At the lightest end of the rosé color spectrum are wines with just a hint of a hue. Some of these wines are made through the “vin gris”method, a French term that translates as “gray wine.” These wines aren’t really gray but have a tinge of pink or orange. Deeper shaded rosés get their color from maceration, the amount of time the grape juice remains in contact with skins and seeds of red grapes. The longer the maceration, the darker the color. However, in the vin gris method, the juice is removed from the grapes immediately after pressing. This leaves very little time for the wine to pick up color from the skins. Below are two examples of lightly colored wines from the south of France that are made in the vin gris style.
Famille Lafage 2016 Miraflors, Côtes du Roussillon
Bought • Wine and Cheese Place, 7435 Forsyth Boulevard, in June for $14.99
Description • This elegant, barely pink vin gris earned a well-deserved 91 points from Wine Enthusiast. Its sleek and graceful frosted bottle reflects the beautifully balanced, elegant wine that it holds. A blend of 60 percent grenache gris, 30 percent mourvèdre and 10 percent carignan, this is a silky, smooth and very clean wine that delivers delicious layers of red berries with floral aromatics. This is an easy-to-drink, hard-to-resist wine that even won over a friend who claimed to dislike rosés. The Miraflors makes for a lovely aperitif or a pair with light foods.
Villa des Anges 2016 Old Vines Rosé, Pays D’Oc
Bought • Wine and Cheese Place, 7435 Forsyth Boulevard, in June for $12.99
Description • This vin gris is a pale copper in color and made from 100 percent cinsault, a red grape that is rarely bottled as a single varietal except in rosés. Jeff Carrel, a well-known winemaker in southern France, crafted this vin gris at the Espitalet des Anges domaine in the village of Capestang. This is a crisp and zesty wine that’s drier and closer to a citrusy white in flavor than the Miraflors. It’s a bit tart with hints of red berries and a touch of spice. It would go well with salads, seafood and other light fare.