American consumers love rosé. They’ve been drinking more of it and American winemakers are producing more of their own as well. This is one of my favorite wine consumer trends of late. The more rosé that’s consumed, produced and imported, the more good rosé wine will rise to the top.
Of course, summer and rosé go together like, well, the sun and the beach. While I enjoy rosé year-round, especially in the dead of winter to psyche myself into a warmer weather mindset, there’s no denying that classic refreshing character of a cool glass of pink on a hot day.
Lately, we’ve received a diverse selection of American rosés, including two delicious offerings from Virginia, and some pink Pinot and Syrah goodness from California.
These wines, all from the 2014 vintage, were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.
2014 Tolosa Winery Rosé of Pinot Noir Estate - California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
Pale salmon color. Deep aromatics, with rich red cherry and ripe strawberries mixing with white flowers, banana peel and sea salt. Fresh and tangy acid, medium-bodied, this rosé is full of strawberry, watermelon and red apples, topped with lilies, baby’s breath and nettle notes. Clean and bright, lots of cut, lingering minerality, and I like the spice elements on the finish (which, based on the 2013 Pinot Noir seems to be a signature characteristic of this vineyard). Lovely stuff. (89 points)
2014 Agnitio Wines Pinot Noir Rosé - California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Medium salmon color. Bright and floral on the nose, roses mixed with daisies, some dandelion and nettle as well, on top of white cherries and wild strawberries. Medium to full body but crisp acid, the wine is quite creamy and ripe with strawberries, white cherries and McIntosh apple flavors. Fresh and tart but lots of vibrant fruit, backed up by notes of nettle, rose hips.
2014 Silver Trident Pinot Noir Rosé Apollo's Folly - California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Pale salmon color. Aromas of bright strawberries, cherry blossoms, peach and guava nectar, hints of cotton candy and floral perfume. A wine of bold presence on the palate, but held together by refreshing acid. Lots of juicy, almost chunky fruit (guava, red apples, summer peaches), add in notes of floral perfume, chalk and lemon zinger tea. A nice white pepper spice element lingers on the long and creamy finish. Showing a lot of weight, but still refreshing and clean. Could stand up to all sorts of summer fare. (88 points)
2014 Baker Lane Syrah Rosé - California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Pale salmon/tangerine color. Lighter approach on the nose, sliced red apples and white cherries, a breezier aromatic profile with white flowers, dandelions and hints of sea salt. Bright and crisp approach on the palate, this wine is light and elegant but not short on flavor. I get McIntosh apple, wild raspberries, tangerine and watermelon fruit, but what I like best is the complex mix of crushed chalk, white pepper, sea shells and minerals. Long, bracing finish that keeps the mouth watering. Crazy value, this is a 12% alcohol Syrah from Baker Lane’s Ramondo Vineyard. (90 points)
2014 Cornerstone Cellars Syrah Stepping Stone Corallina Rosé - California, Napa Valley
Deep salmon colored. Bright red and white cherries on the nose, rose hips, cotton candy, add in some white pepper and basil. Juicy and ripe on the palate but a clean sense of acid. Tangy white cherries, wild strawberries, nectarine, add in some rose petals, cherry blossoms, hints of white pepper and sweet basil. Bright and clean but I like the creaminess and earthy-herbal notes. Not a saignée, this whole cluster pressed rosé is the best vintage I’ve tasted yet. (87 points)
2014 Early Mountain Vineyards Rosé - Virginia, Central Region, Madison County
Very pale salmon color with a spritz in the glass. Bright aromatic display: white cherries, wild strawberries, watermelon, roses, nettle. On the palate, clean and crisp but mediu bodied. Bright raspberries, watermelon, also bursting with peach, apricot, drizzled with lime. A nice peppery kick with some nettle notes. Lots of complexity here, and notes of dried clay and crushed chalk come out with time. Lovely stuff, this is wonderfully done Virginia rosé that is able to compete with dry roses from all over the world. A blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Malbec and the rest Cab Sauv, Cab Franc and Syrah. (89 points)
2014 Stinson Vineyards Mourvedre Rosé - Virginia, Central Region, Monticello
SRP: $19Lively salmon color. Very floral nose (roses, dandelions, daisies), mixed with strawberries, red cherries and watermelon, hints of white pepper as well. On the palate, this is a bright, clean and juicy rose, full of watermelon, ruby red grapefruit, red cherries and banana peel. Notes of white pepper, crushed calk and green herbs (basil, maybe?) add complexity. Creamy, fruit-forward yet refreshing and crisp. Stinson does it again in 2014 with this 100% Mourvedre (which is sourced from Horton Vineyards). (88 points)