If this picture doesn’t excite a thirst for a glass of cold, refreshing wine on a steamy summer day, I don’t know what does. It’s a pale salmon dry rosé made from various red grapes — the main one being Cabernet Sauvignon. And it’s not from Provence in the South of France. It’s American — from one of the earliest wineries in Northern California. The Simi brothers from Italy made their first wines in 1876 in San Francisco, then moved to the site of the current stone cellar they built in Sonoma County where Simi wine has been made continuously since 1890. It’s a brand with a legacy of noted women winemakers including Mary Ann Graf, Zelma Long and current director of winemaking Susan Lueker.
But let’s not forget the most famous woman of all — Isabelle Simi, daughter of one of the founding Simi brothers. She took over the winery in 1904 when both brothers died of the flu. As the decades went by, she was hostess of the tasting room from the time it opened in 1934 to years later when the winery changed hands. Today, this Sonoma County dry rosé honors Isabelle Simi and her famous rose garden at the winery.
Simi Dry Rosé Sonoma County 2014, $18: This refreshing summer sipper is braced with sturdy acidity and flavors of cherry, strawberry, pineapple, lemon and sweet herbs. So crisp and dry, it makes the ideal summer aperitif — chill it till the bottle sweats. The blend is mainly Cabernet Sauvignon from Simi’s estate-owned Los Amigos vineyard in the Alexander Valley. It’s filled out with Merlot for softness, Malbec for spice and a splash of Syrah for more weight.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@Hotmail.com.