West Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir: Not Just for Summer

The rosés of Pinot Noir being made in California and Oregon are substantial wines suitable for drinking the year-round.  In this article, we review some of our favorites from the 2021 vintage.  Most of them are cultivated and fermented specifically for rosé. Well-chilled, a Pinot Noir rosé is the perfect dinner companion, pairing beautifully with salmon, pork, chicken and vegetable dishes.  These wines may be purchased direct from the winery websites.

For a much more extensive review of Pinot Noir rosés from California, Oregon, and France, see last year’s in-depth report Rosés from Around the World.   

The Wines

Castello di Amorosa 2021 Rosato Cresta d’Oro Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley ($39) 91  Pale pink. A perfectly balanced and supremely fresh rosé of Pinot Noir, this wine is easily the equal of the 2020 vintage we were so enthusiastic about last year. There’s nice tart cherry fruit, but it’s the dense mouth feel and exhilarating acidity that stand out. A perfect rosé for the table. 100% Pinot Noir from the Crest d’Oro Vineyard, partially fermented and aged in concrete eggs.

Dutton Goldfield 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir Green Valley of Russian River Valley ($33) 92 The Dutton Goldfield Rosé of Pinot Noir is a serious wine. Perfumed on the nose (think rose petals and red cherry skins) and palate, it’s chalky dry with a solid backbone and lingering rich extract on the finish. This is a rosé that can be enjoyed as an aperitif, but it’s firm, mineral like character makes it even better when paired with light cuisine. Try it with simply prepared fish, chicken breast or grilled veggies. Whole cluster grapes from the Green Valley were foot-trodden, and the juice was fermented in stainless steel. No malo. pH 3.30, 14.1% alc.

King Estate 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir Willamette Valley ($19) 90 Light pink. This rosé of Pinot Noir opens with scents of strawberry, light red cherry, and a hint of thyme. Very nicely balanced with bright acidity enlivening red berry and cherry flavors that persist on a long, crisp and flavorful finish. A very good rosé. Sourced from sustainably farmed estate vineyards whole cluster pressed, fermented and aged in stainless steel. pH 3.3, RS 2.8 g/L, 13.3% alc. Good value!



Morét-Brealynn 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir California ($27) 91 Medium copper salmon color. Showing an intricate nose of orange zest and dried cherry with savory notes, this is a rosé of substance on the palate. Full and flavorful with good depth, freshness and a continuation of the savory elements, this is a wine meant for the meal. Pair it with fresh salmon, baked chicken and even a Greek salad. Sourced from three vineyards; a portion of the fruit went straight to tank, while a portion was given 36 hours skin contact. 13.1% alc.


Pellegrini 2021 Olivet Lane Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($40) 91 The Olivet Lane Rosé of Pinot Noir is redolent of ripe summer berries. It’s fresh as one might expect but rounder and fuller in the mouth than most rosés. It has a layered, almost creamy texture that’s immediately appealing good density of flavor and a lingering finish.  Try with roast chicken. Pressed by foot followed by two hours on the skins; tank fermented and aged.  13.9% alc.


Sangiacamo 2021 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast ($35) 92  Salmon pink color. A very fresh rosé with bright acidity and light red berry and watermelon flavors but dense-feeling on the palate with a nice backbone and a long, long rich finish. All clone 777 sourced from Sangiacomo’s El Novillero Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. Whole cluster pressed with 15% going to neutral oak with 4 months oak-aging and 85% to stainless steel, all aged sur lie with 92% going through malo. pH 3.34, 12.5% alc.

Tongue Dancer 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 91 This very fresh and bright rosé exudes just picked red cherries and raspberries with a complicating savory, earthy accent. There’s bright acidity on a densely flavored palate, finishing long, rich, and dry. An outstanding rosé. 14.3% alc.


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