Pretty in Pink: A Trio of Rosés from Rodney Strong Vineyards, Pisoni Family, and KORi Wines

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine writer, and someone who appreciates the liquid expression of place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages out there. The world of wine offers endless opportunities to learn and taste new things.

There are many faces and pretty shades of pink to the incredibly versatile and food-friendly wine we call rosé. You must get acquainted with some of them if you haven’t already!  

The wines featured in this post are all delicious dry styles of rosé. As the dog days of summer wind down, rosé should not completely fall off your wine radar. As many of you know, rosé isn’t just a summer staple; its freshness, bright acidity, and overall food-friendly nature make it a superb choice to throw in the mix at Thanksgiving and beyond. And don’t even get me started with holiday entertaining, where sparkling rosé is a must-have! Below are three selections worth seeking out while supplies last. For further information and where you can find them, please see my tasting notes below.

Rodney Strong Vineyards 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir

Rodney Strong Vineyards 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir (SRP $25): Not all pink wines are created equally. This is an “intentional rosé,” meaning that the grapes were grown and picked specifically to make this wine. It pours a lovely pale pink color, with an onion skin-like tint. This wine exudes fun and freshness. There are subtle aromas of red summer berries and white pitted fruit, joined by delicate notes of spring flowers and citrus zest on the palate. A mouthwatering jolt of bright acidity keeps it stimulating throughout and readies you for another sip. I enjoyed this wine on its own and with a tasty batch of beer battered onion rings (I finally found a use for beer!). The awesome thing about rosé is that pairing possibilities are nearly endless, particularly for those on the drier side of the house like this one. Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California. Other info: ABV 12.5%, 100% stainless steel, cold-fermented, screw cap enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Pisoni Family 2018 Lucy Rosé of Pinot Noir

Pisoni Family 2018 Lucy Rosé of Pinot Noir (SRP $19): Lucy is a special bottling in that it joins the fight against breast cancer. Its inspiration is a cancer survivor named Lucy, and since 2006, $1 of every bottle sold is donated to breast cancer aid and research. Lucy is made by winemaker Jeff Pisoni, and farmed by his brother Mark. It’s produced from 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir fruit. Roughly 26% of this wine is made as an “intentional rosé.” The other 74% is produced using the saignée method—a by-product of red wine production, where some juice is siphoned off a fermenting red wine and made into rosé. This leaves a higher ratio of skin contact on the remaining juice, resulting in a more concentrated red wine—the batch of rosé is a bonus. As for this particular rosé, not only is it delicious, but it supports a good cause. Pale salmon in color, it is aromatic with striking freshness and good texture, delivering vibrant notes of stone fruit, tart red berries, and rose petals, all framed by an invigorating, natural acidity. This wine is rumored to be a favorite amongst backyard BBQ enthusiasts (and I’m raising my hand!). Approximately 1,041 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California. Other info: ABV 13.9%, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

KORi Wines 2018 Rosé 

KORi Wines 2018 Rosé (SRP $24): I had the pleasure of being introduced to this small producer through the good folks at The Pink Society (who, as I’m coming to learn, have a talent for sniffing out a great rosé). KORi is a partnership between Santa Lucia Highlands grape and citrus grower Kirk Williams and his stepdaughter Kori Violini. This is the winery’s first rosé, and winemaker Sabrine Rodems, who also makes wine for Scratch Wines and Wrath, hit it out of the park. Made from estate-grown Pinot Noir, it pours a deep electric pink color, with upbeat flavors of cherry, pomegranate and apricot, followed by a lingering hint of wet stone. In the mouth, it is fresh and racy, with perky acids and a crisp finish. The owners recommend trying this rosé with enchilada casserole, which sounds fantastic. Whether you enjoy it with food or on its own, one thing is for certain: it is delightful and very gulpable! Only 200 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California. Other info: ABV 13%, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

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