Rosé dominates the Okanagan market over the Summer.
Two weeks back on BC soil and it didn’t take me long to notice I was surrounded by pink wine.
I was apprehensive at first, but quickly converted after tasting a beautiful, delicate Rosé from Le Vieux Pin in the South Okanagan. A wine so pretty and floral it got me re-thinking my previous (perhaps ignorant) subconscious standoff approach towards Rosé wines in general.
I still dream about that wine, by the way.
(See my video review below)
So why did I feel that way? I suppose I was so obsessed with the South African wine industry that I wasn’t experimenting with a lot of pinks (the Chenin factor). The whole Rosé phenomenon felt more to me like a movement taking place, “up there” in the Northern Hemisphere.
Around 5 years ago, the Rosé revival was accelerated with social media marketing tactics and hashtags such as “Yes way Rosé” and “Rosé all day”; encouraging a new generation of wine lovers to drink more pink. However, here in the Okanagan, it’s not just the newbie wine aficionado catching onto the trend, but some serious wine geeks are getting involved too, producing some exciting stuff. While this phenomenon does well marketing itself side by side with a crystal blue pool, a blow-up flamingo and a glass of pretty pink Rosé; looking closer, it really is becoming so much more.
Events and tasting competitions solely dedicated to pink are growing and expanding. Single categories for Rosé are a part of almost every judging panel and award show.
According to Elizabeth Gabay MW – there are actually 90 ways to make a Rosé. Keep that in mind the next time your friend tells you flat out, ‘I don’t like Rosé’. The range has become so broad, that there should be a style for every palate. And the next time you think every Rosé should taste like Provence, think again.
I decided to dedicate my first two weeks and my palate to Okanagan Rosé, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Flavours and aromas ranged from sweet and sour to floral and feminine. It seems I’ve jumped on board this pink lifestyle the Okanagan is serving up; and with that, releasing all inhibitions into the wind.
New place, new rules, new people, new experiences.
Bring it on.
So, without much further ado, here’s my list of reasonably priced, entirely smashable Okanagan Rosé’s drunk up to date, along with my tasting notes:
11% Cabernet Franc (Black Sage Terrace, Oliver)
18% Muscat Ottonel (Summerland)
31% Gewürztraminer (Summerland)
40% Chardonnayb (Black Sage Terrace, Oliver)
Color: Pale Salmon
Nose: Royal gala apples, Pear, Rose petal, Watermelon
Palate: Like taking a bite of a fresh, acidic royal gala apple. Sour Plum and Watermelon.
Conclusions: Pretty, light and gentle. A great value for money Summertime Rosé.
Golden Mile Bench
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. All grapes sourced from Arise Bench, Oliver.
Color: Pale Salmon
Nose: Black pepper, Strawberries and Plum
Palate: Nose follows through, extremely balanced.
Conclusions: Dry, light but welcomes the palate with a slight, dramatic punch. The use of full bodied red varietals gives this Rosé a dramatic character. Drink this alongside a BBQ’d, saucy steak.
Gobsmacked (Flipping The Bird)
Colour: Deep Pink
Nose: Straight up Red Cherries. Slight Dustiness.
Palate: Pungeant Cherry Liquer, Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Berry Candies.
Conclusions: As the label states – the first sip leaves you…gobsmacked. It forces you to pucker your cheeks, widen your eyes and smack your lips. Then, just like those aggressive sour patch kid candies you can’t help but shove in your face…you re-fill your glass, dying for another sip. Yowza. Unforgettable!
80% Pinot Noir 20% Gamay
From grapes grown on St. Hubertus Vineyard (planted 1978)
Color: Deep Pink
Nose: Dust and Watermelon, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
Palate: Watermelon all over the mouth. Campari, Juicy Fruit Gum and Fresh Strawberries
The alcohol feels somewhat weighted.
One of the first wines to be produced at Joie, inspiring “feelings of summer”.
Produced in desert terroir, inspired by the Loire.
Conclusions: Drink now. A heavier, candied Rosé, loaded with life and fruitful expression.
Gamay Noir (50%)
Pinot Noir (40%)
Pinot Gris (10%)
Color: Medium Salmon
Nose: Peaches, Sweet and Sour Sauce, Cantaloupe
Palate: Watermelon, Peaches, Toast
Conclusions: Versatile…a stand out wine. Not quite a pool side Rosé, this juice offers more complexity and depth than your standard ‘smashable’ Rosé. Keeping it classy yet, ‘rebelistic’…kinda like a 60’s Pink Lady.