Rosés for the Summer of 2016

Rose Glasses

The summer of 2016 may be one of the hottest ever, and fresh, crisp 2015 rosés are on the wine shelves just waiting to be chilled, opened and consumed, either as an aperitif or with the fresh summer vegetables, fruit, seafood, and light meats available in the marketplace now. We review over 60 rosés for this report. They come from all over the world, but primarily France, and they’re made from a wide variety of grapes, which we’ve noted in the tasting notes. Almost all of these rosés are made in a crisp, dry style with light red berry, cherry, pomegranate, plum or watermelon aromas and flavors, although they vary in terms of freshness, vibrancy, acidity, balance and depth of flavor.

Since rosés are meant for drinking young and fresh, we review them every year.  {See last year’s review of the 2014 rosés.} This year we introduce new rosés from some of the regions we’re currently working on: Tannat based rosés from Uruguay, Gamay Noir based rosés from Beaujolais, Nebbiolo based rosés from Roero in the Piedmont, and Carmenere based rosé from Chile. These wines aren’t easy to find in the marketplace, but we urge readers to expand their horizons.

Our list of top-rated rosés based on our tastings of the 2015 vintage are given below. The list is striking for the number of places the wines come from as well as the range of varieties.


Top Rated Rosés for 2016

Arinzano Tempranillo Rosé Navarra Pago de Arinzano

Château de Ségriès Rosé Tavel

Château Thivin Beaujolais Villages Rosé

Domaine de la Bégude L’Irréductible Bandol

Domaine de la Mordorée La Dame Rousse Rosé Tavel

Domaine de la Mordorée Les Vestides Tavel

Domaine Thomas & Fils Terres Blanches Sancerre

Gassier Espritgassier Rosé Côtes de Provence

Mas des Bressades Cuvée Tradition Costières de Nîmes

PACE Rosanebbia Vino Rosato Roero

Terrazze Dell’Etna Rosé Brut Sicily


French Rosés

Alain Jaume 2015 Grand Veneur Réserve Côtes du Rhône ($16) 89 Medium salmon rose. Ripe berries and orange zest show on the nose of this well-balanced, crisply textured wine. It’s dry with bracing acidity and good flavor density. Precisely what most people seek in a rosé. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Alain Jaume 2015 Le Crétacé Tavel 90 Medium pink. Intensely aromatic with scents of pomegranate and berries, this is an elegant, flavorful wine with a velvet texture, fine flavors, and a richly extracted finish. A blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Castelmaure 2015 Vin-Gris Corbières ($13) 89 Pale pink. Showing minerals and light red berry and herbal aromas, this Vin-Gris offers more of the same on a very dry palate with brisk acidity and light red berry flavors that linger. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Chateau d’Or et Gueules 2015 Les Cimels Rosé Costières de Nímes ($14) 90 Orange tinted pink. Showing blood orange and raspberry aromas and flavors, Les Cimels Rosé is flavorful, fresh, and has a beautiful sugar-acid balance. Outstanding value, too!. A blend of mourvèdre (40 %), cinsault (40 %), syrah (10 %), grenache (10 %). From the family winery owned by Diane de Puymorin and Mathieu Chatain. Incredible value! Importer: Robert Kacher Selections Washington, DC

Chateau de Javernand 2015 Rosé de Gamay Beaujolais Villages Chiroubles 89 Pale pink. Made from the Gamay Noir grape grown in Beaujolais, this is a fresh, light wine with bright acidity and good length. It offers good intensity of red cherry and berry fruit on a balanced palate. Importer: Sierra Nevada Imports

Chateau de la Chaize 2015 Rose Beaujolais Villages 89 Deep salmon. Made from pressed grapes at the end of the harvest. A fresh clean quaffing wine with good acidity and flavors of ripe red berries. It has superb balance and excellent depth of flavor. Very soft on the attack and wide but flat on the palate. Sourced from pink granite, sandy, shallow soils. Importer: Esprit Du Vin

Château de Ségriès 2015 Rosé Tavel ($22) 91 Showing fresh, bright aromas of red cherry and sun-ripened red berries with floral accents, this is a very well balanced and flavorful wine with very good flavor concentration. Simply delicious. A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 10% Clairette, and 10% Syrah. Made the saignée method from the fruit of 60 year old vines. Highly recommended! Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Chateau de Valcombe 2015 Fruit Rosé Syrah Grenache Costières de Nímes ($14) 88 Blush pink. Showing scents of rose petals and freshly cut watermelon, this 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah is lightly flavored, fresh, and ethereally light on the palate. Moderate acidity. Dominique Ricome is vigneron. Importer: Domaine Select Wine Estates

Chateau des Arnaud 2015 Caprices d’Anais Rosé Bordeaux ($13) 89 Light orange-tinged pink. Lightly fragrant of flowers and red berries. Very dry on the palate with light citrus and berry flavors. A very refreshing and delicious wine for those who like their rosé dry yet flavorful. A 50/50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from 30+ year old vines. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Chateau Grande Cassagne 2015 Rosé Costières de Nímes ($10) 88 Pale salmon pink. Showing rose petals, orange peel, and a hint of thyme on the nose, this is a bright, brisk wine that reveals light flavors of citrus with a hint of rosemary, finishing dry and chalky. Importer: Domaine Select Wine Estates

Chateau Les Crostes 2015 Rosé Côtes de Provence ($23) 89 Pale blush pink. Rosé wine doesn’t get much lighter in color than this. Shows light pomegranate on the nose. Nicely balanced on a soft palate with light notes of citrus and chalky minerals on the finish. An uncomplicated Provence rosé. Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Chateau Suau 2015 Rosé Bordeaux ($13) 87 Pretty bright pink. Showing a bright nose of citrus, berry and a hint of thyme, this 100% Merlot is surprisingly soft and lightly flavored on the palate. Pleasant drinking, but serve well chilled. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Chateau Thivin 2015 Beaujolais Villages Rosé 90 This rose of Gamay Noir reveals a pale copper color and displays aromas of cherry perfume on the nose. Vinfied in stainless steel with natural yeast for 3-4 days using direct pressing, it has excellent depth of cherry and raspberry flavor, superb acidity and freshness, and a crisp finish.

Chêne Bleu 2014 Rosé Vaúcluse IGT 90 Light pinkish orange in color, this blend of Rhône varieties has light red berry and herbal scents and a balanced, energetic palate offering good complexity and depth of flavor. A blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 5% Cinsault. Delicious. Note: This wine is produced by Domaine de la Verriére. Importer: Wilson Daniels Ltd.

DeLaroche, Anne 2015 Rosé Ciotes du Rhône ($10) 88+ Pink blush. This 50/50 blend of Syrah and Grenache has a light strawberry scented perfume and a crisp, fresh and richly flavored palate of cherry skin. A well balanced, refreshing wine that will please those like their rosé dry and mineral-like. Outstanding value! Importer: J & D Selections

Domaine Corne-Loup 2015 Rosé Tavel ($16) 89 Medium red. Ripe berry and plum scents. This wine is full on the palate with ripe red fruit compote flavors, finishing dry. Made from 20 year old vines. A blend of 5% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah and the remaining 10% are Mourvèdre, Clairette and Carignan. 14% alcohol. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Domaine de Fondrèche 2015 Rosé Rhone Wine Ventoux ($16) 89 Pale salmon color. This wine is aromatically shy and lightly flavored with red berry notes. It shows good balance with prominent minerality and a refreshing, balanced palate. Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Domaine de la Bégude 2015 L’Irréductible Bandol ($40) 91 Light reddish pink. With coaxing aromas of red cinammon, thyme, and ripe watermelon, L’Irréductible offers more of the same on a richly flavored palate accompanied by bright framing acidity and a lingering finish. A blend of 95% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Domaine de la Mordorée 2015 La Dame Rousse Rosé Tavel ($26) 91 The Tavel Rosé has a gorgeous rose petal and cherry perfume and a beautifully balanced and flavorful palate showing minerals and cherry skin and a clean, long finish. A blend of Grenache 60%, Cinsault 10%, Mourvedre 10%, Syrah 10%, Bourboulenc 5%, and Clairette 5%, farmed biodynamically. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Domaine de la Mordorée 2015 La Remise de la Mordorée Rhone Valley ($16) 90 Very light garnet. Showing notes of ripe strawberry and a hint of rhubarb, this is a full-flavored, yet dry rosé with rich extract on a long finish. With good structure and complex, somewhat earthy flavors, this is the rare rosé that may provoke discussion. A 50/50 blend of Marselean and Merlot grown using biodynamic methods. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Domaine de la Mordorée 2015 La Remise de la Mordorée Rhone Valley ($16) 90 Very light garnet. Showing notes of ripe strawberry and a hint of rhubarb, this is a full-flavored, yet dry rosé with rich extract on a long finish. With good structure and complex, somewhat earthy flavors, this is the rare rosé that may provoke discussion. A 50/50 blend of Marselean and Merlot grown using biodynamic methods. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Domaine de la Mordorée 2015 Les Vestides Tavel 92 Pale ruby, Les Vestides is in a class by itself. Showing sumptuous scents of wild red berries, the palate is dense yet fresh with concentrated, vibrant fruit with excellent sugar/acid balance, finishing with rich flavor and extract. A blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, and 20% Syrah. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Domaine de la Motte 2015 Rosé Pays d’Oc ($11) 87 Light pink. This is a softly textured, easy drinking wine with light watermelon and red berry aromas and flavors. A slightly tart finish adds to the refreshing character of this wine. Serve very well chilled. Importer: Scoperta

Domaine de la Petite Cassagne 2015 Rosé Rhone Valley Costières de Nímes ($10) 88+ Apricot-tinged pink. With a fresh citrus and floral nose, this is a soft and easy wine to drink with a lightly flavored palate and a gently uplifting finish. Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Domaine de la Verriére 2014 Chêne Bleu Vaúcluse IGT 90 See the tasting note above, listed under Chêne Bleu.

Domaine des Corbillières 2015 Rosé Touraine ($15) 89 Medium pink rose. Showing scents of dried and fresh red cherries, this is a nicely balanced wine with brisk acidity, good flavor, and a dry, mineral like finish. An uncomplicated, refreshing wine. Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Domaine du Tariquet 2015 Rosé de Pressée Côtes de Gascogne IGP ($12) 89 Pale ruby. This rosé made at the foot of the Pyrenees reveals scents of red berries and dense flavors of raspberry and pomegranate on a dry palate with brisk, almost spritzy acidity, finishing long and clean. Good for both sipping and pairing with light cuisine. Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Domaine Michel Thomas & Fils 2015 Rosé Sancerre ($33) 91 Showing light red cherry and herbal notes, this Pinot Noir based rosé is densely flavored and balanced, finishing with good length and rich extract. Needs food to show its best. Made with 50% direct press and 50% saignée. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Domaine Saint-Rémy 2015 Rose D’Alsace Alsace ($19) 89 This pale copper-pink Pinot Noir based rosé offers scents and flavors of red cherry skins. It’s soft on the attack and has good acidity and excellent persistence. Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Domaine Sainte Eugenie 2015 Rosé Corbières ($12) 90 Bronze tinted pink. Shows fresh red berries on the nose. Good flavor intensity on the palate, revealing raspberries and pomegranate with uplifting acidity and excellent length. Made of 80% Cinsault, 10% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah. Goes through full malo. Incredible value! Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Domaine Thomas & Fils 2015 Terres Blanches Sancerre ($27) 91 Pale pink. Bright, scintillating scents of fresh, young red cherries are followed by bright acidity and notes of fresh fruit on a balanced palate, finishing with a fine, lingering touch of cherry skin. Made from Pinot Noir grown on the Kimmeridgian soils of Sancerre. Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Ferraton Pere & Fils 2015 Samorëns Rosé Côtes du Rhône ($14) 88+ Copper blush. Red currants and mandarin scents are mirrored on a broad and full flavored palate accompanied by good acidity and lingering red fruit flavors. A blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah and Cinsault. The winemaker is Damien Brisset. Importer: HB Wine Merchants

Gassier Espritgassier Rosé Côtes de Provence 91 Pale blush pink. Showing floral scents of roses and red berries, this is an elegant, flavorful rosé with excellent acid balance and a lingering cherry-tinged finish. Very good. Importer: Wilson Daniels Ltd.

Jean-Paul Brun 2015 Terres Dorées Rosé d’Folie Beaujolais ($16) 89 Medium pink. This is a flavorful, dry rosé made from the Gamay Noir grape. It has excellent acid balance and pure flavors of red cherry skin and raspberry. Importer: Louis/Dressner , New York

Les Costières de Pomerols 2015 Beauvignac Syrah Rosé Pays d’Oc ($10) 87 Light copper tinged pink. The Beauvignac Rosé is a very soft, easy drinking wine. A floral character that evokes roses and strawberries runs through the wine from the bouquet to the gentle finish. Nicely done for this style. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd Winchester, VA

Les Vignobles Foncalieu 2015 Haut Vol ($15) 88+ Rose petal pink. This blend of Grenache and Carignan from the south of France offers red berries and watermelon in a flavorful, pleasant drinking wine that’s also excellent value. From the Languedoc based cooperative. Importer: Scoperta

Les Vignobles Foncalieu 2015 Pique Poul Coteaux D’Ensérune ($15) 90 Showing a blush of light pink, this wine made from a rare and interesting variety reveals chalky minerals tinged by raspberry on the nose. It’s very dry and stony like on the palate but with excellent sugar-acid balance and surprising rich notes of red cherries and berries on the palate, lingering at the end. Made from the Piquepoul Noir grape. 12% alc. Importer: Scoperta

Chapoutier 2015 Bila-Haut Rosé Pays d’Oc ($15) 88 Medium pink. This is a nicely balanced, easy drinking rosé from the south of France. It reveals red berries and is fresh with bright acidity, finishing dry. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault direct pressed, cold fermented, and aged on the fine lees in stainless steel. Importer: H.B. Wine Merchants

Mas 2015 Astélia Rosé Pastel Pays d’Oc ($18) 90+ Brilliant orange-tinged pink. Showing attractive tangerine and dried cherry scents, this is a richly flavored, well balanced wine with bright acidity and excellent depth and length. Highly recommended! A blend of 42% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 18% Mourvèdre, and 17% Cinsault. Made by Jean-Claude Mas. Importer: Esprit Du Vin

Mas Carlot 2015 L’Irresistible Rosee Costières de Nímes ($15) 89 Medium pink. This is a pleasant, easy drinking rosé that reveals light flavors of red berries on a dry palate with good balancing acidity. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault direct pressed, cold fermented, and aged on the fine lees in stainless steel. Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Mas Carlot 2015 Rosé Costières de Nímes ($) 90 Medium orange tinged pink. Perfumed aromas of ripe berries. Soft on the attack with a very flavorful, fresh palate that offers both rich flavors and bright, refreshing acidity. Finishes with very good length. A saignée blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre made by Nathalie Blanc-Mares near the city of Nimes. Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Mas des Bressades 2015 Cuvée Tradition Costières de Nîmes ($13) 91 Medium pink. Aromas of watermelon and tangerine zest. A superbly balanced and flavorful, fresh wine that’s dry on the palate and long on the finish. Excellent wine and superb value! Importer: Robert Kacher Selections

Mas Redonne 2015 Rosé Bandol ($33) 90 Pale orange-pink. With a floral nose and light flavors of white citrus and stone fruit, this is a crisp, fresh wine with notable stony mineral notes. An excellent pairing for simply prepared seafood. A blend of 55% Mourvedre, 35% Cinsault, and 10% Grenache. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Italian Rosés

Barone Ricasoli 2015 Albia Rosé Toscana IGT ($15) 89 Pale copper salmon with a light frangrance of dried flowers and wild strawberry, this is a precise and crisp rosé with light flavors of red berries and minerals, finishing long and chalky dry. Made of Sangiovese and Merlot and aged in stainless steel. Importer: Barone Ricasoli

Cantina Colli Euganei NV Baci Dolci Rosato Italy ($11) 86 Baci Dolci is a partially fermented rosé with just 6% alcohol. As a result, it’s sweet with fairly neutral, watermelon like aromas and flavors. For consumers who like their drinks sweet, or perhaps to be used as a mixer. Importer: Scoperta

Cantine del Castello di Santa Vittoria D’Alba NV Rosa Vittoria Roero Piemonte ($18) 88 Medium copper tinged pink. Revealing scents of dried cherries and red berries, this is a softly textured wine that’s a tad off-dry with good intensity of tangerine and dried red fruit. The winemaker is Nicola Fogliati. A blend of 70% Nebbiolo and 30% Arneis. Importer: Domaine Select Wine Estates

Franco Serra 2015 FS Rosato Piemonte ($13) 89  Made of 95% Barbera and 5% Dolcetto, this is an excellent, well-balanced rosé with a firm acid backbone and appealing flavors of red berries and watermelon. Incredible value. From Mombaruzzo (Asti) and made by Tenute Neirano. Importer: Scoperta

Monchiero Fratelli NV Vignola Rosato Langhe ($16) 90+ Light copper orange. Showing a nose of citrus and flowers, this is a bone dry rosato that shows minerals, blood orange, and a hint of dried cherry on a focused palate with an extra long, extra rich finish. Rich and robust enough to stand up to pretty assertive food. The wine is 100% Nebbiolo from the commune of Castiglione Falletto. Pressed and fermented like a white wine. Importer: Scoperta

PACE 2015 Rosanebbia Vino Rosato Roero ($17) 91 Made of Nebbiolo in the Roero region of Italy’s Piedmont, the Rosanebbia reveals enticing scents of dried cherries and minerals and an energetic, finely flavored palate with refreshing acidity and good length. Overall, among the best and certainly best value rosés you’ll find in 2016. This is a saignée of the PACE Langhe Nebbiolo. Importer: Enotria USA Imports

Terrazze Dell’Etna 2012 Rosé Brut Siciliy ($35) 91 This is an attractive Sicilian sparkling wine with a refined, abundant mousse. Flecks of gold and orange complement a light copper color. Shows minerals and light orange zest and bread dough notes from these grapes–90% Pinot Noir and 10% Nerello Mascalese aged on the lees a minimum of 30 months. Importer: Domaine Select Wine Estates

Spanish Rosés

Arinzano 2015 Tempranillo Rosé Navarra Pago de Arinzano ($20) 91 An outstanding rosé from the producer Chivité in Navarra. With a light reddish-pin hue, the wine reveals clean cherry aromas and a creamy, fruit rich palate with good acidity, astounding purity, and light mineral notes. A first rate rosé from one of Spain’s special pagos.
Burgo Viejo 2015 Rosado Rioja ($10) 89 Light red. This all Grenache rosado from Rioja offers a depth of fresh red fruit seldom found in the pale-colored rosés that dominate the market today. It has the stuffing to accompany spicy food from the grill. Traditional in style, delicious, and incredible value! Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Codorníu NV Rosé Brut Lleida Cava 88 Subtle pink. Showing scents of red fruit on a fine, frothy palate, this is an easy drinking sparkling rosé from the Lleida area in Penedés. Sold in a painted pink bottle, the wine is pleasant to drink and festive in its presentation. A blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay aged on the lees for a minimum of 12 months.
Lasalde Elkartea 2015 Aitzalde Rosé Getariako Txakolina Spain ($18) 89 Pale pink copper color. This is a low alcohol (10%), high acid wine that will refresh on even the hottest of summer days. Redolent of light red berrries, this 50/50 blend of Hondarrubi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza would pair well with simply prepared fish and seafood. Tart and refreshing. Importer: Scoperta

Tres Ojos 2015 Rosado Calatayud ($9) 87+ Medium pink. The Tres Ojos Rosado has transformed itself since the last time we tasted it. It’s now more dry with less ripe fruit flavors and a medium finish. An easy drinking that we would serve very cold. A 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

New World & Other Rosés

Apaltagua 2015 Rosé Reserve Carmenere Maule Valley ($13) 88 Very pale pink. Lightly fragrant of minerals and flowers with subtle flavors of citrus and berries, finishing with bracing acidity. This is a wine for those who like their rosé wine bracing and mineral like in texture with subtle hints of fruit. Importer: Global Vineyard Importers

 Artesana 2015 Tannat Rosado Uruguay 87 This rosé displays a medium red color with aromas and flavors of plum and pomegranate. It is full in the mouth with fine tannins. Fermented in barriques, it should be consumed like a light red wine. Importer: Deschere’s Selected Wine & Spirits

Brooklyn Winery NV Dry Rose ($15) 90 Pale blush pink. Showing minerals, rose petals, and light essence of raspberry on the nose, this is a very dry but balanced wine that’s lightly flavored, showing more minerals and acidity than fruit. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. Overall, refreshing and well done. Made from old vine Grenache planted in the 1940s.

Galil Mountain 2014 Rosé Upper Galilee ($12) 87 Ruby pink. Showing spicy cranberry on the nose, this softly textured wine has attractive red berry flavors, finishing dry. Made of 74% Sangiovese, 23% Pinot Noir, and 3% Grenache. Galil Mountain is a joint venture between Golan Heights Winery and Kibbutz Yiron. Micha Vaadia is chief winemaker.

Hugl 2015 Zweigelt Rosé Niederösterreich ($13) 88 The 2015 HuglWeine Zweigelt Rosé from Austria is a fresh, easy drinking rosé that offers pleasant, light red berry aromas and flavors. At just 12% alcohol, this is the perfect wine to accompany a light lunch on a warm summer day. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Marichal 2015 Blanc de Noir y Chardonnay Uruguay 89 A rosé partially fermented in oak and showing hints of honey and smoke with light red berry notes on both the nose and palate. Very good balance with a long finish and bright acidity. Importer: Global Vineyard Importers

Solms Delta 2015 Grenache Rosé Franschhoek ($10) 88 Starbright pale pink. Revealing light aromas and flavors of watermelon and red berries, this South African rosé is a very crisply textured wine with lingering pure flavors and prominent mineral notes. Made of 100% Grenache Noir. Superb value. Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils

Stinson Vineyards 2014 Monticello ($21) 90 This 100% Mourvèdre from Virginia is very well done. It’s crisp and fresh, showing fresh red berries on the nose and excellent character on the palate. The wine is flavorful and delicious. The fruit is sourced from Horton Vineyards. One of Virginia’s very best rosés.

 

 

 

 

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