John Paul Kaminga
Updated: Feb 25, 2022
It's rosé season! Maybe not for you, but for the wine trade, the month of February is the time to commit to the newest vintage of pink wines from the northern hemisphere. This year, things are different. Tariffs loom, and importers are waiting to see what happens before they make any big moves. Rumors swirl, but we know that any new tariffs will have to go in effect by mid-February, so we can be assured that the wait will be over soon...
In any case, we love drinking rosé all year, even when it's the dead of winter. Pink wine can be complex and savory, full of the nuance and depth that has made white and red wine more esteemed. There's no inherent reason why a pink wine can't be serious, though it is true that a great many are made to be simple quaffs of little distinction.
We have selected a group of four more or less serious pink wines to feature. You might say that some have a wintry edge, while others are more fruity and summery, we just know that each of them is delicious regardless of the season.
Txomin Etxaniz Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2018
This would be one of the more summery wines in the group, as it is quite focused on fruit, but it is not simply fruity. Bone dry at 11% alcohol, with intense red berry notes accented by seaspray, rosehips and citrus, it is light and refreshing but quite complex and gripping. This stuff is killer, oh and did we mention that it should be $24, not $14? Another reason why February is a good time for pink wine: importers get rid of excellent rosé at rock bottom prices!
Pax Trousseau Gris Fanucchi-Wood Road Vineyard 2018
Hard to pin this one down; it is quite simply one of the most interesting wines we carry. Myriad fruit aromas (berries, tropical fruits, citrus) are accompanied by notes fresh flowers, herbs, mint and fennel; it is a pure joy to smell. Lively and fresh on the palate, with the mildest tannic grip and tons of minerality, it finishes dry and clean despite its initial attack of rich fruit. At no point was any sulfur used in the making of this wine. It is a must try for fans of fine pink wine.
Luis Pato Baga Bruto NV
One of Portugal's innovators and the world's first global ambassador for the Bairrada region and its native grapes, most notably Baga. The Baga cultivar can make powerful reds worth saving for decades, and that is Luis Pato's specialty, but with this lively sparkling wine he harvests Baga early to get the fresh acidity needed for fine bubbly wine. Berry and herbal flavors play nicely, while zippy bubbles cut through rich fruit flavors on the palate.
Domaine Ilarria Irouleguy Rosé 2018
It's back! Can't wait to try the new vintage with you. Irouleguy is a region in the foothills of the Pyrenees and their wines are pretty rare in these parts. Domaine Ilarria is a certified organic estate making excellent wine in three colors, but it is their pink wine that often garners the most attention. Typically bold and savory, with strong mineral and earthy flavors next to pure fruit, this blend of 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Franc is a wondrous pink wine. It has a rabid following in some circles, and it can disappear quickly, but you can get a sip on Saturday.