For a lot of — okay, too many — people Wölffer Estate 2016 Rosé ($18), isn’t just the unofficial wine of the Hamptons. It is Long Island wine. For better or for worse, there may not be a better-known Long Island wine.
Winemaker Roman Roth makes a lot of rosé — more than 40,000 cases covering three still wines, a sparkling wine and a dessert wine — and you’ll find it on many restaurant lists and store shelves this summer. Heck, I’ve personally seen it on a wine list as far north as Burlington, Vt.
People — myself included — love the stuff. It’s always bright and fresh — and decided more a white wine in style and flavor than more traditional dry rose from France, Spain or Italy.
This year’s edition is made with 49% merlot, 30% chardonnay, 9% cabernet sauvignon, 8% cabernet franc and 4% riesling — but it’s that steel-fermented chardonnay that stands out most, and also makes it drink like a white wine.
The 2016 isn’t so much pink as it is a light copper color with citrusy and floral aromas on a bright, effusive nose, making it bright and fresh on the palate. It’s lower alcohol (12% abv) with well-integrated acidity and subtle fruity flavors — think peach and juicy pear — that are deftly balanced. A dry, slightly saline finish begs to be enjoyed with something like fish tacos or your feet in the sand.
You can drink it icy cold out of the fridge or cooler, but it’s a lot more giving and delicious slightly warmer.
Producer: Wolffer Estate Vineyard
AVA: Long Island
Grape(s): 49% Merlot, 30% Chardonnay, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc,
Production: 25,200 cases