“We sold out of the Macari rosé,” said George Eldi, owner of Wines by Nature in Wading River, after the wine — made from cabernet franc and petit verdot — was mentioned in a national publication. Another, Wolffer’s Summer in a Bottle is almost sold out for this season.
Eldi stocks plenty of Long Island rosé, and had kind words for Bridge Lane Rosé, whose bubblegum-colored cans have become almost ubiquitous on Long Island this summer, and rosés from Paumanok Vineyards, Lenz Winery and others — Eldi’s a true wine diplomat.
This summer, I’ve been seeking out bottles that buck from the prevailing thirst for delicate Provençal-like rosés. While the majority of Long Island rosés will draw on some portion of merlot, which proliferates here, they can be pretty divergent in style.
On the rustic end of the spectrum, I dug the offbeat nature of the farmhouse rosé at Jamesport Vineyards, on tap behind the tasting bar. It’s jewel toned — it looks almost like chilled Beaujalois when decanted — and robust, with a sherry-like edge. It’s made from merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot, and is an able-bodied chaser of pizzas from the vineyard’s wood-fired oven. ($14.95 for a 750-milliliter growler)
Lighter, fruitier and brimming with strawberry-like personality is Palmer Vineyards’ Rosé of Merlot 2017 ($20), a cheerful, uncomplicated, almost tropical quaffer that’s probably the biggest crowd-pleaser in this bunch. Also merlot-based, but much more demure, is the 2017 Dry Rosé from Harbes Vineyards — it threads its way between white flowers and pomegranates, and can only be procured in the Harbes tasting room in Mattituck ($22).
And for juicy pucker, the coral-hued 2017 rosé from T’Jara Vineyards is a tart, bright, steel-fermented flare of a wine that’s made mostly with merlot, with a touch of cabernet franc ($18). An added perk: You can try some inside the parlor-like Suhru Wines tasting room in Cutchogue, which has only been open a few weeks.