Nearly every wine region in the world has its own Rosé tradition. Often it’s produced from the dominant local grape. And in some cases where that’s multiple grapes it might be a blend. Those facts alone keep Rosé pretty interesting. Add in the myriad of styles and production methodologies and it’s even more fascinating. When paired properly Rosé is appropriate year round. However it’s at this time of year that most people drink Rosé. Consumption of Rosé has risen sharply in the United States the last few years. In fact this year I’ve sampled more than 65 different Rosé’s from all corners of the world. Here are 9 from different regions; each one offers something worth reaching for.
Herdade do Esporão Alandra 2015 Rosé ($8) – (Alentejo – Portugal)
This Rosé is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, and Syrah. Red plum and strawberry aromas are evident. The palate is juicy and strewn with a bevy of red and black fruits. Bits of raspberry, cherry and more emerge on the finish along with a kiss of vanilla. At $8 (less if you shop around) this is an excellent value in Rosé. It’s got just a bit more weight than most and thus will work just as well with a burger as it will lighter foods.
Tselepos Winery 2015 Driopi Rosé ($15) - (Nemea - Greece)
The vivid, cherry red color of this 100% Agiorgitiko Rosé resonates in the glass. Red raspberry and white pepper dominates the nose. The palate is stuffed with red fruit flavors intermingling with one another. These flavors all continue on the solid finish. This will pair with much bolder foods than the average Rosé.
Boya 2016 Rosé ($16) – (Leyda Valley – Chile)
This Chilean Rosé is largely Pinot Noir (93%) with a bit of Grenache (7%) blended in as well. Pinot Noir thrives on the coast of Chile and here’s a delicious example of that. Red raspberry, ripe wild strawberry and citrus zest dominates the aromatics. Red fruits, limestone and hints of spice are all apparent on the crisp, stimulating finish. This will pair well with traditional Mexican cuisine.
Cantine San Marzano Tramari Rosé di Primitivo ($17) - (Puglia – Italy)
In the glass it’s the perfect light salmon hue that comes to mind when I think of Rosé. Red fruit aromas are tinged with a hint of tangerine rind. Raspberry, cherry and red plum flavors dominate and bits of spice come along for the ride. The finish here is lengthy, crisp, and refreshing. This Rosé is particularly delicious all by itself and it’ll also pair well with entrée salads, soft cheeses, olives, and the like.
Gustave Lorentz 2016 Le Rosé ($20) – (AOC Alsace France)
This French Rosé is composed entirely of Pinot Noir. All of the fruit came from hillside vineyards. This is a delicate, light and refreshing expression of Rosé. Bits of red apple appear on the nose alongside strawberry and Bing cherry. Red fruit flavors dominate and are tinged with interspersing bits of black fruit too. All of these characteristics reverberate on the long, crisp finish.
Long Shadow Vintners 2016 Julia’s Dazzle Rosé ($20) - (Horse Heaven Hills – Washington)
Talk about curb appeal, this offering has it. All of the fruit came from a specific block which was allowed to hang longer and obtain some color. It’s 100% Pinot Gris. There are oodles of strawberry, crème fraiche and cantaloupe aromas in evidence here. The palate is studded with bright, cheery red fruit flavors. Cherry, strawberry and more are apparent and continue through the lingering finish. Firm acid keeps things balanced. In addition to a flavor profile that will have mass appeal, the package is also good looking to boot.
Presqu’ile 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé ($22) - (Santa Maria Valley – California)
Presqu’ile Rosé is composed entirely of Estate Pinot Noir. It’s also entirely clone 777. Hint of red flowers and dried strawberry aromas dot the nose. The completely dry palate is loaded with gentle red fruits, bits of savory herb and hints of spice such as nutmeg and white pepper. Pomegranate notes and red cherry flavors are evident on the substantial finish.
ACORN 2016 Rosato ($25) - (Russian River Valley – California)
All of the fruit comes from their Estate, Alegria Vineyards. As with the other wines in the ACORN portfolio their Rosato is a field blend. It’s comprised of Dolcetto (28%), Sangiovese (26%), Zinfandel (23%), Cabernet Franc (15%), and Syrah (8%). I love the gorgeous Salmon hue of this Rosato. Oodles of cherry, bits of papaya and gentle wisps of savory herbs are evident on the nose. The palate is fruity but dry with cherry, stone fruit and just a touch of crème fraiche in play. Dried cranberry emerges on the long finish. This will pair well with the abundance of lighter foods that are the stars of summer.
Stoller 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé ($25) - (Dundee Hills – Oregon)
The Dundee Hills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley are one of the best places in the world to grow Pinot Noir. So it’s no surprise that’s what Stoller Family Estate would use to produce their Rosé. Bits of orange zest are evident here along with red cherry aromas. Citrus, mango and continued cherry dominate the layered and refreshing palate. The finish is long, crisp and begs you back to the glass for additional sips.