Whole Foods - San Ramon, $12.99
An impressively tempting rosé from the heart of California's Cabernet country? Oui. La Grenouille Rouganté (The Blushing Frog), Frog's Leap tribute to the vin rosés of Provence, est fantastique. "Rosé" est très élégant! ("Pink" is very stylish!)
The blend is 98 percent Valdiguie (Napa Gamay), 2 percent Petite Sirah and flat out yummy. Vinified using the saignée technique (bleeding free-run juice from dark-skinned grapes after a brief maceration period before actual fermentation), this excellent complement to a temperate, sun-drenched East Bay afternoon was crafted by winemakers John Williams and Paula Moschetti. A mere 1,100 cases were produced.
Colors beam through the exceptionally classy package and are even more magnetic once the wine's in the glass. The range is riveting and gorgeous; eye-popping rust, orange, salmon pink and Mandarin garnet.
Aromas are relaxed and subtle. Although toned down, fragrances of rhubarb, watermelon, cherry, white pepper and marmalade are well-defined.
Whereas the nose is caressed, the palate is hit by the wine's considerable structure, weight and depth. A quartet of luminous flavors - cherry, watermelon, blood orange and raspberry - will have you reaching for a second bottle.
With an ideal level of natural acidity and only 11.8 percent alcohol, it's super refreshing and downright easy-drinking. The Blushing Frog is a perfect "go-to" spring and summer sipper.
The finish provides a welcomed dichotomy. On one hand, it is light and almost vapor-like on the palate. On the other, the airy and filmy qualities endure well into the next sip.
Two fish dishes repeatedly come to mind for pairing with this tantalizing rosé: niçoise salad and grilled wild salmon on a bed of spring greens with a light raspberry dressing.
I hope you enjoy "Pink" as much as I did. Let your palate be the judge ...
Have comments or questions about wine? Gregory Peebles, wine industry professional and East Bay resident, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.