With Memorial Day weekend here, Rosé drinking season has officially begun in earnest. At the very least I know that’s true at my house. For me dry Rosé is one of the simple joys of warm weather. I took some time this week to try some Rosés from New York; Long Island to be more specific. Over the last few years there has been more and more acclaim for Long Island wines. The history of winemaking there dates to 1973. At that time there were 17 acres under vine, today there are 3,000. Total case production for Long Island is 500,000. Here are my thoughts about the Long Island Rosé’s I looked at this time out. First up is a selection from Macari Vineyards. They were established in 1995 and produce 14,000 cases of wine annually. The 2008 Macari Rosé is a blend of Cabernet Franc (45%), Merlot (30%), Cabernet Sauvignon (14%), Pinot Noir (7%), and Malbec (4%). The suggested retail price for this wine is $15. The nose of this Rosé is marked by strong, fresh watermelon aromas. These red melon characteristics continue through the palate where they’re joined by other berry fruits such as cherry. A hint of spice kicks in and carries forward through the finish where it’s joined by savory notes in a crisp, dry and refreshing close.
The second wine is from Raphael which was established in 1996. They have 55 acres under vine and produce 5,000 cases per year. The Raphael 2008 Rosé of Merlot was fermented in stainless steel. The suggested retail price for this offering is $16.99. Bright, fresh red berry fruits are prominent on the nose of this selection. Red raspberry leads the palate where it joins forces with subtler wisps of citrus, particularly tangerine peel. There is an impression of sweetness on the back palate that provides a nice tingle leading into the finish. This Rosé is a light, crisp and ultimately very refreshing wine. I found that this offering in particular worked best for me ice cold.
The final wine today is from Castello di Borghese. They were founded in 1973 so they are amongst the oldest wineries on Long Island. They have 84 acres under vine and produce between 7,000 and 8,000 cases each year. The 2008 Borghese Fleurette was made from from Merlot. It has a suggested retail price of $14.99. The lovely light pink hue of this wine really makes a strong impression of classic Rosé in the glass. Aromas of strawberry underscored by a touch of crème fraiche are abundant in the nose. A ton of wild strawberry flavors are prominent throughout the palate of this wine. White pepper and light nutmeg notes kick in around mid-palate and lead to a nice finish. This selection has some intriguing and subtle layers of complexity.
This trio of Rosés from Long Island will make for some delicious summer drinking. Whether by themselves on your deck or with light seasonal foods, each of these wines is a refreshing choice. I enjoyed all three wines but Fleurette from Borghese really hit my personal Rosé sweet spot.