The answer is quite simple.
The grapes are pressed as soon as they arrive in the cellar, which allows for a quick diffusion of color in the must. The juice is then left for a very short time on contact with the skin—no more than a few hours—and then pressed right away. By following this method, the essential salmon or pale peach color is achieved. Winemakers also refer to the color as ‘gray’.
If the winemaker wants a more vibrant salmon color, the wines have a slightly longer maceration period, during which skins and juice get to mingle. As the alcohol level rises during fermentation, more phenolics (colors, tannins and flavors) get extracted. When the final color is achieved, the winemaker presses and bottles the final wine.
To obtain and even more intense color, which many Europeans seem to prefer, the winemaker collects the juice that bleeds off when the grapes are pressed. The winemaker continues to collect this bleeding (Saignee) juice hourly and uses this juice to create the desired color. Once that color is achieved, the wine making process goes on as it would for a white wine.
Making a rose sparkling is a bit different, as still red and white wines are blended to achieve the desired color.
Rose is a French term. Spain, Portugal and Spanish speaking countries refer to rose as rosado. The Italians know rose as rosato.
Call it any name that you choose—there are thousands of roses in the world. The 2013 Vintage Rose Tasting I experienced was hosted by Christopher Correa and Scott Gerber, both from Martin Scott Wines, a member of the Vintner Group.
I sampled Roses from France, Italy, California, Spain, Lebanon, Germany, Oregon, Washington, South Africa, Portugal and Argentina.
There was little each had in common—not color nor aromatics or flavor.
That is what made this tasting so special.
I had many favorites.
My favorite Sparkling Roses include:
Domaine des Baumard Cremant de Loire Brut Rose NV (Loire Valley, France)
Francis Montand Brut Rose NV (Jura, France)
Domaine Bruno Gobillard Brut Rose Mlle.Sophie NV (Epernay, France)
Champagne Le Brun Servenay Brut Rose NV (Burgundy, France)
Antica Fratta, Franciacorta Rose Essence NV (Lombardy, Italy)
Handley Cellars, Brut Rose 2006 (Anderson Valley, California)
Simonsig, Brut Rose Kaapse Vonkel 2012 (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
Ponzi Vineyards, Pinot Noir Rose 2013 (Willamette, Oregon)
New Age by Bodegas Valentin Bianchi, Rose NV (Mendoza, Argentina)
Weingut Mayer-Nakel, Spatburgunder Rose 2013 (Ahr, Germany)
Musar Jeune by Chateau Musar, Rose Wine 2011 (Bekaa Valley, Lebanon)
Chene Bleu, Ventoux Rose 2012 (Provence, France)
Triennes, Vin de Pays du Var Rose, 2013 (Provence, France)
Domaine Fournier Pere & Fils, Rose Les Belles Vignes 2012 (Loire Valley, France)
Spring is in the air, gateway to summer, the time of year that Roses are part of life. When I grew up, beer was the summer drink. As years progressed, beer and crisp white wine prospered. Now, in 2014, the summer drinks are beer, crisp white wine and roses.
Isn't it time to follow the trend?
Philip S. Kampe