It’s time to think pink again. Here are 30 mouthwatering bottles to help beat the heat.
If you’ve been waiting for someone to announce that it’s time to crush some rosé wine, here’s your moment. It’s finally time to start thinking about the impressive amounts of pink wine you’ll be consuming this summer as your teeth begin to regain their white sheen, after months of drinking robust reds.
Because although there’s a lot of hype out there, I’m not convinced that people have been drinking rosé all year. Maybe some of you have: at the yacht club; in the infinity pools in Cabo San Lucas; everyone in Provence. But as a former New Yorker now living in the Bay Area, I’m always ashamed at how many sweaters and vests I need to wear when it’s “only” 52 degrees outside. The thought of chilled rosé during my “winter” months is enough to warrant breaking out my old wool peacoat. Pathetic for sure.
But like a light switch, it’s going to be 75 degrees in the morning and 95 at lunch any day now, and I’m going to need some bright, vibrant, rosé in my glass. So, to those of you who have borne the brunt of negative temperatures and will soon start bellyaching about the humidity, I have good news:
These 30 rosés from around the world are crisp, mouthwatering and delicious. They'll provide the perfect counterpart to a blazing sun and give good reason to pause from that Dan Brown novel as you sip and scope out the activity in the pool. Time to embrace the tipsy pink elephant in the room.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a blend of Grenache, Grenache Gris, Barbera, Syrah, and Pinot Noir in a rosé format anywhere in the world. Bright and aromatic thanks to 100 percent whole-cluster pressing, with very limited skin-contact, each variety is tank-fermented separately under cool conditions to retain its steely freshness. A mélange of stone fruit and white floral notes mesh well with the tension and salinity found on the back end of the palate.
This rosé is special, crafted by Sonoma icon David Ramey, producer of mind-bogglingly gorgeous Chardonnays that call to mind the richness and finesse of great white Burgundies. In the glass, a deep pink color with orange hues gives way to a rich and creamy mouthfeel, bursting with candied peach, nectarine and wild strawberry notes. The finish is long, infused with dazzling red-berry and saline mineral notes.
Bedrock's co-owner and visionary, Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, son of Joel Peterson (founder of Ravenswood) was on a mission to seek out a Bandol style rosé that showcases old-vine Mataro (a.k.a. Mourvèdre) and Grenache. This release weighs in at 12.3 percent ABV so it keeps light on its feet, but maintains tremendous depth. The proprietary name, "Ode to Lule" is a tribute to Lulu Peyraud of Domaine Tempier—an iconic Bandol producer. Its light copper-salmon colored hue lures you into a bowl of raspberries, peaches and apple blossoms. Bold and refreshing sip after sip.
The Perrin Family, famous for their flagship property Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, know a thing or two about Rhône varieties. This is a textbook effort for a Rhône-inspired rosé dominated by Grenache, with Mourvedre, Syrah and a dash of Cunouise—a variety rarely found in the U.S. Zesty grapefruit, nectarine, freshly picked raspberries abound on the palate with refreshing sea-spray tinged minerality.
This rosé of Pinot Noir is a beauty and one of the most consistent on the market for freshness and fruit purity. Made in the saignée method, which draws the light pink juice of fermenting red grapes before it darkens to the point of being a full-on red wine. Flowery aromatics, juicy melon, and luscious strawberry notes make this a charmer.
Liquid Farm has been getting serious national notoriety for this Bandol-inspired rosé of 95% Mourvèdre and 5% Grenache. It's one of the few domestic rosés that is barrel-fermented in neutral oak (as opposed to stainless tanks). A well-integrated wonder that combines mouthwatering acidity with low alcohol—only 11.5%. Alluring aromas of crushed rose petals infused with bright citrus, white peaches, and taut minerality.
7. 2017 A to Z Oregon Rosé Wine ($14)
A to Z's rosé is a standout with its distinctive rich rosy hue. This newly released 2017 is predominately Sangiovese sourced from the respected Del Rio vineyard in the Rogue Valley. This is "summer in a glass," dripping with ripe strawberries and mouthwatering watermelon. A hint of savory herbs and cleansing acidity is a nice compliment to the lip-smacking red fruit notes. This is a hard one to put down.
In the French appellation of Costieres de Nimes, a hotbed of good quality with fair pricing, Campuget leads the charge on the rosé front. The property is dotted with river pebbles that have accumulated over thousands of years from the Rhône River. This unique terroir paired with the Mediterranean sun and Mistral winds set up a perfect medium for this Grenache and Syrah blend. Light pink-salmon in color, incredible freshness, packed with juicy raspberries and strawberries—irresistible.
Two of Burgundy's biggest names—Jacques Seysses (of Domaine Dujac) and Aubert de Villaine (co-owner and co-director of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti) have partnered up to create this Cinsault-dominated rosé, blending in Grenache, Syrah, and Merlot. The result is pure freshness in the glass, with a heady alpine flower aromatics leading to a succulent herb-laced strawberry fruit core and lingering dry finish.
When renown importer Kermit Lynch has a more than three-decades-long crush on a rosé producer—whose vines are planted on soils originally tended to by the Romans—you buy as many bottles as you can carry back to the car. I bring a box. The backbone of this wine is 50% Grenache Gris (thus the "Gris de Gris") and each sip is like biting into a melange of fresh picked citrus fruit and wild berries, tinged with exotic spices, crushed-rock minerality, and mouthwatering acidity. Yum.
Arguably the most iconic Rhône producer. The wine explodes with exuberant strawberry and white peaches tempered with a dry minerally finish. Vibrant and refreshing, a great Guigal effort!
12. 2017 AIX Rosé, Provence, France ($18)
Once a truffle orchard back in the late 1800s, the site was converted into a vineyard by the early 1900s. Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault is partly vinified by the saignée method and direct pressing. Spot-on mouthwatering crispness and spice undertones mingle with blood-orange notes. If you can find it, this also comes in larger magnum and double magnums, meaning fewer trips in and out of the pool, as the pours keep coming.
This is a rosé you could keep in the cellar a year or two, as releases from d'Acqueria do develop nice complexities with a bit of bottle age. The 2016 release is just starting to blossom now with serious staying power on the palate. Always Grenache-dominated, full and round with loads of red cherries, vibrant spice and even an earthy-mineral note giving way to wild herbs on a cream finish.
While most of us in the U.S. are only familiar with the white wines of Sancerre, back in France copious amounts of rosés and red Sancerre are being consumed. See what all the fuss is about with this 100% rosé of Pinot Noir—though a bit tough to find, it is arguably one of the best Sancerre rosés you’ll try. A mouthwatering strawberry and watermelon fruit cored is laced with wet stones on a dry, minerally finish.
rockYou can’t go wrong with this rosé producer. If you live in New York, California or Florida, look out for a special eye-catching “limited edition” bottling. Contemporary artist Ashley Mary’s interpretation of the “landscape and architecture” of St. Tropez makes for a head-turning, stylishly inviting bottle. Pale pink with silver shimmers. Heady mineral and almond notes mingle with candied white peaches. Terrific chalky minerality on the palate dances with pear and peach giving way to a creamy energetic finish.
Vines roughly 30+ years old, perched in limestone-rich soils deliver a rosé teeming with energy coupled with the supple concentration only possible from older vines. A blend of Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault, and Clairette for added aromatics. A gorgeous nose of blood orange, crushed raspberries and rose petal. Ripe cherry and citrus notes intermingle on the mid-palate with hints of wet stones on the long and dry finish. Bring on the Bouillabaisse!
Culled from low-yielding 40-year-old vines, the wine elicits tremendous depth, concentration and spice notes throughout. Opulently rich compared to other southern French rosés, but amazingly inviting with freshly picked raspberries and strawberries with mouthwatering minerality.
If you love "Whispering Angel" you’ll love this. From the same producer—Chateau d'Esclans—this "Rock Angel" bottling combines primarily Grenache with some Rolle (a.k.a. Vermentino), which lends added freshness. Partially barrel-fermented for added richness and mouthfeel, this is a crowd-pleaser with silky-satiny texture, pops of bright red berry fruit, citrus, and mineral. Look for the 2017 vintage hitting shelves this summer.
19. 2017 Bodegas Muga Rosado, Rioja, Spain ($14)
Muga is one of the great, legendary family producers in all of Rioja. One of the few rosés aged in oak and sur lie for three months to accentuate the mouthfeel. A radiant light pink-salmon hue draws you into a cornucopia of citrus, stone fruit and red berry fruit. A traditional blend of Grenache of Tempranillo, but with a healthy dose of white Viura added for heady aromatics and freshness.
One taste and you realize why Garnacha (Grenache) makes for the perfect rose. Lively and bright, nuances of strawberry shortcake laced with herbs and licorice. Refreshingly crisp with a long satisfying finish. Serve what locals would have with this wine—Idiazabal, an aged and lightly smoked sheep’s milk cheese, along with some Jamon.
If you like your rosé bone-dry, then give Txakolina from Spain’s Basque country a try. Forget pronouncing the rest of the label, just ask if they have a rosé from Txakolina (chah-kuh-leena). Txomin Etxaniz’s has a tremendous length that outpaces most other French efforts. Tagny and minerally, showing layers of strawberries, lime zest white flowers and citrus notes. The wine is made with 100% Hondarrabi Beltza one of the native cultivars of the region and certainly one that would stump the wine geek at the party.
South Africa's Swartland district is a blistering hot place, but cooling breezes off the Atlantic Ocean make for okay grape-growing, and even better for sipping rosé. You might have a white Chenin Blanc from Badenhorst Family, but this rosé of Cinsault and Syrah is worth seeking out. Partially fermented in large, old foudre barrels, the mouthfeel is luscious, accented by pure mineral notes, red currants and wild ripe strawberries, even deep cherry notes. Delicious.
Another Italian Rosato that performs as well as upon release as with a few years of bottle age. The 2015 is still clicking along and select markets have brought on the 2017 release. 100% Rondinella, one of the approved grapes of the Valpolicella DOCG, it’s rare to find this native variety as it’s own bottling. Pure and refreshing, round in the mouth with grapefruit zest, ripe melon, candied red fruit and floral notes.
Here’s your "think outside the box" rosé. Puglia's indigenous Negroamaro variety delivers a radiant raspberry color, and a juicy Rosato teeming with dried cherries, cola-spice and a suggestive dried sage note.
Regaleali is serious royalty on the Island of Sicily, owning five separate properties. The "Le Rose" showcases the noble Nerello Mascalese grape, which is fermented in stainless steel tanks on the skins of Nero d'Avola grapes, a unique production twist giving nice texture and color to this wine. Radiant pink-salmon hue with ethereal rose petals aromas and packed with rich berry fruit, wild herbs and a fresh, lingering finish.
This Tuscan Rosato is derived from the same old-vines that produce Castello di Ama’s prestigious San Lorenzo “Gran Selezione” Chianti Classico bottling, which retails for north of $40. The same Sangiovese and Merlot grapes that make their Chianti Classicos are bled by the saignée method. That pink juice results in a textured beauty from start to finish. Copious amounts of ripe cherry, strawberries and grapefruit citrus notes take center stage on the palate with a gorgeous, tangy finish.
27. 2016 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Rosato, Etna, Sicily ($23)
From the slopes of Mount Etna, native Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes make a polished rosé fueled by tension but beautifully balanced. The natural acidity of the grapes makes for a perfect rosé that is serious enough to lay down for a few years. Boasting the body of a rich white wine with the soul of a hearty red, playful red-skin fruit mingles with Mediterranean spice.
Hand-harvested Malbec grapes from the Uco Valley deliver a deep vibrant rosé, with lip-smacking strawberry and black cherry fruit at the wine’s core. Fresh and mouthwatering acidity keeps the succulent fruit in check. Go on, have another glass, just to be sure. I always keep an extra bottle in the fridge because this goes quick.
You rarely find an Austrian Rosé stateside since the finest usually are consumed...in Austria. Native Zweigelt and St. Laurent varieties pair up with Pinot Noir to offer an elegant and alluring rosé that is fresh with plenty of mineral lift, augmented by intriguing orange blossom and nutty notes.
Gaia is a revolutionary estate that has been influential in resurrecting some of the ancient varieties of Greece’s southernmost Peloponnese islands, including the Agiorgitiko grape, which goes solo in this marvelous rosé. The proprietary name, "14-18h" is derived from how long the grape skins remain on the musts (unfermented grape juice). And 14 to 18 hours is a few more hours than most European rosés go through, but the extended skin contact provides both eye-popping color, as well as a deeper concentration on the palate. Aromas of the salty sea lift out of the glass, giving way to red-berry fruit and watermelon, hinting at seashell-like minerality and spice—a great food-friendly wine.