It’s Time for RosÉ

Summer is coming….at least in the Northern Hemisphere….so it’s time to put a bottle of dry fruity rose in the fridge, chill it well, and then screw off the top or pop the cork and enjoy! The 2009 roses from Argentina, Chile, France, South Africa, Spain, and the U.S. are already on the store shelves, but there’s an awful lot to choose from. We took on the arduous task (somebody has got to do it!) of tasting thirty some rosés to identify some of the best, and the best values. The rosés reviewed here offer a wide variety of flavors and styles for the palate. Rosés pair well with a wide variety of foods, from salads to seafood to chicken to spicy Asian fare. Want to read more about pairing rosé and food?

Readers interested in learning more about how rosés are produced are encouraged to consult our technical note on Techniques for Making Rosé Wines.

Rosé Sparklers.

There are some lovely and affordable dry rosé sparklers on the market from all over the world. They are produced from Pinot Noir, Grenache, Cabernet Franc and other varietals. Rosé sparklers are festive and easy drinking.

Graham Beck NV Brut Rose Chardonnay Pinot Noir ($15) 88

This is a very clean, fresh tasting sparkler that would be perfect for weddings, public receptions and the like. Light red cherry fruit shows on the nose and palate with a nice creamy mouth feel and crisp acidity on the finish. Nothing complicated here but quite delicious nonetheless.

Graham Beck 2008 Brut Rose ($20) 91

This blend of 80 percent Pinot Noir and 20 percent Chardonnay is one of the sparkling wine world’s best values. Light strawberry, earth, and brioche notes appear on the nose and palate. Extended time on lees contributes to the creamy mouth-feel. The Pinot Noir for this cuvee comes from new 115 and 777 clones. This sparkler is gorgeous vintage after vintage. See our notes on an earlier vintage.

Marquis de la Tour NV Brut Rosé Loire Valley ($11) 87

Rémy Pannier’s sparkling rosé blends Cabernet Franc, Grolleau, Syrah and Grenache. It is a delicious offering, light salmon in color with fresh strawberry aromas and flavors, a touch of sweetness on the mid-palate, and a dry crisp finish. Great price.

Bodegas Pinord NV Reynal Frizzante Rose Penedes ($10) 87

This off-dry sparkler of Tempranillo and Garnacha has a dark rose color with a ripe raspberry nose and a fresh and flavorful palate of red and blackberry fruit. Fresh tasting and offered at an attractive price.

Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA

wine labelNV Wolfberger, Crémant d'Alsace, Brut Rosé Alsace ($22) 89

This light copper salmon sparkler of Pinot Noir has a lively fresh mousse and clean light cherry aromas. It is dry and crisp on the attack offering delicate raspberry flavors and a dry finish. Delicious.

Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA

Provence -Tavel

The rosés of Provence are world renowned and especially those of the Tavel AOC (appellation). Most are blends of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault and other grapes. The rosés from this region exhibit red fruit aromas and flavors (cherry, raspberry, watermelon) excellent acidity and freshness on the palate, and a crisp dry finish.

labelChâteau de Ségriès 2009 Tavel Rosé Tavel ($16) 88

This tasty rosé blends Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette and Syrah. It is fruit forward with fresh strawberry aromas and ripe red berries/kirsch richness on the palate. It has a pleasant dry tart finish.

Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA

Commanderie de la Bargemone 2009 Rosé Coteaux d'Aix en Provence ($15) 90

labelBargemone produces delicious rosés. This rosé with a pale pink hue is made of 53% Grenache, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and 4% Carignan. It exhibits delicate cherry fruit on the nose, freshness on the palate, and vibrant acidity on the finish. Great price too!!

Importer: Hand Picked Selections Warrenton, VA

Domaine de la Mordoree 2009 Tavel Rosé, La Dame Rousse ($24) 90label

La Dame Rousse is blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Clairette. Deep pink rose in color, it boasts a floral and fresh raspberry/ cherry nose followed by vibrant fruit flavors, a touch of chalkiness and minerals, and a crisp long finish. Very nicely balanced and exceptionally fine drinking.  

Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA

Domaine de la Mordoree 2009 Tavel Rosé, La Reine des Bois ($34) 90+

The Reine des Bois also blends Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Clairette in a format similar to La Dame Rousse. It displays a vibrant dried cherry and plum flavor profile with pleasant tartness on the mid-palate and a crisp refreshing finish. It is a pricey rosé but worth the indulgence.
Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA

Languedoc -Roussillon

This region of southern France is a source for very good and inexpensive wines made by artisanal and family wineries. The rosés are produced from different varietals, although Syrah takes on greater importance than elsewhere. Many of the wines are generally riper with more plum fruit, spices, and herbal aromas and flavors.

Cave de Pomérols Hugues de Beauvignac 2009 Syrah Rosé Languedoc ($12) 87

labelMedium pink in hue, this 100% Syrah offers attractive aromas of strawberry and plum followed by a soft attack and a fruity palate. It shows good concentration and balance and a refreshing finish.

Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA

 
Chateau de Lancyre 2009 Rosé Pic Saint Luup ($16) 89+

labelThis attractive medium pink rosé from one of the top wine districts of the Languedoc, is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Cinsault. It offers fresh raspberries and strawberry aromas with good fruit concentration and herbs on the palate and a pleasant dry finish.

Importer: Hand Picked Selections Warrenton, VA

labelChateau du Donjon 2009 Rosé Minervois ($13) 87+

This old family winery in Minervois produces tasty rosés of Syrah, Cinsault, and Grenache. This bottling has a nose of sweet ripe raspberry fruit, good flavor intensity on the palate with spicy notes and medium acidity on the finish.

Importer: Hand Picked Selections Warrenton, VA

Cuvée de Peña 2009 Rosé Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes ($10) 89

labelThis lovely rosé is produced by a cooperative winery in the Roussillon region of Southern France. A blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, it exhibits a medium copper salmon hue and a lovely perfumed nose of strawberry and hint of resin. It has a flavorful attack with good complexity, excellent balance and a nice long dry crisp finish. Great value. 

Importer: Hand Picked Selections Warrenton, VA

Domaine de Gournier 2009 Rosé Vin de Pays des Cévennes ($10) 88

labelThis is a delicious and unique blend of Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Sangiovese. It has a dark salmon hue and aromas of fresh strawberry and cherry. It has bold and pure fruit flavors on the palate, earthy dark fruit notes, excellent balance and good acidity on the finish. Great price.

Importer: Robert Kacher Selections Washington, DC

labelDomaine Massamier la Mignarde 2009 Cuvée des Oliviers
Rosé Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Peyriac ($11) 87+

The Cuvée des Oliviers Rosé is a blend of 80% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, and 10% Grenache. Medium dark rose in color it offers aromas and flavors of dried rose petals, cherry and raspberry and has a fresh and flavorful palate and a good long finish.

Importer: Hand Picked Selections Warrenton, VA

Villa des Anges 2009 Old Vines rosé Vin de Pays D’ OC ($10) 87

This 100% old vines Cinsault is dark rose in color and offers ripe red berry fruit aromas on the nose. It shows good intensity of red fruit and spice on the palate and a long flavorful finish.

Importer: Hand Picked Selections Warrenton, VA

Costières de Nines and the Rhone Valley

The rosés of Costières de Nines and the Rhone Valley are predominately produced from Grenache and Syrah with small amounts of other varietals like Cinsault and Mouvedre.. The wines are generally fruit forward and offer ripe, fragrant and flavorful red berry fruit with good acidity and dry finishes.

labelChateau Grande Cassagne
2009 Rosé Costières de Nines ($11) 89+

This is a delicious rosé of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache. It has a light pink color and lightly fragrant nose of dried cherry. It is fruit forward on the palate with excellent freshness, crisp acidity and a dry finish.

Importer: Robert Kacher Selections Washington, DC

labelChateau Guiot 2009 Rosé Costières de Nines ($11) 89

The Guiot rosé is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. It has a lovely dark rose color and is ripe and fruity in style with a good concentration of red berry fruit flavor.

Importer: Robert Kacher Selections Washington, DC

Domaine des Sources 2009 Rosé de Fayel Vin de Pays du Gard ($13) 89+

labelThis lovely medium salmon colored rosé is a blend of 70% Cabernet Franc 25% Syrah, and 5% Grenache. Whole berry crushed, it is light, delicate and flavorful with perfumy raspberry and cherry fruit on the nose and good concentration of red berry fruit on the palate. This combines with excellent acidity and balance, and a long finish.

Importer: Robert Kacher Selections Washington, DC

labelMas Carlot 2009 Rosé Costières de Nines ($11) 90

A blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre, the Mas Carlot offers attractive aromas of fresh strawberry and spice, with a touch of anise. on the nose. On the palate it reveals ripe red berry flavors with excellent acidity and freshness, good overall balance, and a long finish. Terrific value.

Importer: Robert Kacher Selections Washington, DC

labelMas des Bressades 2009 Rosé Costières de Nines ($13) 89

Medium rose in hue, this rosé from one of the Costières de Nine’s top wineries, is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Cinsault. It offers fresh and fruity strawberry and cherry aromas with excellent concentration of red fruit flavor and spice and perfect balance.  

Importer: Robert Kacher Selections Washington, DC

Domaine Grand Veneur
2009 Reserve Grand Veneur Rosé Côtes Du Rhône ($15) 90

labelThis delicious rosé is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Cinsault. It displays a medium salmon hue and aromas of fresh cherry and strawberry. It is a nicely balanced wine with purity fruit flavor, good acidity and a crisp dry finish. It is also a terrific buy.

Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA

Bordeaux

Château Suau 2009 Bordeaux Rosé Bordeaux ($15) 88

labelThis rosé is made from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon- and 50% Cabernet Franc. It displays a dark rose color and has fresh ripe strawberry aromas with earth notes on the nose. . It has a flavorful attack with jammy raspberry notes, good balance, moderate acidity, and a pleasant finish.

Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA


Spain

While Garnacha is the traditional rosé grape of Spain, these bottlings reveal the diversity of Spanish rosés now available on the market. Navarra is especially renowned for its rosés made from old vine Garnacha. We reviewed several in our Navarra report last year. All the wines reviewed below are of excellent quality and price.

Bodegas Chivite 2009 Gran Feudo Navarra ($11) 89

Produced from old Garnacha bush vines, this rosé is one of the finest Grenache-based rosados from Spain. It displays a dried cherry nose a fresh and vibrant palate of red berry fruit, good acidity and a pleasantly tart finish.

Importer: Vinos Libres, New York, NY

labelBodega San Gregorio 2009 Tres Ojos Rosado Calatayud ($11) 87

A 50-50 blend of Tempranillo and Garacha, this medium rose-colored rosado boasts a spicy red cherry/plum nose with a soft lush attack of red berry fruit flavors and a crisp dry finish. Simple and refreshing and a natural for tapas.

Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA

Gurrutxaga 2008 Txakoli Rose Txakoli de Bizkaia ($16) 89

labelHere is a unique rose to kick off the season. The grape is Hondarribi Beltza, which is indigenous to the Txakoli region in Spain’s Basque country. This wine has real character--minerals, earth, notes of dried berries; high acidity; and low alcohol (just 10.5%) -- the perfect wine for drinking with lunch on sunny summer days. Like most Txakoli wines, it's not easy to find, but you can check with the importer.

Importer: De Maison Selections, Inc Chapell HIll, NC

Argentina

The rosés of Argentina are produced from Malbec, the juicy red grape that grows extremely well in Mendoza and produces wines of great fragrance and flavor.

labelMaipe 2009 Rose of Malbec Mendoza ($13) 87+

Produced in the Luján de Cuyo subregion of Mendoza, this tasty rosé of Malbec displays a medium dark rose color and light red cherry fruit on the nose. It has a clean and flavorful attack of ripe red berry fruit and is round on the palate with a long fruity finish

 

labelViejo Isaias 2009 Viejo Isaias, Malbec Rosé Mendoza ($14) 87

Dark rose petal in color, this ripe rosé from Viejo Isaias in Lujan de Cuyo spends three months in American oak. It offers aromas and flavors of strawberry, spice and sweet cedar with moderate acidity and a dry finish.

Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA