When it comes to rosés — and what better time to consider these delectable pink refreshers than right now, as we head into steamy August? – I generally prefer the pale, orange-hued beauties from Provence. I find much other rosé, those showing a darker, more crimson palate, to be heavy and ponderous and that, for me, defeats the whole point of the wine – it should be light, fresh and preferably possessing a touch of minerality, but most importantly, it should be eminently quaffable.
That’s why I tend to avoid the California versions as too many of them are cherry colored and dense, and that is how I found last year’s offering from Pietra Santa, their Rosato 2006. Besides it was made from sangiovese, a grape not given to producing great rosé, and weighed in at a brutal 15% alcohol.
But the winemaker seems to have experienced a revelation – or perhaps it’s just a happy accident – but this years offering, the Pietra Santa Rosato 2007 couldn’t be more different. It’s a delicious pale pink gem tinged with a hint of orange, and light but with finely balanced fresh fruit flavors and flinty, wet stone minerality. Moreover, it’s made from dolchetto, a grape that even in its more common, red, incarnation makes a light and fruity wine. At only 13.6% alcohol, it’s the perfect vino for an August lunch on the terrace, or an aperitif by the pool as the evening sets in.