“A Rosé by any other name…”
... is a Blush?
Rosés are made from grapes that normally are processed as a red wine. The contact with the skins and the length of time that contact occurs will determine the color hue to the Rose. The range can offer the lightest pink to a deeper pink-red hue. Most Rosés are made dry, but some are off-dry, semi-sweet, and others sweet like your entry Rosé a.k.a. White Zinfadel (which I know you all drank, too).
There are three options for the winemaker to consider when creating a Rosé.
The Maceration method is when red wine grapes are de-stemmed, crushed, and allowed to rest on the skins for a determined period of time. To achieve the desired color, the juice can be macerated anywhere from 2 to 20 hours. From there, the juice is removed and the wine process continues. If you want your Rose to have a crisp, fresh profile, the fermentation should be conducted as if this were a white wine - fermented slowly in a cool environment; opposed to faster fermentation in a warm/neutral environment like a red wine. This is the process we followed to make our Leon’s Rose.
The Saignee or ‘Bled’ method begins with making your red wine grapes into a red wine. However the winemaker will remove (Bled off) a portion of the juice into a new vat for the Rose. This is often done in the Napa and Sonoma regions where the Rose also offers the intensity of a red wine. Often, only 10% of the wine library is a Rose by this method.
The Blending method is where a bit of red wine is added to a vat of white wine to make a rose. This is more commonly done with sparkling wines, but our original Peachy Rosé was made this way. We started with Vin Blanc juice from California and fermented the wine with fresh peaches in the tank. Upon the finish we added our Sangiovese.
Blush, or pink wines are made in any of the above ways and the terms are interchangeable, but blush feels outdated to say compared to Rosé today, or “Rosé all day”. Cheers!