Summer Reds for When You’re Sick of Rosé
By Marshall Tilden III
While there’s nothing like rosé in the summer, if you’re outside enjoying wine on a warm evening, chances are there’s a grill a stone’s throw away. Hearty summer barbecue fare may mean it’s time to put down the pink and pick up a wine with a little more body, fruit and tannins. For your next picnic or cookout, shake things up with a slightly chilled, lighter style red.
Here are five styles of red wine perfect for when the grill starts to heat up, and top value selections for each.
Oregon Pinot Noir
Crafted in more of a Burgundian style than its neighboring California cohorts, these wines can be somewhat rustic and earthy, loaded with Bing cherry and cranberry. Their high acidity and complex structure make them enjoyable to pair with all sorts of seafood and lighter fare. With an overall cool and somewhat damp climate, Oregon can have notable vintage variation so be sure to check our WE vintage chart for the best years.
Le Cadeau 2016 Diversité Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley); 93 points. This multi-clonal selection is lushly endowed with a bright mix of red fruit, recalling cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry and cherry. It’s annotated with orange peel highlights and orange blossom scents. The detail and subtlety are impressive. Editors’ Choice. —Paul Gregutt
While you may know it as Zinfandel, Primitivo is one of the most popular varieties of the southern Italian region of Puglia. While value California Zins tend to be a bit bulky, Primitivo lean towards wild berry and black pepper notes with earthy and floral tones backed by vibrant acidity. These well-structured wines make a perfect pair for spicy barbecue ribs straight off the grill.
A Mano 2015 Imprint Primitivo (Puglia); 88 points. There’s a surprising intensity to the aromas of fresh blackberries, turned earth and violets. The palate mirrors the nose in a package of grippy tannins and crisp acidity. While enjoyably straightforward in nature, the concentration is rather light, so enjoy for its immediate appeal. —A.P.