We are sure that we have commented before on why Valencian Rosado wines are a must drink in Summer. This has mainly been because it is simply too hot to drink red wine between June and September. Rosados enjoy the body of red wines but the acidity and freshness of white wines and we have yet to find any food with which they do not match.
This Summer there are several other reasons to consider them!
Firstly, the grape harvest in most of Europe was down by 30-40% because of frosts in Spring and storms later in the year, which reduced the crop severely. France has been a major supplier of Rosados and here the harvest was particularly hard hit. Carrefour have been a bellwether for French rosados and it will be interesting to see whether they have the same number of wines this year!
Another reason is that 2017 was a particularly good year for Rosado from Valencia’s wine regions. Although bodegas have traditionally not made large amounts of this style of wine because they have not been popular, this is all changing. In our tastings, we are noticing more and more Valencians are coming to appreciate Rosado and in particular their own wines. It is especially noticeable that young Spanish people in general are turning “from Beer to Wine.” The trend in figures is showing a marked change. We have also seen it in the wine-fairs.
Made from Monastrell, Bobal, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Garnacha , Merlot, Syrah or Embolicaire (a native variety) or blends of some or several of them, we have yet to taste a bad Rosado from 2017 and we have already tried many!
From Castellon province we have enjoyed wines from the cooperative at Vivers, the blend from Clos D’ Esgarracordes, Subarra’ s Cabernet Sauvignon and Victor Bellmunt at Ildum Vinarius.
From Alicante Terreta from BOCOPA, (Monastrell) or the Merlot/Monastrell from Finca Collado or from the Cooperative in Mañan, all produce wines from old vines in the Vinapoló area of the interior.
DO Valencia has no shortage of good wines. From around Fontanars try the wine from Los Frailes, Daniel Belda, the Juan de Juanes from La Viña, and ‘Rosae’ from Casa de las Vides or the wines from the Ontinyent cooperative. Also consider the vino de autor from Cent Piques.
From around Valencia itself try the Soucasse family Rosado, made by El Portillo (Buñol), which is highly rated. Also look up the Turia Valley towards Titaguas where the wine from Polo Monleon is produced then two excellent wines from los Ahillas above Chelva, Vegamar’s multi-award winning Rosado from Calles, the wines from the El Villar cooperative in Villar d’Arzobispo.
For us at VÍ vid, probably the best and most consistent rosados are from Bobal, the regional variety of Utiel-Requena. Just two weeks ago they held a special event at Veles and Vents to showcase the 2017 vintage…having had huge success with a similar event in Madrid. Around 150 people were invited to try wines from Vera de Estenas, Covilor, Latorrè, Coviñas, Murviedro, the Cooperative in Utiel, Valsangiacomos Flor de San Antonio, Dominio de la Vega, Nodus, Sierra Norte, Vicente Gandia, Chozas Carrascal, Iranzo and Ladron de Lunas.
Although we recommend and concentrate on Valencian wines, there are some other good Rosados from across Spain. A particular favourite is Nabal, from the Ribera del Duero, made by Mapi Melado Serrano, an exiled Valencian winemaker based in the centre of Spain.
Without a doubt Rosado is at its best now, new vinification techniques are producing wonderful wines with huge fruity noses and great balancing acidity, fresh but with plenty of body and with fruit in the finish as well as a minerality from the soils which give balanced wines to satisfy every taste.
Nor are the prices bad, wines vary in price according to the producers but anything from 2-7€ a bottle will give you a great wine experience! Rosado does not need to be expensive to be good!
Equally you will find a huge range of colours in these wines from the traditional strawberry red, down through rose hues to salmon and the inevitable onion skin more typical of the Provençale roses of Southern France. Taking some of the colour out does not imply a wishy-washy wine either. Two of the palest, the Vegamar and the Flor de San Antonio, are incredibly pale but had some of the most impressive flavours and depth in the mouth.
Rosado always drinks well when fresh but some of these wines, notably the Latorre, Finca Collado and Clos d’Esgarracordes will still drink very well with two to three years in bottle.
All in all, we believe you have no excuse not to try some Rosados this Spring and Summer. From this list you will be well satisfied with your purchases .We hope you have great fun experimenting!
This article was prepared by Riki Wigley and Marian Darás whose VÍ vid project promotes Valencian wine and gastronomy.
http://vvidblog.wordpress.com (VÍ Vid blog) reports regularly on bodega visits, launches of new wines and restaurant reviews. The last few weeks have seen an articles on gastronomy competitions, our new wine club (Valencia Wine Nights) and a new range of tonics from Schweppes.
VÍ Vid are also in Facebook and Twitter @vividvinos …have a look at our activities there for more information on Valencian Wine and Food.