For American wine-lovers, Spring and Summer are prime time for pink wine.
Don’t get me wrong, I love rosé year round. I’ve actually developed a tradition of opening a good rosé on the first big snowstorm of the winter, and it’s a lot of fun. But the shelves of your local wine shop are surely piling up with various pink wines from all over the world, so you should have plenty of options to choose from.
I’ve been receiving lots of rosé wines, so I gathered some up and tasted through them, hoping to find some really good values to share. (Spoiler alert: I did.)
These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. It’s not even May yet, so I’m sure I’ll have another round of rosé reviews in the next two months or so. (Literally as I was writing this, I received a knock on the door with, drumroll, more rosé samples to sign for.) If there’s a bubble to burst in American consumers’ love for the pink, I’m not sure we’re there yet.
Check out these rosé wines from around the world below!
Pale copper color. Aromas of chalk dust, white flowers, rose petals, red apple peel, bread dough. Brisk and tangy on the palate, tart and brisk but lots of depth, with flavors of white cherries, wild strawberries, red apple peel. Blazing streak of minerals in this wine, with chalk dust, sea salt, mixed with toasted baguette and lots of flowers. What a tangy and bright wine, but lovely textural depth as well. Mostly Pinot Noir, this is a blend of 25 vintages going back to 1985. (92 points)
Light rose color. Smells of fresh white peaches, strawberries, nettle and roses. Crisp and bright but plenty of textural depth. Peaches and watermelon, drizzled in lime, and topped with honeysuckle, dandelion, white tea. Notes of mineral and chalk dust on the finish. Delicious but shows significant complexity. (88 points)
2017 Très Chic Rosé - France, Sud de France
Pale strawberry color. Nose of strawberries, white cherries, very perfumed with notes of spicy white floral tones. On the palate, this is medium-bodied with bright acidity and juicy texture. Watermelon, white cherries, strawberries, along with bright white and red flowers. Floral, juicy, fresh, solid for the price, surprisingly so. Grenache and Cinsault. (87 points)
2017 Château de Berne Rosé Urban Provence - France, Provence, Côtes de Provence
Light pink/copper color. Bursts with aromas of peaches, cantaloupe melon, ruby red grapefruit, along with roses, lilies and wet stones. Medium-bodied, richly textured, with bright acidity. Pineapple, peaches and tangy limes blend well with plenty of spicy/herbal elements (nettle, raspberry leaf, white pepper). Crisp but fruity, fun but the complexity shows through. Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. (88 points)
2017 Château de Berne Rosé Inspiration - France, Provence, Côtes de Provence
Pale pink color. Bursting aromas of passion fruit, strawberries and peaches, topped in roses, spicy nettle and clover. Zesty acidity frames the palate nicely but plump fruit abounds (peaches, strawberries, lemons). Spicy herbal notes, deep floral tones, along with some crust mineral and chalky elements. Lovely Provence pink. Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. (89 points)
2017 Château de Berne Rosé Emotion - France, Provence, Côtes de Provence
Very pale copper color, like the inside of a grapefruit rind. So fresh and spicy on the nose, with nettle, dandelion, white pepper and honeysuckle, on top of plump peach and green melon. Crisp acidity, plush texture, lots of fruit (white cherry, lemon, peach) laced with white pepper and dandelion. Fresh, fruity, spicy, nice stuff for the price. Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. (87 points)
Bright watermelon color. Fresh and floral with watermelon, white cherries, strawberries, with white pepper, chalk dust, red gummy candies and roses. Bright texture, fresh and juicy texture, a zesty and fresh attitude with juicy strawberries, watermelon, nectarine. Notes of white pepper, cut flower stems, cucumber slices and gummy candy, yet dry and fresh. Fun, high-quality, Merlot rosé. (88 points)
2017 Hearst Ranch Winery Rosé Julia - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
Deep copper color. Very floral on the nose with roses, honeysuckle, dandelion, peaches and red apples. Crisp acidity on a medium-bodied frame, but plenty of rich texture here, and white peaches, raspberry, white cherries. Lots of flowers packed in here (roses, honeysuckle, wild clover), along with some dusty mineral tones. Goes down so easily despite significant complexity. A Paso kitchen sink blend of Syrah, Malbec, Tempranillo, Petit Vedot, Grenache, Petite Sirah. (89 points)
2017 Booker Vineyard Pink - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
By far the darkest “pink” wine in this report, this looks like melted raspberry cough drops in color. The nose has a lot to show: roses, raspberries, spiced cranberry sauce, cinnamon. Plump texture on the palate (14% alcohol) but the acidity moderates everything nicely. Raspberries, currants, cranberry jam fruit, this is a dark-fruited wine with lots of roses, clove rooibos tea. So rich, and a total stylistic outlier here, but Booker pulls it off. It ain’t cheap, and it ain’t a lightweight, but it’s delicious and well made. Grenache with 8% Syrah, this spends five days on the skins. (90 points)
Light watermelon color. Spicy green herbs and bright roses mix with strawberry and white cherry. On the palate, this is crisp and bright with a smooth texture and tart strawberry fruit, some juicier cherry and yellow plum. A bright, spicy appeal with some floral and mineral undertones. Lively, crisp, delicious, attractive at its price point. Includes 6% Viognier. (88 points)
2017 Castello di Amorosa Pinot Noir Rosato Morning Dew Ranch - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
Pale pink color. Bright aromas of lemons, limes, grapefruit, dandelion, lilies, and white pepper (a lot going on!). Tangy as hell, medium-bodied, with flavors of peaches, limes and nectarine. The mineral, quinine, limestone and chalk dust elements are really complex, and I get a mix of spicy white pepper, barley, oregano as well. Complex, zesty, fruity, mineral-driven, balanced so nicely. All Pinot Noir that is fermented and aged in concrete eggs. (90 points)
2017 Scotto Cellars Dry Sangiovese Rosé - USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi
Medium watermelon color. Nose shows juicy cherries, strawberries along with lemon verbena, white pepper, and bubble gum. Plump texture with fresh acidity, lots of peaches, strawberries, white cherries, watermelon fruit. I also get notes of rose petals, bubble gum, white pepper, nettle. Fun, juicy, fruity, spicy, quite good stuff! 13% alcohol. (88 points)
2017 McCay Cellars Grenache Rosé - USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi
Bright pink color. Aromas of crisp strawberries, white cherries, watermelon rind, nettle and rose petals. Medium-bodied (12.5% alcohol) with refreshing acidity and a good amount of depth. Tangy white cherries, honeydew, watermelons and peaches, richly fruity but laced with light, spicy, floral elements (which tea, honeysuckle, raspberry busy). Well-balanced, lovely stuff, per usual from McCay Cellars. (90 points)
2017 St. Amant Winery Barbera Rosé - USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi
Bright cherry juice color. Bursting aromas of strawberry jam, candied apple peel, cinnamon sticks and rose petals. Bold and juicy on the palate with fresh acidity and plenty of raspberry and strawberry jam, candied apple. I get notes of spiced tea and cinnamon candies. Sweet fruit but nice and lively, too. (87 points)
2017 d'Art Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé - USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi
Bright raspberry color. Nose of crisp strawberries, roses, candied cherries, sweet red flowers, cinnamon sticks. Plump texture, this is a big pink wine at 14.8% with medium acidity and rich, vinous notes of red cherries and raspberries. I get notes of spiced, honeyed tea and sweet roses. This is a bold rosé that I’m thinking would pair nicely with a whole spread of charcuterie. (87 points)
2017 Long Shadows Wineries Julia's Dazzle Rosé Benches Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
Pale copper color. Lots of peaches and apricots on the nose, with green apples, cotton candy and nettle. Juicy and full of fruit on the palate (apricot, ultra ripe white peaches), but the wine stays fresh and balanced. Notes of honeycomb, dandelion and nettle accentuate the fruit. A nice pink Pinot Gris. (87 points)