This isn't another one of those "rose is making a comeback" pieces, but dry rose is one of the under-appreciated pleasures of cool climate wine regions. The natural acidity that cool evenings and long, slow growing seasons retain is key.
In the Finger Lakes, there are more dry roses (in addition to the sweet ones) being bottled every year, but here on Long Island, dry rose has been a part of many wine programs for years.
Sometimes, they are made by blending red and white grapes, but some of my favorites are made primarily with Long Islands signature (for now, anyway) red grape — merlot. Shinn Estate Vineyards 2008 Rose ($16) is one such merlot-based wine.
Co-owner Barbara Shinn, who manages the winery's vineyard, grows a specific clone of merlot specifically for the production of this wine each year.
A light cherry red in the glass, the nose is fruity and savory at the same time with red cherry and strawberry fruit aromas accented by a sprinkling of dried oregano and hints of earthy, dried leaves.
Medium-light on the palate, this well-balanced summer sipper shows bright, clean red berry flavors with a minerally, earthy edge. The mid-palate is just a little creamy and the surprisingly long finish is dry, with nice palate-cleansing acidity.
Grape(s): 75% merlot, 25% cabernet franc
Producer: Shinn Estate Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
(3 out of 5 | Recommended)