As I write this, it’s about to drop down to two degrees again here in New York, hardly the kind of weather that brings on thoughts of refreshing summer wines. But as part of my own strategy for coping with this brutal blast of winter we’ve been enduring for weeks, that’s exactly what I’ve been tasting. They're not a substitute for a warm beach, but they've taken some of the chill out of my mind, at least, and given me a jump on some exciting new releases to be enjoyed in the months ahead.
From New Zealand, Mud House’s 2014 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($12) immediately got me in the spirit of spring. This is classic Kiwi sauvignon with delicious grapefruit and gooseberry notes, vibrant acidity and a touch of cream on the long finish. It’s notable as well for its roundness -- there’s nothing strident, as New Zealand sauvignons can sometimes be. Alcohol is 13 percent. Imported by Accolade Wines North America, Napa, California.
I have often said that rosés can and should be drunk through the year, a point reinforced by the first two rosés I’ve tasted this year. They represent two very different styles and both are memorable.
From France’s Loire Valley, Saget La Perrière’s 2014 La Petite Perrière Rosé ($14) is as refreshing a rosé as you’ll find, It is made from 100 percent pinot noir, an under-appreciated Loire variety. I was struck immediately by a liveliness produced by its bright acidity, just the right quality to counteract a deep-winter funk. With its light salmon color its tastes evoke ripe cherry and strawberry with some lemon, orange and a touch of cream on the finish. Alcohol is 12 percent.
In a slightly fuller style, the 2014 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($14) is notable for its minerality that punctuates concentrated strawberry and raspberry notes. There’s a refreshing citrusy finish on this one as well. Alcohol is 13.5 percent. Los Vascos is produced in Chile’s Colchagua Valley and is owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). Both rosés will be available this spring and are imported by Pasternak Wine Imports, Harrison, New York. All three wines were received as samples for review.