Rosé is one of the many reasons I look forward to warm weather. I’m glad to report that as a wine culture in this country we’ve gotten better in the last few years when it comes to embracing good, dry Rosé. Just about every wine making country has a Rosé tradition; this is particularly true in Europe. In Italy the tradition is Rosato and Napa Valley’s Benessere Vineyards, whose focus is Italian varietals, makes their own Rosato which I’ll look at today. The Benessere Vineyards 2010 Rosato was produced using Napa Valley fruit. This Rosé is composed of Zinfandel (49%), Sangiovese (41%) and Merlot (10%). Small amounts of the juice from each grape were bled off just prior to fermentation. This blend which becomes the Rosato was fermented in stainless steel tanks. Less than 300 cases were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $16.
The nose of this Rosé brings to mind a bowl of fresh ripe red fruits. Cherry and raspberry flavors lead the palate which also shows off a nice core of spices. Red raspberry and a bit of blackberry emerge on the finish which is crisp and clean. This Rosé is fruity with just a bit of perceived sweetness poking through. The Benessere Rosato has a bit more heft than the average Rosé and will stand up to more substantial foods quite nicely. That said it’s perfectly delectable all by itself.
Benessere Vineyards makes Napa Valley wines that allow the Italian varietals they often work with to shine. Their portfolio is filled with wines which are elegant, balanced, food friendly and fairly priced. The 2010 Rosato is just one example of that. Check back soon for my look at their Zinfandels.