It is one of those weeks on the far west coast of Vancouver island that comes around to remind me that yes, I do indeed live in a rainforest and that winter is not ready to slip away just yet… I however am totally complete with winter and all of his offerings of braised meats, rich sauces, cords of firewood, and my favorite robust red wines. I have done my job well of steeping in his full seasonal cozy, socks included, which I kind of despise.
So what is a girl to do who is an early bloomer on spring? Coax spring along of course! Come play, I have a bottle of rosé! And the rosé I uncorked this evening happens to be one of my favorites I have not enjoyed in a very long time. It thoughtfully arrived amongst a random mixed bottle shipment last week, from Marquis Wines, phew.
Rosé at it’s best is created from a very short period of contact with the pressed clear grape juice and the skins of the dark-skinned grapes for anywhere from 24-36 hours. The process is called maceration and it gives the wine it’s light pink or pale salmon color. It also adds to the aroma and flavor profile. My wine this evening is a made with 100% Pinot Gris. The grape skins of Pinot Gris are in fact light purple in color, not green as you may have thought, and not as dark skinned as Malbec or Grenache.
A rosé wine can take on different profiles depending on where it is grown and what grapes it is composed of. It is generally safe to say that a new world example of rosé from say, Oregon, will likely be more fruit forward than what I am currenty drinking from France’s Loire Valley. This wine from the Reuilly region in the Loire is just downriver from Sancerre. This delightful wine offers more subtle fruit like pink grapefruit and some peach, I mean if I eek it out, I can get a small peach. Minerality is the name of the game and is wonderfully present in the wine due to the chalky soils the vines are grown on in Reuilly. I adore it’s austere offerings. It is a great contrast to the sun-kissed, sandy/clay soils of Provence, which bring her diverse family of rosé.
Reuilly Pinot Gris to me is like steely Chablis met up with its bohemian Provençal lover for a long overdue lunch and of course, they picked up just where they left off last summer. This is just what I needed to pair with fresh flounder and radish sprouts that were essential to declare winter over!