A new appreciation for Rosé wines

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Reawakening: Wine critic W. Peter Hoyne says this 2011 Robert Mondavi Rose may reinvent people's perception of Rose. | Larry Ruehl~Sun-Times Media

The American market has always been slow to embrace Rose wines or those with delicate shades of red. Of course, Pinot Noir is excluded from this discussion. Perhaps our bias is based on our early recollection of Mateus and Lancers, which in fact still exist today. Even I must admit that I have been averse to wines with pink shades to them and have gravitated to bold and expressive dark reds. The Rosé wines from Provence, France have a long history and are well known for their extraordinary charisma, but aside from this unique region many producers lack an interest in producing noteworthy Rosé. I have never tried to focus a meal around Rosé because they are frequently less serious and are usually offered as an aperitif. In the last five years there has been a resurgence among consumers in their desire for well-crafted Rosé and the Isabel Mondavi (I’M) Rosé will dispel the old myths while making many converts and followers, including myself.

The 2011 Isabel Mondavi (I’M) Rosé, from Napa Valley, is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and is better perceived as a red offering much more character than a Rosé. It is the byproduct of fourth generation winemaker Rob Mondavi, who together with his father, Michael, sister, Dina, and mother, Isabel, make up the Folio Wine Partners and Michael Mondavi Family Estate. It is an awakening to taste a Rosé such as this with a deep salmon color and wild strawberry perfume. There is a lining of silky framboise laden fruit and cherry blossoms that is almost creamy in the middle and stretches the entire length of your palate. It is pure pleasure with every sip and never seems to tire your senses. This wine will reinvent people’s perception of Rosé and may easily become the perfect wine to enjoy throughout the year.

Suggested Retail: $16.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits. Email him at wphoyne@att.net.