CTV Ottawa Morning Live
May 3rd, 2017
Today on CTV Morning Live, CTVs Lianne Laing, Melissa Lamb, and Sommelier Matt showcased some patio-perfect wines to enjoy this spring and one thing they have in common…they’re all Rosés. Here’s the CTV video link.
Today’s theme: Patio-Perfect Spring Wines! 50+ Shades of Rosé!
Finally the beautiful spring weather has arrived and patios are opening all across town! For me the beginning of the patio season is when I love to start pouring Rosé wines, almost exclusively. After all, Rosés go hand in hand with good times!
In the winter I tend to open more red wine than white, sparkling, or Rosé, but that changes in the spring. With the allure of patio season finally here, this is the time of the year that I absolutely love enjoying Rosé wines. Picture a bistro set, a bottle of Rosé resting in a bucket of ice, a couple of friends (wearing shades in the sun), and a plate of charcuterie. Does it get any better?
Rosé wines, are wines made from dark skinned grapes, like Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, Grenache, Cinsaut, and Malbec, and due to the winemaking technique they don’t take on those deeper and darker colours that red wines are known for. Instead, Rosé wines impart only light to medium pink colours from a reduced time that the (grape) juice is in contact with the (grape) skins when pressed and fermented. Faint pink wines may have seen only an hour or so of ‘skin contact’ (grape juice in contact with grape skins (which provide the colour, taste, tannin, etc. of a wine)), whereas deep pink Rosé wines may have had several days of skin contact to impart a much darker colour, and likely a much different wine style than the lighter coloured versions, but don’t let colour fool you, as there’s more to it than that.
Like sparkling wine (currently one of my top food friendly wines of choice!), Rosé wines are produced in a wide array of styles from bone dry (mouth puckering acidity (great for pairing with rich food)), to sweet (giving flavours of cotton candy, bubble gum, and artificial fruit). The sweet versions are often referred to as “blush”. I love the bone dry to dry styles as they’re terrific with food, and on their own they’re incredibly refreshing. As far as the blush style of Rosé that often taste like cotton candy, I don’t have much interest or reason to pour it as I find it typically lacks acidity and also pack hundreds of calories per glass in residual sugar. There is a time and place for those wines, I just don’t happen to find myself there.
Practically every wine region in the world produces Rosé. One region, Tavel, in the south of France, produces nothing but rosé, 100% Rosé, and always dry in style. Needless to say, they do it very well and have been for hundreds of years (Louis XIV in the 18th century favoured Tavel). But France isn’t the only country that produces great Rosé. Canada does too! Canada is beginning to solidify its place on the international wine scene as a top producer of sparkling wine, including sparkling Rosé. Each of the major winemaking regions in Canada is producing top notch traditional method (i.e. like Champagne) sparkling wine, and the Rosé sparkling wines are some of the best.
In addition to a nice dry Rosé on a warm day, one of my other favourites is sparkling Rosé. The Champagne region in France is renowned for its Rosé Champagne, produced with one or both of the dark grapes they use in Champagne: Pinot Noir; and, Pinot Meunier. Rosé bubbly tends to command a slight premium in price as Pinot Noir grapes can be challenging to grow due to their thin skins, so don’t be surprised if you have to pay a tad more for that bottle of bubbly Rosé.
Today I choose a beautiful Canadian sparkling Rosé wine to start our spring celebrations with.
This is a wine I’m really excited about. Since creating their first bubbly in 1998, 13th Street’s sparkling wines have been one of their great strengths – a fact further underlined when Winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas (who is considered something of a guru in Ontario sparkling wine circles) joined in 2009. 13th Street Winery Cuvée Rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, with a hint of Gamay Noir. Produced in the same labour intensive manner as Champagne, this traditional method sparkling wine offers incredible value for such a lovely wine. Dry with lively acidity and a fine palate cleansing mousse, it shines bright with expressive field berries, cran-apple, biscuit, and mineral notes. Perfect as an aperitif, or on it’s own, and made even better with smoked salmon, charcuterie plates, or fresh garden salads with strawberries. Such a versatile wine and terrific value for a traditional method sparkling wine. Enjoy now or cellar for a few extra years.
Tasted March 2015, January 2016, and April 2017. A consistent 91 points each tasting. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca
Featherstone’s Rosé has won impressive awards in the past, including double gold medal at the 2014 Ontario Wine Awards. Year after year this sub $15 wine offers a very consumer friendly style that many reach to as their go-to patio-wine. The 2016 shows strawberry, candied watermelon, and baked cherry on the nose. Creamy and refreshing, with cherry and cran-apple persisting on the finish. Enjoy in the sun on a patio, and pair with grilled Cajun shrimp skewers. Tasted April 2017. 88 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca
Each vintage of Painted Rock Rosé I’ve tasted I’m consistently impressed with how delicious it is, and reminded how much I enjoy the style they produce (and that I need to stock up on it for my own enjoyment this summer). Produced in the Saignée method following 12 hours on the skins to incorporate significant flavour and varietal characteristics, it’s 100% estate grown (Penticton – Skaha Lake), comprised of a blend of 27% Merlot, 20% Cab Franc, 16% Syrah, 13% Malbec, 13% Cab Sauvignon, and 11% Petit Verdot – making for a very complex, structured, and flavourful Rosé. Its unique copper colour is accented with an orange hue which reminds me of a fine Madeira. The nose reflects the unique colour, with expressive notes of sweet brandied cherries, strawberry, watermelon, and a touch of baking spice. Viscous and creamy, this full bodied, textured, and well structured Rosé weighs in at 14.5% abv with ~11g/L RS – a result of the particularly hot vintage, which contributes to its lush yet refreshing style. With a finish that seems to go on forever…supported by its creamy texture, with layers of wild strawberry, cherry, and cinnamon persisting. This Rosé complements practically everything, my list includes: Orange Chicken, Paella, spicy dishes, cedar plank salmon, or assorted Charcuterie. Serve chilled with good company. Tasted April 2017. 93 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca