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Brosé All Day: The 13 Best Rosés to Sip This Summer

Brosé All Day: The 13 Best Rosés to Sip This Summer
These rosés take pink to a new level.

The Robb Report

Link to Full Article

JULY 6, 2019

BY JANICE O'LEARY, SARA L. SCHNEIDER

Until just recently—this year, in fact—a wine’s only job, come summer, was to be pink. Not sweet. Just pink. Rosé has ridden a wave of love over the last decade, beginning when we got over the shame of sweet white Zinfandel en masse and embraced the pleasure of a crisp, dry, pink wine haunted with delicate red fruit flavors. The style lately claiming the most allegiance: Provençal (although the term is over-used on the marketing front to the point of losing its meaning).

This year, though, it’s not enough to be pink, pale, and dry, in the style of rosés from the south of France. A rosé needs a distinctive character to stand out in the crowded field—a particular weight and flavor profile from the red grape variety(ies) it’s made from, for instance. A level of complexity and authenticity that make it an interesting wine, not just a beach pounder.

Leading the field in pushing rosé into wine geek territory (in the best way) is Kathleen Inman, who has produced a Pinot Noir Rosé from her Olivet Grange estate vineyard in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley since 2004, a wine she made to mark her 20th wedding anniversary to her husband, Simon, aptly called “Endless Crush.” Inman is convinced that a good rosé can not only carry unique flavor markers from its fruit source, but also reflect the nuances of the specific site the fruit came from. In fact, she believes rosé can do that almost better than a red wine.

Here’s how she explains it: “It’s my belief that the riper grapes get, the longer they stay on the vine, the more the unique varietal [and vineyard-specific] flavors are muddied. Pinots that are left to reach high brix before picking all take on stewed fruit, prune, or raisin flavors that aren’t easily differentiated from Syrah or Grenache that have also been left to hang. In contrast, if you pick when the grapes first become ripe, like I do for rosé, the unique flavors really stand out.”

So in 2018, besides the rosé from her estate vineyard, Inman made a rosé from two other vineyards she sources Pinot from in the region. The trio—a first, as far as we know—make a terrific study in terroir through rosé. “The contrast among the three vineyards I work with is very noticeable in the red wines,” she says, “but as rosé, they’re worlds apart.”

The three bottles of Inman’s Endless Crush would elevate a summer gathering of serious wine friends to all new levels of rosé consciousness. And we’ve added a few more of our new favorites—all offering the nuance of variety and place that make them serious wines.

[Kathleen inman rose]

Inman Family’s three Endless Crush versions. Courtesy of Kathleen Inman

Inman Family 2018 Olivet Grange Estate Vineyard Endless Crush Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

A distinct minerality in this Endless Crush—even a salinity (appealing)—underlines rose petals on the nose. Vibrant citrus and juicy watermelon follow on a palate marked by racy acidity, texture, and tension ($38).

Inman Family 2018 Pratt Vine Hill Endless Crush Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

The profound paleness of this wine belies its intensity of tart flavors. A savory herbal quality mixes with spice and haunting hibiscus on the nose, with under-ripe stone fruit and cherry carrying through a long, bright finish ($38).

Inman Family 2018 Pratt Sexton Road Endless Crush Rosé of Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

This one is about fruit. Fuller-bodied and darker pink, it offers up jasmine, forest, and spice on the nose, with loads of raspberry and strawberry following on an impressively structured palate, and a sassy kick of citrus trailing on the finish ($38).