Friday, July 15, 2016

7 Rosé's From Long Island Wine Country

Taste of Rosé on Long Island

Many of us recently celebrated National Rosé Day last month, or are still celebrating it, and are enamored with this rose-colored wine. You might just be wondering how it gets that pink, rosy color. Basically, rosés are made from skin-fermented red grapes.  Fermentation occurs for a shorter period of time (shorter than the time it takes to make red wine).  As the juice turns to a blush color, skins are removed and fermentation gets completed without the skins.  Voilà-rosé! Long Island Wine Country produces many delicious rosés. What better way to spend a day is there, than to spend a day nearby tasting rosé?


Long Island Wine Country has many fantastic wineries on both its North and South Forks, many of which produce rosé! For National Rosé Day, a few of the wineries on Long Island's Northfork decided to host a Rosé Crawl.  Four wineries participated in the crawl by offering complimentary tastings of their delicious rosés and some accompaniments.  The participating wineries included: Bridge Lane, Castello di Borghese, Roanoke Vineyards and The Lenz Winery.  We did the crawl, but then we crawled some more to a few other wineries we enjoy. The wineries are all fairly close to each other, so it is easy to visit many wineries along the way.  Our day was spent in wine country tasting just rosés. Well...ok, we tasted a few others, but we stuck to the rosé plan for the most part!

In pink...ready to sip some Rosé
The Wining Hour's Long Island Rosé Selections:
Although we have affection for all of the Long Island Wineries, we recently tasted 7 of their delicious rosés on National Rosé Day.  Here are the highlights:

Bridge Lane 2015 Rosé 
Bridge Lane Rosé

Bridge Lane's Rosé is a yummy blush wine blend, made with 63% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 8% Pinot Blanc, 5% Riesling and 3% Gewürztraminer.  This wine is light and dry, an aromatic fruit basket with notes of guava orange peel and peach on the nose and strawberry, cranberry and watermelon on the palate. Balanced, with medium acidity, 11.9% ABV and clean finish. Bridge Lane's Rosé pairs well with roasted chicken, club salads, fresh trout or salmon, shellfish and spicy dishes. Bridge Lane's wines are also available as boxed wine, which make them a great choice for any outdoor activities such as the beach, boats and picnics. Their wines are actually available by the bottle, box or keg!
Visit Bridge Lane and their Parent Company Lieb Cellars

Castello di Borghese NV Fluerette Rosé
Castello di Borghese Flurette Rosé

This rosé is certainly my speed, as it is both refreshing and elegant.  This pale pink wine is light, delicate and considered to be an off dry rosé, with a fruity and floral bouquet of peonies and citrus blossoms. Fluerette Rosé was on the palate as it was to the nose-tasting of rose petals, strawberries, and grapefruit.  It was fresh and floral, followed by sweet, but not too sweet.  This 12.5% ABV. wine was very well balanced in terms of tannins, acidity and minerality.  Castello di Borghese's Fluerette Rosé would pair well with most salads, goat cheese, seafood and light fish dishes.  We didn't stop there thought.  Read on...
Castello di Borghese Rosé of Merlot

Castello di Borghese 2014 Rosé of Merlot
I am not a big fan of Merlot, but Castello di Borghese's rosé was rather nice. It was light pink in appearance, had bright cherry aromas and a palate of rhubarb, raspberry and watermelon.  This medium bodied wine was crisp with a clean finish. The Merlot grapes used were "lightly crushed and left to macerate briefly with their red skins, strained then fermented in stainless steel." Castello di Borghese's Rosé of Merlot had 12.5% ABV and would pair well with cheese plates, pastas, duck, bbq, sushi and spicy foods.

Castello di Borghese Vineyard

Ok, so here is where we got a little sidetracked.  But, in all fairness, their selections didn't leave us much choice. Castello di Borghese makes some excellent wines and after tasting their rosés, we went on to do several other flights.  De-lic-ous Long Island goodness!






Lenz Blanc de Noir Rosé

The Lenz Winery 2014 Blanc de Noir Rosé
The Lenz Winery produces a Blanc de Noire Rosé, which is a made from 100% Pinot Noir. This one is for those who really appreciate classic, dry rosés, like its French counterparts.  Aromas of lemon zest and cherry were on the nose, and it was cherry-laden with celery on the palate.  This wine was fermented completely dry and has 12% ABV. The Lenz Winery's Blanc de Noir Rosé is more of a full-bodied or full-figured rosé.  It certainly holds its own and would do so with creamy pastas, fish, seafood and meat dishes.

Raphael Rosé of
Pinot Noir

Raphael Vineyards 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Raphael Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir is made with 15% Chardonnay and 85% Pinot Noir grapes. This light pink rosé is dry, with floral and citrus notes on the nose.  On the palate was hints of pink grapefruit, strawberries, mint and lime.  It was crisp and dry, with a balanced mineral finish.  Raphael Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir is un-oaked with no malolactic fermentation.  Instead, it was aged in stainless steel for 3 weeks to maintain the flavors.   This rosé is one that will be a summer staple rose for me, as it is versatile and would pair well with almost anything. It's also one of my favorites. 13% ABV.  Visit Raphael Vineyards


Roanoke Vineyards Rosé

Roanoke Vineyards 2015 Rosé
Roanoke's 2015 Rosé is crafted from hand-harvested 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot grapes. This 11.9% ABV. rosé was very light and refreshing. It had a burst of citrus fruits on the nose and warm honey-dew melon, marmelade and cantelope on the palate. According to Roanoke, "It's a wine designed to pair with elegant summer menus and (absolutely) al fresco-dining." This wine is very pleasant and easy to drink. Roanoke also makes an unfiltered version of this same wine rosé.  The unfiltered one is a very limited production rosé made from Cabernet Franc and crafted in French oak. 

Wölffer Estate Vineyards 2015 Summer in a Bottle Rosé
Wölffer Estate
Summer in a Bottle Rosé
This Rosé is not only delicious, but it's also very fun to drink.  The bottle alone demands attention and sets the tone for something summery and good. Consisting of 57% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 12% Chardonnay, and 11% Gewürztraminer, this life-of-the-party rosé is full of ripe fruit flavors on the nose and palate.  Summer in a Bottle Rosé explodes with peach, white cherry and strawberry. It was well balanced, with just the right acidity, minerality and tannins.  Nice finish. Wölffer Estate Rosé has 12.5% ABV. and is tasty as a solo treat or as a pairing for most shellfish and grilled fish, smoked salmon, and soft cheeses. It can also complement pork and lamb dishes.  Wölffer Estate's rosé looked like summer, smelled like summer, tasted like summer.  Wait...it was summer-summer in a bottle! "Sometimes a glass is filled with more than just wine.  Our Summer in a Bottle Wines evoke the sea air, Hamptons sunsets and summertime adventures." I could not have said it better. 

While these are just a few of the rosé wines produced in Long Island Wine Country, this region has much more to offer.

Have you tasted Rosé from Long Island Wine Country?  Thoughts?

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