A Swan Song to Summer Sipping?

 

Costco is “pretty in pink” –  with a nice pair of 2016’s to toast the passing of the summer of 2018.

Fast facts:

  • 2016 Noble Vines Central Coast (California) Rosé $9.99 (@Costco,  California)
  • 2016 Miralta Monterey (California) Rosé  $8.99 (@Costco, California)

Here we are, literally on the eve of autumn. I sort of love/hate this time of year. I am grateful for the cooler temperatures, and get excited by the harvest of the 2018 vintage here in wine country. But, the days are getting shorter.  Well, actually they aren’t.  They are still 24 hours long.  But they do seem shorter because we get progressively less daylight until the winter solstice arrives and starts clawing back sunlight from the Southern Hemisphere.

Hibernation season is upon us. Pretty soon the holidays start coming in quick succession and the next thing you know it’s a new year and you are carrying five extra pounds. (Okay, maybe that’s just me and maybe I just love fruit pies too much for my own good.)

Even before the “official” end of summer, many of us surrender the “lazy, hazy days” once Labor Day has come and gone.  I am not so sure this is a “thing” anymore (especially here in California) but it used to be that once Labor Day rolled around, the women put away their white slacks, and the men put away their linen jackets and seersucker suits. You all remember seersucker suits, right?

A similar thing used to occur with wine: rosé wines would burst forth around Easter like spring flowers, and come Labor Day, they would fade into the background or find their way into the clearance bins to make way for heavier reds and whites to sustain us through the long dark nights ahead.  That seems to have changed…

Lately, rosé seems to have become  nearly as ubiquitous – and as popular – as Chardonnay.  It get it. They are simple, easy-drinking and refreshing.  One need not think too much about them.  And I would argue, one need not pay too much for them either.  Which is why I like these two renditions from Costco.

Having spent some time as a radio deejay when I was in college (shout out to WERS-FM!) I would characterize the Noble Vine rosé as having been in “heavy rotation” in my home this summer when the temperatures were in the 90’s and above.  This is a nice medium-bodied rosé that features clean, bright flavors of pink grapefruit, strawberry and rhubarb pie.  The Wine Enthusiast awarded this wine 89 points. Not too shabby for stuff we were drinking around the pool in plastic tumblers a few short weeks ago!

The Miralta rosé is an interesting study in contrasts to the Noble Vine rosé.  Its front label proclaims it is produced using Methode Traditionelle practices, which is peculiar because this term is used when referring to the production of sparkling wines in the European Union.  But after my first sip, I realized what the winemaker was trying to communicate: this wine is very much inspired by the style of rosé made in Provence, France (which put pink wine on the map) using the same grape varieties. In short, it pays homage to the region where this style of wine was born.

The Miralta grapes come from the cool weather region of Monterey, which keeps sugars on the low side and the flavors on the more acidic side.  It features refreshingly crisp flavors of orange peel, strawberries and on the finish, faints notes of thyme.  These notes of herb are also reminiscent of the wines of Provence, where they refer to such flavors as “garrique” which come from the wild vegetation of the surrounding hillsides. Wine Enthusiast rated this wine too, and in this case awarded it 90 points.

Which wine is better? It’s really a matter of personal preference. My suggestion?  Invite some friends over for an Indian Summer celebration of warm autumn days and a riot of end of summer foods and try one of each. Let us know what you think by using our Contact Us page.

Cheers!

 

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