Fifty Shades of Rosé (Part 1)
A steamy list of our favorite Rosé wines to savor this season.
Considered the original brand of prestige rosé for over 100 years, Domaines Ott has introduced an accessibly priced cuvée of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Coming in a tall stately bottle with deep punt, this luminescent coral tone rosé has aromas of exotic fruit and white peach and a long citrusy finish.
With a peach shade, this spicy rosé shows pink grapefruit, blood orange, and raspberry flavors. Uniquely, it is more like a Provence rosé with its blend of Rhône varieties of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise grown in top vineyards in Paso Robles.
Spicy, floral, and herbal with red fruit flavors, “Raphael” displays a salmon pink hue (unlike many Italian rosés which are on the darker red spectrum). It is made from one of the world’s rarest varieties, Zibibbo or Muscat of Alexandria, an ancient grape in Sicily known by its Arabic name.
Made from 100% Pinot Noir and sporting a Provencal pale pink color, “Lucy” has lovely aromas of flowers, nectarine and rhubarb, strawberries on the palette and a bright acidity.
A Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend from the Biltmore Estate vineyards in Asheville, this rosy pink rosé has papaya, strawberry, and banana aromas and is perfect to sip as an apertif on the veranda.
Winemaker Alexis Cornu of Château de Berne, located in the heart of Provence, has a talent in naming rosés: Romance, Inspiration, Ultimate Provence. This Grenache Noir, Cinsault, Syrah blend has inspiriting aromas of lavender, strawberry, and basil.
Made from a blend Tempranillo, Garnacha Tinto and Blanca, this bright pink, creamy rosé has aromas of roses and violets and lively flavors of red licorice, raspberry and strawberry. Bodegas Vivanco is among Rioja’s top wine estates with vineyards in Rioja Alta.
With the classic Provence blend of Cinsault, Grenache Rolle, and Tibouren (a grape that a Master of Wine once told me was the secret spice in great rosés), “Studio” is pale pink hued with white floral and grapefruit aromas and a saline finish. A baby sister to Chateau Miraval Rosé, the brand co-owned by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with the Perrin family of Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Planeta Rosé, Sicily ($20)
Made from 50% Nero d’Avola and 50% Syrah, this is truly a charming rosé with aromas of hibiscus and bright, refreshing, balanced flavors of cherry, peach, raspberry and pomegranate. Family owned since the 1600’s, Planeta has winery properties and vineyards throughout Sicily.
Clearly, 281 is the top cuvée of Minuty’s four ascending priced rosés and it demonstrates another level of complexity and intensity which a rosé can achieve, while still retaining a delicate character. With enticing white flower, citrus, and peach aromas, it is the wine’s signature minerality that sets it apart. Made from old vine Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, 281 is a food wine that can pair well with grilled shellfish. Château Minuty is the rosé of St. Tropez and along the beaches, the iconic M de Minuty ($28) graces tables at the exclusive beach clubs.
From a blend of Molinara and Merlot grown in the hills near Lake Garda, “Betarose,” the oldest release of Cantine Bertani making its historic comeback, exhibits flavors of pomegranate and redcurrants. With a distinctive lychee pink color, it has a medium body, tangy acidity and a long finish.
With its unique bottle shape inspired by perfume flasks and its jewel-like pink color, Tourmaline, made from Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, is fragrant with floral, red berry and citrus notes and a fresh finish. Barton & Guestier, founded in 1725, is the oldest winehouse in Bordeaux, working in partnership with 150 winegrowers across France.
From one of the Russian River Valley’s newest family-owned wineries, this elegant rosé (labeled “Flying by the Seat of Our Pants” by winemaker Cary Gott,) has peach and cantaloupe aromas and guava and grapefruit on the palette. The Grenache is grown on a hillside vineyard on the western slope of Spring Mountain known for Rhône varietals.
From the highly-awarded Domaine Serene in Dundee Hills, this pale pink rosé has fragrances of lilacs, hibiscus, and watermelon. Uniquely, the winery makes this rosé of Pinot Noir in a multi-vintage style.
Made from organic grapes and soon to be certified organic, this highly aromatic, Provence pink cuvée of Grenache Noir, Cinsault, Syrah and Tibouren has notes of raspberry, redcurrant, and pink grapefruit. It hails from a property with an historic castle with a rich history going back 100’s of years.
Made from 50% Grenache Noir, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah, Rosé Aurora is an easy drinking, Mediterranean wine with charming cherry and strawberry flavors and well-balanced acidity. It hails from Domaines Paul Mas, which now has grown to more than 2,000 acres of vineyards, much of it organically farmed in southwest France, mostly Languedoc.
This is an elegant rosé from one of Russian River Valley’s single vineyard Pinot Noir specialists. With grapes grown in the prestigious Martaella Vineyard, the medium-bodied rosé has strawberry, sweet orange flavors with tart cranberry finish. Great summer lunch wine.
Displaying a pale rose petal shade, made from Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Vermentino, this expressive wine has bright aromatics of peaches, strawberry, and citrus. Situated at the foothills of Sainte-Victoire Mountain, Château des Ferrages was acquired in 2016 by Maison Michel Chapoutier, known for its Nothern Rhône Tain-l’Hermitage.
This orange-toned rosé made from 100% Pinot Noir has lots of finesse with its tarte cherry, raspberry, and spicy flavors. It has a Vin de France designation because is blends of grapes sourced both in the South of France and in the Loire from estate vineyards in Touraine, which are certified organic. The Saget family has been making extraordinary wines in the Loire Valley since 1790.
Ram’s Gate is located on a rolling hillside near the San Francisco Bay and borders three key Sonoma AVAs. Sporting a lovely salmon shade, this Pinot Noir dominant blend with 10% Grenache shows vivid raspberry and strawberry notes with hints of melon and grapefruit.
With a vibrant pink shade, this 100% Malbec rosé with a delightful fragrance of violets and flavors of watermelon, raspberry, and herbs, is made from organic grapes grown in vineyards at 3,000 feet above sea level in the Uco Valley. Famed Italian winemaker Attilio Pagli moved to Mendoza in the early 90’s and is now joined by Anna Musso crafting these wines.
With a bright pink color, this lively Grenache-dominant Rhône blend has red current, raspberry, and strawberry aromas and minerality on the finish. Ferraton Père & Fils owns vineyards in the appellations of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint Joseph, all farmed under biodynamic cultivation.
From sustainably farmed vineyards overlooking San Pablo Bay, this 100% Pinot Noir has fresh aromas of strawberry, watermelon and guava and nectarine and cantaloupe on the palette and shows bright acidity. Vin Gris is the term used in France to refer to a pale pink wine made from Pinot Noir. Bouchaine Vineyards owns 100 acres in the Carneros district on Napa’s southern border.
With its grapes sourced from a biodynamically farmed estate in a cool region of Sonoma Country, this refreshing, juicy, orange-pink rosé has grapefruit and strawberry notes and a limestone minerality. It is one of four initial offerings from Royal Prince Wines, a collaboration between vintner David Green and Israeli winemaker Maayan Koschitzky, who source grapes from prime California regions.
This pale pink hued blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mourvedre has notes of raspberry, strawberry, and grapefruit. It’s fresh with a persistent finish. Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) came to Chile in 1988 and were the first French brand to make a viticultural investment, acquiring 10,000 acres and planting over 1500 acres of vineyards 25 miles from the sea.
Daou Rosé, Paso Robles ($24)
With grapes grown on the Daou Family Estates’ high elevation hilltop property in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles, this Grenache Noir-dominant blend has fragrances of rose petal, peach and pear and lively flavors of mango and tangerine.
A blend of Pinot Noir from two estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley, one at 400-foot elevation, this light salmon-hued rosé has aromas of blueberry, blood orange and cantaloupe. With low alcohol at only 11.9%, it’s tangy and refreshing.
Dry, crisp, lively, made from a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, Le Rosé has bright flavors of peach, strawberry, and apricot and pairs well with food, from grilled lobster to spicy shrimp.
From Josh Phelps’ Grounded Wine Co. comes this playful, “eye of the partridge” hued rosé made from grapes sourced from select growers in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. A blend of mostly Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, it displays Bing cherry, watermelon and strawberry flavors and a crisp acidity.
A Grenache Noir-dominant blend with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Rolle, this pale-pink rosé is rich with intense aromas of raspberry, redcurrant, and lime. Situated in the Southern Rhône at 1800 feet above sea level, the boutique Chêne Bleu winery practices biodynamic viticulture. Its isolated location surrounded by the UNESCO-protected Mont Ventoux Biosphere Reserve, a wildlife preserve of 200,000 acres, protects its vineyards and environment from pollution.