30 Jun Everything’s coming up rosés
While National Rosé Day was on June 13, we all know that we love to drink rosé year round! Of course it is a wine that is enjoyable by the pool or at the beach or on a picnic, but rosé wines also can be enjoyed in harmony with a variety of dishes. And from domestic producers to international producers, there is so much rosé available to us. I had the pleasure to taste more than 35 rosés which I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and share here for you to enjoy.
Summer is here and my home has become a never-ending sea of pink. With so many rosé wines arriving each day, I found myself singing “and the rosé kept rolling in from every side” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita” every time I got a knock at the door. Now, as I look at my table of rosés, I’m singing Ethel Merman’s “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”
But while Gertrude Stein wrote “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose,” I will say that rosé is not a rosé is not a rosé is not a rosé. Rosé wines come from different wine regions; they are made from different wine varieties. Rosé wines come in various shades of pink, in glass bottles and cans, with cork closures, screwcaps and glass closures.
Rosé wines can be fresh and crisp; they can be structured and mineral-driven; they can have depth; they can be juicy. Rosé wines can be enjoyed on a hot day, by the pool, in a garden or with a meal. Anytime is a good time for rosé, and I often say that pink wine makes me happy.
So, for National Rosé Day, June 13, I wanted to share rosés that I have been drinking.
France is considered the home of rosé. In the sixth century BC, rosé wine was first produced in the south of France when the Greeks founded Marseilles. The Romans brought it to Provence where today 89 percent of the vineyards are dedicated to rosé wine production. Exports of Provence wines have increased by almost 500 percent in the last 15 years. Provence exports more than 40 million bottles, and the U.S. purchases almost 50 percent of the wine exported.
Minuty Prestige Rosé 2019 Cotes de Provence ($30)
Château Minuty, a family-owned estate, is one of the better-known producers of Provence rosé and one of the original 18 classified growth of Provence. The Prestige Rosé is 60 percent Grenache blended with 20 percent Syrah, 10 percent Tibouren, and 10 percent Cinsault. The fruit comes from two estate vineyards, one in Saint-Tropez and one an hour north in the hills of Vidauban in the Massif des Maures. The wine is an almost translucent pale pink color. Floral, citrus and strawberry aromas swirl out of the glass, and on the palate the wine is bright, light and crisp with good acidity and citrus notes carrying through to the finish.
La Bernarde Les Hauts du Luc Rosé 2018 Cotes de Provence ($16)
Philippe Austruy owns several estates in France, and beyond, including the Commanderie de Peyrassol, an old Knights Templar staging post considered one of the crown jewels of Provence. La Bernarde is an historic property adjacent to the Peyrassol vineyards and managed by the same winemaker. La Bernarde is a blend of 46 percent Cinsault, 27 percent Grenache, 11 percent Mourvedre, 9 percent Rolle and 7 percent Syrah. An organic wine produced with natural yeasts, it is a pale salmon pink color with a fruity nose of red fruits, grapefruit and peach. The mouthfeel is clean and smooth with a mineral finish.
Chêne Bleu Rosé 2019 IGP Vaucluse ($40)
Located in the mountains at the crossroads of four appellations in the Southern Rhone (Gigondas, Cotes du Ventoux, Cotes du Rhone and Sequret), Chêne Bleu (blue oak tree) is a hidden gem. A centuries-old oak tree, which died and has since been painted blue, stands guard in the vineyard. The Chêne Bleu Rosé is a blend of 60 percent Grenache Noir, 15 percent Syrah, 12 percent Rolle, 5 percent Cinsault and 8 percent Mourvèdre. The pale pink wine has rich red fruit and citrus aromas. With 25 percent of the wine aged in French oak, this elegant wine is fresh and light, but it is also structured and complex.
While imports from Provence are at an all-time high, it is hard to find a winery in California that is not producing rosés. While in Provence, and the south of France, rosés are made primarily from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. But in California, rosés are made from these grapes, as well as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and many other red grape varieties.
Ashes & Diamonds Winery No. 4 Rosé 2019 Napa Valley ($39)Ashes & Diamonds Winery is owned by Kashy Khaledi, son of Darioush Winery owner Darioush Khaledi. Ashes & Diamonds opened in 2017 with high-profile winemakers Steve Mattiasson and Diana Snowden Seysses. The Ashes & Diamonds No. 4 Rosé, made by Steve Mattiasson, is 100 percent Cabernet Franc sourced from vineyards in Los Carneros and Oak Knoll District, which both get morning fog and afternoon sea breezes from the San Pablo Bay. Low-intervention wine-making results in a pale pink wine with a golden twinkle and a pretty nose of peaches, berries and minerality. This wine is beautiful, bright and elegant and definitely a diamond (not an ash).
Ehlers Estate Sylviane Rosé 2019, St. Helena, Napa ($32)
The 42-acre Ehlers Estate was established in 1885 and purchased by the Leducq family in 1987. The rosé is named in honor of Sylviane Leducq and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which are fermented in stainless steel and once-used barrels. The wine is a bright pink color, almost the color of a watermelon Jolly Rancher candy. The aromas of flowers, peaches, raspberry, watermelon and honeydew carry through to the finish. The wine is juicy with a creamy mid-palate and finishes with crisp acidity.
Tres Sabores “Ingrid & Julia” Rosé 2019 Napa Valley ($30)
Looking at the pale pink color of this wine, it is hard to believe it is made from 60 percent Zinfandel and 40 percent Petit Sirah. It looks more like a Provence-style rosé. It is named after winemaker Julie Johnson’s two favorite garden roses, “Ingrid Bergman” and “Julia Child.” The Zinfandel comes from the Rutherford estate and the Petite Sirah comes from Calistoga. The grapes are picked three weeks before the start of their red picks. The wine has beautiful aromas of strawberries and citrus. It is a graceful and elegant wine that lively acidity and a touch of spice on the finish.
Two Shepherds Rosé of Carignan 2019 Mendocino ($26)
Carignan is primarily grown in southern France, but there are 5.42 acres of Carignan vines planted in the Trimble Vineyard in Mendocino. The 75-year-old vines are head-trained, dry-farmed and certified organic. Winemaker William Allen produces Carignan, Carbonic Carignan and the rosé of Carignan. For the rosé, it is picked early, fermented with native yeast and aged in stainless steel and neutral oak barrels. The wine is unfiltered and unfined, and the resulting wine is the color of pink ballet slippers. It has a fresh, vibrant nose of red fruit and herbs and ends with a savory, mouth-watering citrus finish.
Pedroncelli Rosé of Zinfandel 2019 Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma ($17)
Established in 1927, the Pedroncelli family has been producing wine in the Dry Creek Valley for four generations. Like other Italian immigrants who settled in the area, they planted Zinfandel. Everyone knows about white Zinfandel, but the Pedroncelli Rosé of Zinfandel is nothing like a white Zinfandel. This wine is a deep bright pink color and has aromas of forest fruits, cherries, strawberries and raspberries. The wine has a nice, creamy weight on the mid-palate and delicate acidity. This is a wine crying out to be paired with anything on the grill.
Acorn Rosato 2019 Russian River Valley ($30)
Located in the Russian River Valley, Acorn Winery is a small, family-owned winery that produces co-fermented field blends. The rosato is a field blend of 44 percent Sangiovese, 24 percent Syrah, 21 percent Zinfandel, 8 percent Dolcetto and 3 percent Cabernet Franc. It is brilliant scarlet red color that is similar to a French Tavel wine. The wine is fermented in stainless steel with natural yeasts and then aged in neutral oak for three months. The red fruit and floral aromatics give way to a fresh but textured and full-bodied rosé.
Inman Family Endless Crush OGV Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 Russian River Valley ($38)
Winemaker Kathleen Inman made her first rosé in 2004 as a 20th wedding anniversary gift to her husband Simon. She describes her rosé as “optimism in a glass” and I cannot disagree. Sourced from her Sonoma County Sustainable certified Olivet Grange Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, the grapes were destemmed and left for a few hours before pressing. The wine is aged in stainless steel on the lees before bottling. A beautiful pink color, the wine is fresh and lush with an array of aromas ranging from raspberries, strawberries, watermelon and grapefruit to cherries, cranberries, rose petals and lemon zest. On the palate, the wine is clean with lovely texture, racy acidity and a touch of minerality.
Alma de Cattleya Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 Sonoma County ($20)
“Alma” is the Spanish word for “soul” and Cattleya is the national flower of Colombia, where winemaker Bibiana González Rave was born. Rave produces beautifully elegant wines that express the purity of grape varieties and of the vineyards where they come from. The rosé is sourced from cool sites in the Sonoma Coast and Carneros AVAs. The grapes are hand-sorted and direct-pressed before being transferred to neutral French oak barrels for fermentation and aging. The wine is a light pink color with pretty aromatics of peaches, nectarines, pomegranate, strawberry, watermelon and citrus. The wine is fresh with vibrant acidity and a mouth-watering mineral finish.
Ram’s Gate Rosé of 90 percent Pinot Noir and 10 percent Grenache 2019 Sonoma Coast (price not available)
Focused on small-lot wine production from marquee vineyards in Sonoma and Carneros, Ram’s Gate opened in 2011, founded by four friends who share a love of wine. The rosé, available only to wine club members, is sourced from the Sonoma Coast and is a bright pretty pink color. Fresh strawberry, peach, citrus and floral notes carry through to the palate. The wine is fresh and crisp, leaving a mouthwatering finish.
Balletto Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 Russian River Valley ($20)
Estate grown and estate bottled, the Balletto family had the largest vegetable farm in Northern California in the 1990s with more than 70 different vegetables grown on more than 700 acres. By 2001, they shifted to wine grape growing and created Balletto Vineyards. The rosé is a pale pink color and has a nose of candied fruit, lime and guava. It is a delicate and pretty wine with lively acidity and minerality.
Balverne Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 Russian River Valley ($24)
The 710-acre Balverne property was established in 1972 and is located just outside the town of Windsor. While 210 acres are planted to 16 grape varieties, 350 acres are dedicated open space created under an agreement with the Sonoma County Land Trust and classified as “Forever Wild”. The label was revived in 2015 using the image of the red-tailed hawks that are found on the property. The rosé is an almost translucent pale pink. Aromas of roses, strawberry, watermelon and peach jump out of the glass. The wine has a soft and creamy mid-palate and bright acidity.
Raeburn Rosé 2019 Russian River Valley ($15.99)
Founded in 2012 by Derek Benham in honor of his mother Phyllis, Raeburn is a certified sustainable winery with the mission of protecting the thriving and diverse watersheds of the Russian River Valley. The eco-friendly, water-efficient winery produces three wines – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and rosé. The pale pink rosé is made with Pinot Noir, Grenache and other red varietals. It has an aromatic sweet nose of raspberry, guava and strawberry. It is light but juicy with a lovely minerality.
Sosie Vivio Vineyard Rosé of Syrah 2017 Bennett Valley, Sonoma ($25)
Sosie Wines was established by owners Scott MacFiggen and Regina Bustamante in 2017. Sosie is French for “doppleganger,” and Scott and Regina created Sosie with the French wines of the Rhône Valley, the Loire Valley, Burgundy and Bordeaux as their model. Sourced from the fog-shrouded basin Vivio Vineyard in the Bennett Valley in Sonoma, the Syrah was barrel fermented with native yeasts and then aged for six months in stainless steel and neutral French oak. Only three barrels are made of this rosé which is a peachy pink color. The nose is floral and fruity with red fruit aromas. The wine is textured and soft on the mid-palate and finishes with notes of sweet cherry and lime and has bracing acidity.
La Chertosa Wines Eye of the Swan Rosé of Aleatico 2019 Sonoma Valley ($19)
Third-generation winemaker Sam Sebastiani created the La Chertosa brand and named it after the magnificent 14th century Renaissance monastery in the Tuscan valley of Farneta, Italy where his grandfather was born. Sam’s father, August Sebastiani, was a life-long conservationist with a focus on waterfowl. That was the inspiration behind the “Eye of the Swan” rosé made from the red Aleatico grape. Aleatico is an Italian variety found on the island of Elba in Italy and is used typically for producing sweet wines. There is Aleatico planted at Serres Family Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. The Eye of the Swan rosé has been produced since 1975. The 2019 is a light red color with aromas of rose petals and dark red fruits with delicate acidity.
Lucy Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County ($19)
Born in the Santa Lucia Highlands, Jeff Pisoni began making Lucy Rosé in 2003. Made from estate fruit and 100 percent Pinot Noir, the wine is made combining the use of whole cluster pressing with the saignée of Pinot Noir (the juice from the first pressing). The wine is fermented and aged in neutral barrels resulting in a light pink wine with a pretty, delicate nose of stone fruits and strawberry. On the palate, the wine is really vibrant and crisp. The acidity dances on the palate as the wine finishes with a hint of minerality. And for each bottle sold of this wine, $1 is donated to breast cancer research.
Diora La Belle Fête Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 Monterey ($20)
Sourced from the San Bernabe Estate in Monterey, the name Diora is inspired by the French phase “d’Or,” which means “golden.” This wine is 88 percent Pinot Noir with 7 percent Grenache and 5 percent Chenin Blanc blended to add strawberry and floral notes. A small amount of the wine is barrel fermented in neutral oak. The wine is a pale, shell pink with floral and candied strawberry notes. On the palate, the wine is fresh, bright, vibrant and acidic.
Hahn Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 Monterey Country ($15)
The Hahn family started in the Santa Lucia Highlands in the 1980s. A pale salmon color, this richer-styled rosé has candied watermelon, strawberry raspberry and grapefruit aromas. It is bright and refreshing yet medium-bodied with a fruity finish.
Acquiesce Winery & Vineyard Rosé of Grenache Noir 2019 Mokelumne River, Lodi ($25)
At Acquiesce Winery, winemaker Sue Tipton focuses on white and rosé wines using Rhone varieties sourced from Château de Beaucastel of Châteauneuf du Pape, France. The Acquiesce Vineyard is located in the Mokelumne River AVA of the Lodi Appellation. There are 1.5 acres of Grenache dedicated for the rosé that are sustainably farmed under Lodi Rules. The wine spends six months sur lie in stainless steel tanks resulting in a salmon pink wine with a gorgeous texture. Strawberry, watermelon, raspberry and cherry jump out of the glass and the wine finishes crisp and fresh with candied watermelon flavors.
Baileyana Rosé of Pinot Noir 2018 Edna Valley ($24)
Catharine Niven, one of the first women to own a winery in the 1970s, named Baileyana after the place where she met her husband Jack. In 1973, Jack planted the Paragon Vineyard and he was essential in establishing the Edna Valley AVA in 1982. The Rosé of Pinot Noir is sourced from the Paragon Vineyard, located in the coolest growing region in California. It’s a light salmon pink color with strawberry, cherry, peach, raspberry, melon and pomegranate aromas. The fruitiness and bright acidity give the wine a tangy juiciness and the wine has a beautiful texture.
Tangent NV Rosé Edna Valley ($5.99)
Tangent is also owned by the Niven family, which is now managed by second- and third-generation family members. Tangent sources all of their fruit from the Paragon Vineyard but focuses on a range of white wines, available both in 750ml bottle and in cans. The Tangent Rosé is a blend of Gruner Veltliner, Alvarino, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Grenache. It is an almost apricot orange color with floral, cherry and strawberry notes. The acidity is low on this wine, but it has a nice texture. The wine I had was in a can.
Chronic Cellars Pink Pedals Rosé of Grenache & Syrah 2019 Paso Robles ($14.99)
The Beckett brothers, Josh and Jake, launched Chronic Cellars in 2004. Colorful labels and quirky names drive the brand but what is in the bottle is no joke. The Chronic Cellars Pink Pedals Rosé blends Grenache and Syrah into a wine that is the color of a watermelon Jolly Rancher candy. The wine is bright, crisp and refreshing with flavors of watermelon, strawberry and cherry.
Fiddlehead Cellars Pink Fiddle Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 Sta Rita Hills ($30)
Winemaker Kathy Joseph sources the Pinot Noir from her Fiddlestix Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. This 100 percent Pinot Noir rosé is flirty and fun. The grapes spend less than 24 hours on the skins resulting in a shell pink color wine. Fresh strawberry and cherry aromas with a touch a spice lead to vibrant acidity and a lovely mouthfeel. This is a delicious wine that is fun to drink. This wine has a screwcap closure.
Buttonwood Rosé of Syrah 2019 Santa Ynez Valley ($24)
Located in the Santa Ynez Valley, Buttonwood is a working farm with 42 acres of vineyards planted to Bordeaux and Rhone varieties. Winemaker Karen Steinwachs produces two rosés, both very different in style. The Syrah Rosé is a pale fuchsia color. Aromas of watermelon, strawberry, cherry and cotton candy jump out of the glass. The wine is clean and refreshing with a lovely texture that coats the mid-palate. This wine is juicy with salinity.
Buttonwood Rosé of Grenache 2019 Santa Ynez Valley ($24)
The Buttonwood Rosé of Grenache is a pale salmon pink color with aromas of peaches and citrus. It is fresh with bright acidity, but is more elegant and structured on the palate.
Bread & Butter Rosé 2019 California ($15.99)
A pale pink color with golden flecks, this wine is a blend of Grenache and Barbera. It is light bodied with wild strawberry and peach notes and delicate acidity.
Day Owl Rosé 2019 California ($16)
Day Owl Rosé celebrates “wise, confident women who work hard to get sh*t done and aren’t afraid to ruffle some feathers.” Winemaker Alyssa Reynolds sources fruit from the Central Coast and Paso Robles for this wine, which is a blend of Barbera, Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Grenache Blanc. The wine has notes of honeydew, watermelon, strawberry, grapefruit and tangerine and is bright and crisp, ending with a tart finish.
Brooks Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 Willamette Valley ($22)
Known for delicious Pinot Noir, it is no surprise that Oregon makes beautiful rosés of Pinot Noir. Brooks Winery, a biodynamic producer, is one of these producers. The grapes for the rosé go straight to press and then stainless steel. The wine is vibrant and fruit-forward with aromas of cherry, raspberry, strawberry, roses, wild herbs and flint. These fruit aromas carry through on the palate and linger. The wine is structured and finishes with herbaceous and mineral notes, making the mouth water.
Biltmore Reserve Rosé 2018 North Carolina ($24)
The Biltmore Estate rosé is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Meunier, all grown on the estate. The wine is a pale salmon color with notes of black currant, peaches, raspberry, lime and honey. There is a little residual sugar on this wine (2.2 percent), but it is nicely balanced with the acidity, resulting in a fresh wine.
Sensi Tua Rosa 2019 Toscana IGT, Italy (price not available)
Sensi Winery is located in Tuscany and run by fourth-generation wine producer Massimo Sensi. The family has been making wine since 1895 and is the number one- selling Chianti worldwide. In 2018, they began producing the Tua Rosa, a light pink rosé made from Sangiovese. Fresh and enjoyable, the wine is aromatic with floral, citrus and light red fruit notes and has a delicate finish.
A few more rosés:
Rosés are made everywhere and the popularity of rosé has drawn celebrities to not only drink it, but to put their name behind rosé brands.
LVE Rosé 2018 Cotes de Provence ($25.99)
Musician John Legend partnered with Jean-Charles Boisset to create Legend Vineyard Exclusive (LVE). When Legend aspired to have a light, refreshing and crisp rosé in his portfolio, he and Jean-Charles turned to Provence. A blend of 60 percent Grenache, 25 percent Cinsault and 15 percent Syrah,
LVE Rosé is a bright pink color with an elegant floral, red fruit and peach nose. On the palate, the acidity hits the front of the palate and lingers.
Vanderpump Rosé 2018, Cotes de Provence ($20)
Reality star and restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump loves the color pink. After moving from England, she spent some time living in France before coming to the U.S. Vanderpump, in partnership with her daughter Pandora Vanderpump Sabo and her husband Jason Sabo, wanted to have an approachable yet beautiful, elegant but not fussy rosé. The Vanderpump Rosé is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah. It is a pretty pink color, has an elegant nose of roses, strawberries, red currant, sweet citrus and a hint of spice and is crisp and bright on the palate.
Hampton Water Rosé 2018 Languedoc, South of France ($19.99)
Musician Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jess Bongiovi coined the term “Hampton Water” because of how much rosé wine is consumed in the Hamptons. When it came to making their own rosé, they reached out to Gerard Bertrand, the acclaimed winemakers in the South of France. Under Bertrand’s guidance, and sourced from Bertrand’s vineyards in the Languedoc, the final wine is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. This fresh and lively wine has red fruit, citrus, floral and spice notes. Twenty percent of the wine is aged in French oak which adds body and texture to the wine. And the wine finishes with mineral notes.
The world of rosés is vast, and we have a long summer to enjoy them! Cheers!
Read the original story in the Napa Valley Register.