By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
From sweet to dry and every residual sugar level in between the East End of Long Island has you covered. But the diversity doesn't stop there.
Just about any red wine variety grown here ends up as rose, including the usual suspects like merlot, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir as well as grapes like refosco and cabernet franc. Blending is common and not reserved for red grapes. Some of the region's best-loved roses are blends of red varieties with large percentages of steel-fermented chardonnay blended in.
Most local roses are racy and fresh -- begging for lobster rolls or nothing more than a beach or pool. Others, like the yearly offering from Shinn Estate Vineyards, are richer and more intense, making them better suited to most anything hot off the grill.
All that diversity is part of what makes local rose so much fun every summer.
Shinn Estate Vineyards 2010 Rose ($16) is 75% merlot and 25% cabernet franc and is not "wimpy rose" as co-owner David Page likes to say.
Tasted blind -- and I mean without use of your eyes -- you might think this a red wine. Aromas of red cherry, raspberry and strawberry are joined by a subtle herbal-earthiness -- no doubt from that dose of 25% cabernet franc.
The palate intensely flavored with ripe red fruit, nice freshness and understated herby edges. Though not complex or particularly long, a bottle of this would do quite well with your next charcoal-grilled burger.
Producer: Shinn Estate Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island