May is here. The mercury is on the rise. This can only mean one thing: Rosé Season Has Begun! However, rosé is not one size fits all. Which is why its time to look to Lodi, home to over 125 grape varieties, to quench your rosé thirst.
Lodi is known for their world class Zinfandels. However, zin is the tip of the Lodi iceberg. There are many ways to discover the diversity of Lodi wines, but with spring upon us and Mother’s Day fast approaching, rosé is a great way to explore the varieties of Lodi.
Lodi produces rosé from Grenache, Garnacha, Carignan, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Pinot Noir, Barbera, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel to name a few. Every Lodi rosé is distinct – reflecting its terroir and winemaking style.
There are two main approaches used by winemakers to make rosé. Though some prefer one style over another in theory, in glass I am not sure the difference is evident.
- Maceration: red wine grapes (with the skin) are left to macerate (rest) as long as the winemaker likes (usually 2-20 hours); after this maceration the wine (juice only) is transferred into different tanks to complete the fermentation and wine making process; this is the most common form of crafting rosé
- Saignée: during the process of making red wine some of the juice of the red wine grapes is “bled” off (or drained) and transferred to another vat to be crafted into rosé; this allows the winemaker to produce a rosé wine – while also increasing the concentration or intensity of the red wine
In the end we just want rosé that is crisp, refreshing and enjoyable – right? Here are three from Lodi that fit the bill.
2017 Michael David Cinsault Rosé Lodi USA ($22): This wine is crafted of 100% ancient vines Cinsault. This is the first rosé made by the winery since 2007. Michael David is taking the best of the two rosé making methods and blending them together to craft this wine. Initially, creating two different rosé – whole berry maceration to capture floral notes and acidity, and saignée to provide bright pink color with additional sets of flavors. These two styles are joined together in a final blend and bottled for your enjoyment. This wine has notes of summer red berries, ripe stone fruit, and fresh picked citrus. It has nice texture on the palate, perhaps a result of the blending style, but maintains its crisp and refreshing nature with mouth-watering acidity. This is a perfect wine to sip on a warm day and to pair with all your warm weather favorite foods. Click here to purchase this wine.
2016 McCay Cellars Dry Rosé Lodi USA ($18): This wine is crafted of 100% Grenache. McCay incorporates traditional old world style winemaking methods, including utilizing maceration and native yeast fermentation, to make this wine. The first time I had this wine was in Lodi in 2016. Mike greeted us in his vineyard with a glass of rosé. At the time I felt it was crisp and refreshing – perfect sipping on a hot summer’s day. Today as I taste notes of fresh strawberries, ripe stone fruit, citrus, and a touch of herbal notes I am enjoying this wine all over again – and reminiscing of standing in his vineyard. This is an easy rosé to drink and enjoy. Click here to purchase this wine.
2017 Macchia Ridiculous Rosé Lodi USA ($25): This wine is crafted of a blend of Italian and Spanish varieties. Macchia calls this wine “summertime in a glass.” That is a great description of another easy to drink and enjoy Lodi rosé. A savory nose as it offers notes of fresh herbs intermingled with strawberries, rhubarb, and orange blossom. Bright, light, crisp, and refreshing – a perfect way to stay cool.
My Song Selection:
Get your own selection of Lodi rosé for spring and summer sipping and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!