Does Rosé Bring Spring to Minnesota??

Rosé in the snow in MInnesota

Ahh, with the arrival of rosé, spring is surely here. Think again if you live in MInnesota!

“Spring” in Minnesota
Spring is a bit of a joke here in Minnesota. Groundhog Day? What do you mean? Of course there is going to be 6 weeks more winter. Sheesh! March is more of the same: In like a Lion, and usually Out like a Lion, too. This year, I received some rosé samples in early April, things were looking up. Then, we had a 15″ snowfall on April 15. Fifteen inches!

Gloomy June day is brighted by rosé

OK, spring ahead to early June, surely spring has arrived right?

Tired of Waiting, Officially Opening Rosé Season
Now it’s early June and we have had some warm weather. The grass is green, trees are leafed out but there are still plenty of cool, dreary days. When will Summer truly arrive? Forget that, we’re just going get the rosé flowing and declare summer is here! If you’re an internet holiday person, then join National Rosé Day on June 9! By the way, we’re expecting thunderstorms in Minnesota on June 9.

Rosé and Lunch on the Deck
Disclosure: the wines for this post were provided as samples.  All opinions are mine.

Our rosés are all from the direct press method. Grapes are grown and harvested specifically for rosé

Rosé Production Methods
Rosé production is broken into two main methods: direct press and saignée. In direct press, the grapes are harvested early. The grapes are crushed and left on the skins for anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. Then they are pressed and finished off the skins.  Saignée rosé wines come from grapes grown and harvested later for normal red wine production. The grapes are crushed and start fermentation as a red wine. A few days into fermentation, the wine is “bled off” with the lightly tinted new wine to be rosé with the remainder of the wine gaining deeper color for its eventual finished red wine. Saignée rosés are usually a bit deeper in color and closer to red wine in flavor.  They are all good, just different! It isn’t easy to discern, but the %abv can be an indication. A rosé clocking in at less than 13% abv is likely to be direct press.  Rosé over 13% abv can be either one.  Again, each wine is great for its’ purpose!

Chateau Roquefeuille "rosé in the air"

Fresh and breezy. Even on a dull June day in Minnesota I can picture myself sitting in a seaside café with a glass of Roquefeuille rosé.

Chateâu Roquefeuille Rosé In The Air AOP Côtes de Provence 2017 (sample, $22.50SRP)
From the winery: Grown in the heart of Provence, south of the Sainte-Victoire valley at the foot of Mount Olympe, grapes benefit from plentiful sunshine and a mix of clay and limestone pebble soils. Winemaker Lea Rouyet employs non-oxidative vinification, direct pressing and cold maceration to ensure high quality and a fresh expression in her blend of Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, and touch of Rolle (Vermentino).

My Notes:
Eye: Clear, pale(est) salmon color
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity. Very fresh and inviting nose. Citrus rind, tangerine with white flowers behind.
Mouth: Bone dry, high acidity, medium intensity citrus flavor with a hint of salinity. You can picture yourself drinking this under the shade of an umbrella, beachside on the Mediterranean. Very refreshing and delicious. 13% abv

Côté Mas Rosé Aurore

If you like your rosé to show off a good amount of fruit, this is your ticket!

Côté Mas “Rosé Aurore” Languedoc, IGP Pays d’Oc 2017 (sample, SRP $10.99/1L) – Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes are sourced from 12 privately owned estates situated amongst the rugged terroir of the Languedoc in southern France. An authentic example of its origins, Rosé Aurore is bursting with warmth and beauty, offering a rich, smooth palate with concentrated flavors of ripe red fruit and well balanced acidity. Packaged in 1L bottles, it is an excellent and festive choice for entertaining.

My Notes:
Eye: Clear, pale salmon-pink color
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity. Under-ripe strawberries and watermelon, very fresh. More abundant fruit compared to the Roquefeuille
Mouth:Dry, medium+ intensity with medium+ acidity balanced by stronger fruit component. Strawberries and melon. Refreshing, with a nice fruity but dry flavor. 12.5% abv

Marchesi Mazzei Belguardo Toscana Rosé

This rosé had a fun, spicy component. Might be good with some spicy summer dishes!

Marchesi Mazzei Belguardo Rosé (Toscana IGT) ($14.99/750ml) – Marchesi Mazzei, established in 1435, is one of the ten oldest family businesses in Italy. Produced at their extraordinary Belguardo Estate, located in Maremma just six miles inland from Tuscany’s Tyrrhenian Sea coast, this rosé is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Sangiovese – Tuscany’s signature grape. Belguardo shows elegant floral aromas that lead to a dry palate with fresh fruit flavors and a savory, mineral finish. 13.8% abv

My Notes:
Eye: Clear, pale salmon. While not dark by any means, this is the darkest of our three rosés by just a shade
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity. Fresh and floral nose with white flowers and hints of red fruits like strawberries
Mouth: Dry, medium intensity with delicate red fruit and a spicy note. Medium acidity, medium body. Fruit lingers in a nice medium length finish

Local asparagus spears in Minnesota

Our Farmers Markets open in mid-May and we’re so happy to see the beginning of local, fresh produce! This is from Peter’s Pumpkins and Carmen’s Corn, one of our favorite local veggie growers.

Asparagus Soup
Here’s a link to the recipe for our asparagus soup. It’s pretty healthy, with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano for richness, but no cream needed. One advantage of local field raised asparagus; those long stalks are still pretty tender, so you use almost the whole bunch of asparagus. If you’re a delicate soup fan, you might want to strain the soup.  I like mine a little more hearty, so I leave all that good fiber in there. Round out your lunch with a good baguette (I hope you have a good bakery, we have a few) and of course, a glass or three of rosé.

Celebrate rosé season at

3 Responses to “Does Rosé Bring Spring to Minnesota??”
  1. Nice selection of rosés. I can’t get enough of them these days!

  2. Under the Influence says:

    Very enjoyable and amusing review of rose’ wines blooming in Minnesota, but I don’t believe Tuscany has an Adriatic coast!

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