbs and white flowers. Crisp citrus flavors with those Syrah berries and medium acids make this a great food pairing with roasted salmon, watermelon feta salad, or a spicy grilled chicken.

2020 Warr-King Wines Marie Noelle Syrah Rosé

Warr-King Wines uses Syrah from the Royal Slope to bring us their deep salmon-colored Marie Noelle Syrah Rosé —another direct press wine with ripe red cherry, stone fruit, and white jasmine aromas. Lip–smacking acids with rich cherry and stone fruit flavors blend into a lingering finish. A bit bolder than Streetvine, Marie Noelle also will pair with barbecued salmon and chicken while not shying away from more intense dishes like Chicken Cacciatore.

Mourvèdre rosé

2019 Laterus Mourvèdre Rosé

Mourvèdre is the bold, smoky, black-fruited grape of the heat-loving Mediterranean. Laterus uses that bold character to craft a remarkable rose using whole cluster fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Sporting a medium salmon color, it has bright aromas of red apples and cherries, melon, stone fruits, orange peel, and white flowers. In the glass, crisp apple and grapefruit flavors with red cherry lead to a great finish that brings honey and graham cracker notes. This wine has the depth to pair with almost any food and is intriguing enough to accompany rich meats like grilled lamb or dishes with duck.

Traditional rosé from Cinsault and Grenache

Two Vintners 2020 Have a Nice Day Rosé 

Two Vintners calls on Cinsault and Grenache in their 2020 Have a Nice Day Rosé. The grapes were handpicked, crushed, and allowed to rest on the skins for 6 hours before being pressed. Have a Nice Day is a complex wine fermented in neutral French oak barrels by native yeast followed by natural malolactic fermentation and bottling after five months. The wine is colored pale copper. Pleasant aromas of lemon and stone fruits, pear, and hints of cherry, with baking spices, flow from the glass. Juicy watermelon, lemon, and dried herb flavors follow in a balanced wine. A blend of elegance and structure, this wine is a dream with prepared fish, white meats, and even a flavorful pasta salad.

A sparkling brut rosé

Lytle-Barnett 2016 Brut Rosé

It’s easy to get caught up in the glamor that is sparkling wine and forget that while it’s sparkling, a brut rosé is indeed a rosé. That glamor and elegance are very much a part of Oregon vintner Lytle-Barnett’s 2016 Brut Rosé. From a classic measure of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one–third Chardonnay, this is an occasion wine, but don’t miss any reason to enjoy it. The fruit was handpicked and treated to an overnight chill before pressing to preserve delicate aromatics, then fermented in stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. The wine was bottled in 2017 and aged on the lees until disgorged in 2020.

All that care netted a pale pink wine with aromas of red berries, mushroom, earth, and bread that carry through to potent flavors of cherry, red berries, raspberry, bread, and lemon cream. Elegant and complex, you can still start with popcorn, follow with oysters, then finish with crab, and the only question will be, is there another bottle?

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About Judith Papesh

Retired Winemaker, Winemaking Consultant, and Washington State Licensed Geologist. Bourgogne Master Level Certification, French, Italian, and Spanish Wine Scholar Certifications

In the first class to complete Washington State University (WSU) Extension Enology Certification, Judith opened her winery, crafting wines that garnered local and international acclaim before turning her attention to studying and educating about the world's wines. "Winemaking is very much an art as well as a science; it is a consuming passion that drives you during the day, keeps you up at night, and when the wine is right, simply leaves you breathless."