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Rosé Wines to Drink This Spring

Rose from Mumm

The Brangelina rosé may have sold out faster than any rosé ever in the history of rosé, but don't worry, we've got a few good ones in the Bay Area being released just in time for the Vernal Equinox on March 20th — which marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere or, as we like to think of it, the season for rosé.

Rosé, being a wine that is typically enjoyed in its youth, often gives us the first taste of the previous vintage — the first wine to emerge from fall’s fermentation and winter’s élevage to present its pretty pink self. It’s the very essence of rebirth and re-awakening; it gives the sense of tiny buds beginning to unfurl, picnic blankets being spread over tender blades of grass. Okay, you get it: Rosé in the springtime is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Here are a few we highly recommend pairing with a sunny afternoon—even if you still need a sweater in San Francisco.

2012 Peay Vineyards Russian River Rosé of Pinot Noir

Peay doesn’t make a lot of wine period, so we were pretty excited to discover that they used some of their great fruit for a rosé. As you would expect from brothers Nick and Andy, the wine is no less than brilliant — picked with the intention of making a rosé (rather than bleeding off and fermenting excess juice to further concentrate their red wine, as some producers tend to do), the Peay rosé is fresh, bright, delicious, and surprisingly complex. This is a pale pink even the most serious of wine drinkers can appreciate. Available at Arlequin.

2012 Matthiasson Napa Valley Rosé of Syrah

When asked about the inspiration for his rosé, Steve Matthiasson cites Champagne. From a rocky, windy vineyard overlooking Carneros, Matthiasson picks the Syrah for his rosé at low sugars (19 Brix)— before any of the meaty, bloody characters associated with the Rhone-native have time to develop. Furthering the Champagne tradition, Matthiasson presses the whole clusters —-a more gentle way of extracting the juice — and ferments it in stainless steel barrels. A remarkable minerality lends complexity to flavors of bright grapefruit, white peach and blood orange zest.  Available at Arlequin and K&L.  

2012 Farmers Jane Rosé of Grenache and Cinsault

With fruit from the Camp Four vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley, friends and winemakers Angela Osborne (of Grace Wine Company) and Faith Armstrong Foster (Onward Wines) have crafted a rosé in the tradition of southern France as part of their joint venture, Farmers Jane — wines that nod, as Osborne puts it to, “the feminine aspects in farming, winemaking, nurturing and the balance we believe this energy can bring.” Available at K&L