Though its name implies a weekend devoted to work, Labor Day weekend—summer’s last fling—is a time for enjoying wines that capture both the spirit of dog days preceding the month, and the warm fall days to come.
Frescobaldi’s Alie rosé is named for a Greek mythological sea nymph symbolizing sensuality and beauty. The 2018 Alie Rosé’s syrah and vermentino grapes are grown in a Tuscan seaside vineyard at Frescobaldi’s Tenuta dell’ Ammiraglia winery. Its stylish pale-pink hue, floral and red fruit aromas are matched with cherry and watermelon flavors, and a grapefruit-like acidity. Its light body and refreshing finish makes it ideal for a beach party. 88 points. Retail prices $15 to $25. Good value is found at less than $20.
Southern Italy offers two rosés you can party with. The 2018 Librandi Ciro Rosato is made from Calabria’s gaglioppo grape. It’s deeper red than today’s fashionable translucent pink, with pronounced cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors. This is your rosé for a party table with pasta, pizza, soppressata and Calabrese salami. 87 points. And at $11 to $15, you can load the ice tub with this wine.
Thousands of rose bushes flourish on Regaleali’s Sicilian estate. They also are integral to the name of the 2018 Regaleali Le Rosé Terre Siciliane wine. Since 1830, the Tasca d’Almerita family has been farming and making wine in Sicily; its 860-acre Regaleali estate sits in the center of the island and provides the nerello mascalese grapes for its Le Rosé wine.
The 2018 bottling has an orange-tinted onion-skin color. Appealing tangerine and cherry aromas introduce the raspberry flavor with an orange acidity that contributes to its freshness. This bright, crisp rosé went nicely with a spinach, mushroom and Swiss cheese quiche from the farmers market. 89 points. Retail prices range from $11 to $17. Excellent value at the lower price point.
White wines are needed at Labor Day parties, but save the pricy and heavier oak-aged chardonnays for colder weather, and turn to refreshing lighter wines such as the 2018 Etude Carneros Pinot Gris. Planted in the Grace Benoist Ranch vineyard with its cool temperature from the nearby San Pablo Bay, Etude’s Alsatian-style pinot gris white peach, pear and lime character is balanced with a lively mineral and citrus-like acidity in the finish. 88 points. Retail prices are $24 to $28.
The Lucien Albrecht winery traces its roots to 1698 when Balthazar Albrecht settled in Orschwihr, a wine-growing village in southern Alsace. Its 2017 Lucien Albrecht Cuvee Romanus Pinot Gris displays exuberant peach and apricot aromas and flavors. Its off-dry finish will flatter shrimp cocktail, scallops with ginger, and grilled chicken wings and legs seasoned with cumin, or soy-honey dressing. 87 points. Retail price is about $17.
Alsace experienced a scorching summer in 2015. But the grand cru Pfingstberg’s moisture-retentive calcareous and sandstone soil, which has been recognized since the 13th century for its protective ability, allowed the 2015 Lucien Albrecht Pfingstberg Vineyard Grand Cru Pinot Gris to thrive in the drought conditions and days of 100-degree temperatures.
This exceedingly complex, rich wine has a full range of character from a creamy, unctuous texture, full body, floral, honey and apricot aromas, to vanilla poached pear and lemon custard flavors. It will complement any dinner table from a watermelon salad appetizer to a spicy main course, and desserts of summer fruit salads, or a grapefruit-yogurt parfait. 94 points. A remarkable value at less than $40.
For many, the arrival of Labor Day signals the end of summer. But for those who carry on la dolce vita, the bubbles of the nonvintage Canella Pinot Noir Brut Rosé will rise continuously in the quest for the good life. Its bright pink hue, fruit-filled aroma and flavor is the essence of carefree pleasure. 86 points. Retail prices range from $14 to $24. The sweet spot is found at less than $19.
Photos by John Foy
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