Fifty Shades of Rosé (Part 2)
A steamy list of our favorite Rosé wines to savor this season.
Calafuria Rosato Salento, Apulia, Italy($15)
From the Tormaresca estate along the Adriatic coast in upper Salento, Apulia, which is known as the “heel of the Italian boot,” this pale pink rosé, made from the indigenous Negroamaro grape, has an enticing flavor with grapefruit and pomegranate and a Mediterranean herbal note on the long finish.
Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina Rosé, Basque Country, Spain ($23)
Rubentis is this region’s first pink wine and is delightfully refreshing with only 11% alcohol. Made from a field blend of old vine indigenous varieties grown on high slopes above the Basque fishing village of Gentaria, it is composed of 50% Hondarrabi Zuri and 50% Hondarrabi Beltza and is nothing like you have ever tasted before.
Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Rosé, Willamette Valley, Oregon ($25)
Made from estate grapes from Willamette Valley’s top vineyard sites, this electric pink rosé opens with lively aromas of strawberry, watermelon and peach and has a note honeysuckle along with an underlying minerality. Medium bodied, it works with most seafood, especially salmon and tuna.
Balletto Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma ($20)
This pale pink rosé has lovely fresh flavors of guava, watermelon, and lime. Grape grower and owner John Balletto farms his 16 estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley—from Laguna Ridge to Santa Rosa Plains to Sebastopol Hills–sustainably and meticulously.
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Spain ($13)
From one of Rioja’s top wineries with its famous sculpture garden in the vineyards, this 100% Garnacha wine has personality and a perfume of rose petal. With vibrant cherry, blackberry, and strawberry flavors, it has a creamy texture.
Pasqua 11 Minute Rosé Trevenezie, Verona, Italy ($19)
Named 11 Minutes to note the duration of skin contact and soft pressing the red grapes undergo to achieve the plush pink color, this is a blend of mostly Italian native varieties Corvina and Trebbiano di Lugana. Coming with an elegant glass stopper, it’s floral, has a hint of spice and a long finish.
Gamble Family Vineyards Rosé, Napa ($25)
Made from sustainably farmed estate grapes, this Bordeaux blend displays delicate orange blossom and peach fragrance, flavors of strawberry and watermelon, a touch of minerality and a crisp finish. Third generation farmer and owner of the Gamble Family Vineyards, Tom Gamble, farms 175 acres of vineyards in the most prestigious AVAs of the Napa Valley.
Il Paggione Brancato Rosato, Montalcino, Italy ($20)
Spicy, floral, and fruity with cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors, this salmon shade rosato, is made from 100% Sangiovese with the same grapes that are also used to make award winning Brunello di Montalcino. Structured, crisp, yet round, it is an excellent food wine with seafood and vegetable dishes.
The Pale, Provence ($17)
Created by Sacha Lichine, the wizard who brought the world (the Hamptons, especially) Whispering Angel, The Pale, vinified with grapes from Vin de Pays Du Var region in Provence, has white floral, lilac, and orange peel aromas. With light, fruit flavors, this grey-pink hued rosé sports a New Yorker style label depicting a scene from the Roaring Twenties—appropriate timing as post- pandemic life might resemble that period.
Jean-Luc Colombo La Dame du Rouet, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence ($22)
With the characteristic Provence “garrigue” (scrubland) aromas of rosemary, fennel and thyme, this medium pink hued rosé, a blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache, possesses delicate flavors of redcurrant and raspberry.
Keller Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma ($35)
Made from selected blocks of organically farmed Pinot Noir, this bright pink, terroir-driven rosé has tangerine and apricot notes and is crisp and low in alcohol. The family estate is situated in The Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast.
H3 Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington ($14)
A Syrah dominant blend of 6 grapes, this light pink rosé has fragrances of watermelon, peach and raspberry and is crisp on the finish. Horse Heaven Hills AVA was created in 2008 and runs along the Columbia River. The family farm partners/growers make wine with minimal intervention.
Frog’s Leap La Grenouille Rouganté, Mendocino ($20)
Made from old-vine Carignane from the Ricetti Vineyard planted in 1942 in high-altitude benchlands, this faint pink Provence style rosé has bright fruit flavors, natural high acidity, low sugar levels, and low alcohol. This wine is such a hit that it sells out every year.
La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé, Monterey, CA ($25)
Made with grapes grown in the cool-climate vineyards in Monterey Bay where the cold winds whip off the Pacific Ocean, this fragrant 100% Pinot Noir rosé possesses vivid aromas of strawberry and Mandarin orange, flavors of raspberry and blood orange, and an underlying flinty minerality.
Malene Rosé, Central Coast, CA ($22)
From a winery in San Luis Obispo that makes exclusively rosé, this pale rose-gold hued, Provence style rosé, made from a Grenache-dominate blend, is lovely with watermelon, strawberry and tropical fruit flavors and herbs and salinity on a crisp finish.
Love, Oregon Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, Oregon ($22)— From R. Stuart & Co., this is a delightful, pale pink rosé with strawberry, citrus, and bright cherry aromas. It shows refreshing acidity on its long finish. Winemaker Rob Stuart, previously at Erath Vineyards, makes his own brand with grapes sourced from a dozen top Willamette Valley vineyards.
Unshackled Rosé, Oakland, CA ($21)
This vibrant blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre has aromas of tropical fruits along with strawberry, tangerine and melon, and a bright acidity. The Prisoner Wine Company sources grapes from the Central Coast and Napa and Sonoma.
Ram’s Gate Rosé, Sonoma Coast ($38)
Surprisingly, Ram’s Gate changed its 2020 vintage blend to feature Grenache with supporting roles from Pinot Noir and Syrah. The result is a beautiful balance of richness and acidity with bright citrus aromas and flavors of cranberry, melon, and grapefruit.
Venturini Baldini “Cadelvento” Spumante Rosato, Emilia Romagna, Italy ($22)
From Venturini Baldini’s organically farmed 321-acre property in Northern Italy famous for its Lambrusco now comes a delicious rosato. Fragrant with rosehip and peach, it’s dry, bright flavored, and bubbly.
FIOL Prosecco Rosé, Treviso, Italy ($19)
This is the first year that the major prosecco brands have come out with a rosé prosecco by simply adding 10—15% of Pinot Noir to the blend. Made with 85% of Glera, the traditional prosecco grape, this refreshing, coral hued rosé has flavors of raspberry, strawberry and citrus and persistent bubbles.