Annual Rose Roundup, 2014 Part 1

This is the first of two installments of our annual summer coverage of rosé.  Rather than wait for as many new wines as possible to arrive Stateside and compile a single, all-inclusive piece that may be of limited utility to your warm-weather drinking activities, we figured we'd get as many reviews out as possible right now for wines that are already in the market.  Most of the wines that will be covered in "Rose 2014, Part Two:  Wrath of Pinky" later this summer are those that will be even better come fall and beyond--Bandols, for instance--despite the received wisdom that rosés are obliged to be drunk up by the time cool weather sets in.

On the subject, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we again implore wine lovers to consider rosé wines all year round rather than treat them as the seersuckers or white bucks of wine, to be consumed exclusively between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  The fact is that rosés do, literally and figuratively, straddle the line between white and red wine, with most of them leaning toward the white side.  That has become especially true in recent years as more and more pink wines emphasize lightness, of everything:  color, weight, alcohol content and fruit profile.  That usually means wines with nervy acidity, which is one of the essential building blocks for ageworthy wines of any color.  Don't believe me?  Pop a bottle of top-notch rosé, follow it for a few days, and see what happens.

Please note that a few dozen additional newly released pink wines are reviewed in the current International Wine Cellar coverage of California's North Coast.  So if you don't see some familiar names in this article, there's a chance you'll find them in IWC 174.