The Bay Area's version of summer — Indian summer — has arrived, and that usually means it's time for the final rosé column of the year. Instead of zoning in on one area or grape, here is a hodge podge of five more wines to check out before the temperature drops and the rain begins to fall (hopefully):
Moulin de Gassac Vin de Pays de l'Herault, 2013 (Languedoc, France): The Guibert family, of Mas de Daumas Gassac fame, originally started this label to prevent old, hillside vines in the French towns of Villeveyrac and Pullacher from being ripped out. While Mas de Gassac makes arguably the most treasured wines in the Languedoc, Moulin de Gassac provides some of the best value in the region. Composed of grenache, carignan and syrah, it is medium-bodied with tart strawberries and a hint of lemon. Suggested Retail: $11
Knez Rosé of Pinot Noir, Estate, Cerise Vineyard, 2013 (Anderson Valley, CA): Peter and Heidi Knez own several of the most coveted vineyards in the Anderson Valley, including the Cerise Vineyard. Planted in 1995 to 10 different clones of pinot noir, the vines are maturing and the wines are showing a myriad of characteristics, even the rosé. With traces of hibiscus, red berries and citrus, this is an elegant wine that won't hit you over the head with fruit but subtly let's you know it is there. Suggested Retail: $21
Idlewild Wines Vin Gris of Grenache, 2013 (Mendocino County, CA): Proprietor Sam Bilbro has a particular fondness for Italian wines and he does a bang-up job with both cortese and arneis, two white wine varietals found in Piedmont, yet his Vin Gris of Grenache is equally delightful. Medium-bodied and bright, but not overly acidic, with floral and citrus aromatics, as well as hints of grapefruit and strawberries on the palate, it is a perfect rosé to drink as the local weather transitions over the next couple of months. Suggested Retail: $24
Thierry Richoux Bourgogne Rosé, 2013 (Burgundy, France): Thierry Richoux is located in Irancy, which has only been an appellation d'origine contrôlée for 15 years. Coming from the most northern red wine region in Burgundy, the wines are known for their penetrating minerality and often austere fruit. While the reds from the area appeal mostly to those who enjoy leaner, lighter and terroir-driven pinot noir, it is a perfect place to make rosé. Bone-dry with cranberries, pomegranate, and a squeaky clean minerality, it is a rosé with purity, focus and finesse. Suggested Retail: $24
Domaine Henry Natter Sancerre Rosé, 2013 (Loire Valley, France): Cécile and Henry Natter founded Domaine Henry Natter 40 years ago. He tends to the vineyards, while she is in charge of winemaking. Composed of pinot noir, half of the wine was aged in a large foudre, and the other half in stainless steel tanks. A full-bodied rosé with transparent, bright red fruit and mineral underpinnings, it makes a statement without being overpowering. Suggested Retail: $24
Some of these wines can be found at Bi-Rite Grocery, Castro Village, D&M Liquor, Ruby Wine and William Cross Wine Merchant.
Pamela S. Busch has been working in the wine industry since 1990 as a writer, educator and consultant and co-founded Hayes & Vine Wine Bar and Cav Wine Bar & Kitchen. In 2013, she launched TheVinguard.com, a blog covering a variety of wine-related topics.