A Rosé by any other name, is still refreshing

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Fragrant wine: The 2012 Beckmen Grenache Rose showcases a vibrant salmon color with alluring bright strawrry and framboise aromas. | Supplied photo

It’s summer once again and it’s obvious that Rosé wines have become fashionable in the Midwest. Although they have had a presence in the market for many years there was always some reluctance to embrace this style over the classic whites of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling as the summer beverage of choice. The chilled fruitiness and sometimes off-dry personality of a Rosé can compliment any picnic or backyard occasion during spring or summer and is versatile enough to pair with meals even during the off season.

Recently Rosé selections have expanded considerably on retail shelves covering many wine-growing regions of the world, most notably from southern France, Spain, Italy, California and Oregon. Countless red varietals can be used to create a Rosé including Grenache, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, since the skins of the grape come in contact with the juice for only a brief period of time imparting a coppery salmon or orange-reddish color. There are also renditions of sparkling Rosé. The versatility and refreshing nature of a Rosé speaks to its attractiveness and, of course, affordability is a definite plus.

Beckmen Vineyards resides in Santa Barbara County and winegrower Steve Beckmen has an affinity for crafting some impressive Rhone varietals from his 365-acre hillside property named Purisima Mountain Vineyard. A combination of limestone soil, high elevation and cooling Pacific breezes allows Beckmen to capture the essence of Rhone in his “palette of small vineyards.”

The 2012 Beckmen Grenache Rosé is one of the first releases from the heralded 2012 California vintage and is a blend of 82 percent Grenache, 7 percent Mourvedre 7 percent Counoise and 4 percent Syrah from biodynamicly farmed vineyards. It showcases a vibrant salmon color with alluring bright strawberry and framboise aromas. In the core there are fresh cherry blossom and rose hip flavors with a tinge of watermelon freshness and acidity on the finish. This wine has elegance and depth, making it an inviting companion for summer entertaining or a relaxing picnic.

Suggested Retail: $17.99

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.