10.18.2015

Wine column no. 74: The blush you can't deny.

Oct. 18, 2015: This isn't rocket science. This isn't poetry. So what would happen if I were to confess that I'm — going to use 10 words instead of one? 
I'd write a wine column.
Oh sure, they'd say. You, with your long lines, your fill-in-the-blank — you've done that before. That's what they always say. So I'd hand them my column and say: here, sir, would you like some more?
Take, for example, the 2014 Whispering Angel Rosé I had the other night. It's in the midst of fall; this is the best time for a rosé. The chills add depth. They bring nuance, a cool distraction. Some rosés, I'll even venture to say, can really go beyond the pale.
Let's speak of pale. It's a darker shade than clear, the ghostly version of a flush. Let's get to the point straightaway.
There are four ways to make rosé.
The first uses the grapes' own mass to make them bleed. Saignée, the French call it. The grapes can only blame themselves.
The second involves limited maceration. The grape skins are left in contact with the juice until the winemaker decides it's best to pull away. This controls the color. The longer the connection, the deeper the blush.
The third method is also about control, but it's less pronounced and more diffused. The grapes are pressed until the juice has the right color. The pressure is passive, assumed. It's there no matter where you turn. In the best of circumstances, you can't stop this kind of blush, but you can shape the color.
The fourth involves a run off. The winemaker removes the juice from the tank of fermenting red wine. The run off process results in a darker and more intense wine, but no one calls this liquid rosé. I tried to click on a link to learn more about this, but the link was broken. What's left is, therefore, only proportionally rosé.
I would think it would be difficult to be a rosé. Not quite red, not quite white, there's always the implication that it could be a bit more further defined. I don't understand it or its casual substance and I always think it could be something more.
The Whispering Angel has probably a medium-grade hue. I've seen deeper rosés; lighter ones, as well. It's grown in Provence, France, and consists primarily of Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino) and Consult grapes. It has 13 percent alcohol.
This chilled rosé — they are always best when a bit icy — has a crisp acidity and more body than others sitting across from it on the shelves. It has lingering curves that it seems to show, again and again, sip after sip, without meaning to. It's softness, in a bottle, and for a moment, this might be as good as it gets.
Winetree Liquors on Weinbach Avenue will trade you $21.59 for it.