Wine of the Week: Wölffer Estate ‘Summer in a Bottle’ Rosé

(Credit: Lenn Thompson)

(Credit: Lenn Thompson)

I don’t really subscribe to the all-too-common term “rosé season.” I do drink more rosé from May to September than the cooler months, but I drink it year round. Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t happen in my house without rosé.

The reasons are plentiful, but the main thing I look for in any wine is versatility. Rosé, depending on its style, can work with most any food. Not Frosted Flakes, perhaps, but you can find rosé that helps everything from local fluke crudo to duck confit to a burger shine. A bold, slightly tannic rosé can even work with a steak.

This week’s Wine of the Week doesn’t fall into that category. It’s more of a rosé to enjoy on the beach, by the pool or with lighter fare.

Wölffer Estate 2015 “Summer in a Bottle” Rosé ($24), made from 57% merlot, 20% cabernet franc, 12% chardonnay, and 11% gewürztraminer, isn’t as overtly fruity as previous vintages, but is still focused and super refreshing.

Blending with gewurztraminer requires a deft touch — even a part of a percent too much and the final wine will be dominated by perfumey and floral notes. Winemaker Roman Roth really dialed this in, resulting in a wine that smells of just-ripened strawberries, cantaloupe and white flowers, which are there, but don’t take over.

The palate is medium-bodied with a decidedly savory minerality and citrusy acidity that frames notes of red berries, peaches and melon. As the wine warms a bit, there is an intriguing little spicy note at the end of the long finish.

More than 12,000 cases were made in 2015. Remember that this is only one of three rosés that Roth makes (four if you include the sparkling variety). Clearly, he has a way with rosé.

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