Kick off rosé season with this $9 French beauty
While I agree that rosé is worthy of drinking year-round, I do welcome warm spring weather as the unofficial start to the rosé season. So I celebrate spring this week with three pink wines that will get us started on the next few months (more rosé to come!), including our greatest value of the week. Le Petit Balthazar is one of my favorites, both for the flavor and the price. Rosé is getting expensive as it gets popular, but there are still some bargains. To round out the list, we also have a lovely, complex rosé from South Africa and a charmer from Austria.
And with Passover starting, here are two more kosher wines. The Galil Mountain ELA is an exceptional red blend worthy of drinking any day of the year. Lion & Dove is a new line of low-priced kosher wines just entering our market. The carmenère is my favorite.
Ratings: 3 stars: Exceptional; 2 stars: Excellent; 1 star: Very Good
Le Petit Balthazar Cinsault Rosé 2018
Pays d'Oc, France, $9
This is one of my favorite rosés year in, year out. It packs juicy watermelon and cantaloupe flavors with refreshing acidity, plus simply a lot of fun in each sip. At this price, you can suck it down before dinner, or over lunch on the patio. Keep it in mind for spicy foods. Alcohol by volume: 11 percent.
Galil Mountain ELA 2014
Upper Galilee, Israel, $20
A beautiful blend of barbera, syrah, petit verdot and grenache, this silky red seduces with blackberry and raspberry fruit flavors, a lovely texture in the mouth, and a savory, earthy finish. Kosher for Passover. ABV: 14 percent.
Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé 2018
Western Cape, South Africa, $22
Bright, light in texture but racy in acidity, this lovely rosé captures strawberry and raspberry flavors in a refreshing wine that's delicious by itself but really calls for food. Try this with grilled or sautéed salmon and spicy or garlicky dishes. ABV: 13 percent.
HuglWeine Zweigelt Rosé 2018
Here's a delightful rosé from Austria, more on the strawberry side of pink than the melon side. It isn't particularly tart or racy, nor sweet and cloying. Comfortable on the palate, pretty much describes it. ABV: 12 percent.
Lion & Dove Carmenère 2017
Curico Valley, Chile, $12
A hint of smoke and tobacco leaf give interest to the black fruit flavors of this wine. It is simple and pleasant, the type of wine that will complement but not intrude upon your dinner. Lion & Dove is a new line of wines just appearing in our area market. Mevushal and kosher for Passover. ABV: 13.5 percent.