Dry Rose is one of the fastest growing categories in wine. Although still minuscule is terms of overall sales, it is one of the most interesting subjects in the wine world these days. So why is it so popular? One reason is its price point. In most cases, you can get a very good premium Rose for between $16 and $22. Another reason is these wines are very drinkable. On a hot summer day, some might even say they are quaffable and refreshing. That makes them very easy to like. Finally, another big reason for its popularity is social media. Millennials love their selfies with pink wine in the glass! Hashtag’s galore, like “Rose All Day”, “Yes Way, Rose” and “Brose” for the guys, keep it front and center on the internet. So, with all this popularity winemakers are doing their best to keep up. As a reviewer, I can safely say, everyone is now making a dry Rose. It is my job to sift through the loads of samples submitted to find you the best ones to enjoy. In this blog post, I will present to you several terrific Rose options that I have discovered so far this Spring. I wanted to get this list out to you soon so you to can enjoy them this summer. I hope to provide a second update over the Fourth of July week.
The best Rose that I have found so far this spring is the 2017 Anaba “Rose of Grenache” from the Sonoma Valley. While not inexpensive at $28, it is well worth your investment and time to seek out a bottle or two. This gem is light to medium bodied, very smooth and wonderfully coats your mouth. I loved its very tasty mild tangerine and mineral flavors with notes of wild strawberry and a hint of lemon. It is dry, refreshing and very food friendly. I would enjoy it with steam Nova Scotia mussels. There were only 171 cases of this 92-point beauty made. So, call the winery soon, before it is all gone.
This next grouping is our 91 pointers. These three wines are also very impressive offering that will stun your friends and turn them into dry Rose fans.
We will start in Provence, France with a wine produced by Ferry Lacombe. Their 2017 “Haedus” Rose for $22 is very good. We gave it 91 points. This gem is made from the traditional Provence grapes of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah and some Cinsault & Vermentino. This wine is medium bodied, pleasantly acidic and mouthwatering. It displays classic flavors of upfront minerality with notes of gentle strawberry. We also picked up some vanilla, watermelon and cashew mixed in. It finishes dry and refreshing. I would pair it with grilled tequila-lime shrimp.
Navarro Vineyards up in Anderson Valley is well known for their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and of course their Gewurz. But do not discount their Rose. Their 2017 “Rose of Pinot Noir” for $22 is a knockout. It is medium bodied, slightly acidic and has a really nice round mouthfeel. Its flavor profile is a pleasant mineral infused strawberry with notes of white pepper. I also detected a hint of watermelon and touch of lime mixed in. This dry Rose is very food friendly and versatile. I would pair it with a grilled spicy lime shrimp with a creamy avocado cilantro sauce.
Our final 91 pointer is from the Tavel wine region in France. An interesting nugget about Tavel is they only make Rose wines. So, they are very good at it. The 2017 Chateau La Nerthe “Prieure de Montezargues” for $25 is a very good example of this. This wine is made from 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and the rest Clairette, Bourboulenc and Cinsault. It opens with a mild floral bouquet that features rose buds. Our mini-tasting group found it to be medium bodied, pleasantly acidic and a refined wine. Its flavor profile is a nicely integrated mineral and mild watermelon blend with a hint a red cherry. It finishes dry and its flavors show nice length for a Rose. Our group thought it would pair nicely with a blackened swordfish.
Next up we have five 90 pointers. We will kick off the list with the 2017 Decoy Rose from California. This $20 wine is made from mostly Syrah. It is medium bodied and nicely balanced between its acidity and fruit. Our mini-group of tasters liked its gentle mineral infused strawberry flavors with notes of red cherry. This Rose will be a crowd pleaser and very versatile. I would pair it with tomato and basil bruschetta.
The next two Roses are both made from Pinot Noir. We will start with the 2017 Merriam Vineyard “Rose of Pinot Noir” from the Russian River Valley. This wine is medium bodied and nicely balanced between its acidity and fruit. I really liked its mineral influenced light strawberry and red cherry flavors with a hint of clove spice drop mixed in. This wine goes for $22 per bottle, there were only 190 cases made you be sure to secure some soon.
Next up is a bigger production wine from La Crema. Best known for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, La Crema over-delivered with this Rose. Their 2017 “Rose of Pinot Noir” was very popular amongst the tasters at a mini-charity event for Ovarian Cancer that we had at Colonial Spirits in Acton. We found it to be medium bodied, balanced, elegant and very approachable. The group really liked its mild watermelon flavors with hints of red cherry and minerality. We all thought this $22 Rose would pair nicely with delicate foods.
The last two 90 pointers use traditional Rose grapes. The first is from California and the next is from Tavel. We will start with the 2016 Malene Rose from the Central Coast for $22. This offering is made from mainly Grenache with some Cinsault, Vermentino, Mourvedre and Counoise. Our class would it to be light bodied, slightly acidic and friendly. We all enjoyed it’s a mild mineral influenced flavors with notes of faint red raspberry, lychee and a hint of white pepper. The group thought this would pair nicely with a chicken and shrimp paella.
Our last 90 pointer is the 2016 Domaine de la Mordoree “La Dame Rousse Tavel” Rose for $26. This wine is made from 60% Grenache along with Cinsault, Mourvedre, Syrah, Bourboulenc and Clairette. It is medium bodied, round and well balanced. Its flavor profile, like the nose, is a blend of wild strawberry and red raspberry with a nice amount of minerality woven in perfectly. I also detected some hints of Maraschino cherry and white pepper hiding in the background. It is food friendly and would pair nicely with a pork tenderloin.
Our 89 and 88 pointers
De Morgenzon 2016 Rose “DMZ” (Western Cape, South Africa) $12 (89 points)
This 100% Cabernet Rose from South Africa is a great value. It is pleasantly fruity but dry with a medium body. It has flavors of strawberry, pink grapefruit and reserved minerality. Enjoy it with a grilled turkey burger with guacamole on your deck.
Cline 2016 Rose “Ancient Vines Mourvedre” (Contra Costa County, CA) $13 (89 points)
This coral colored wine from Cline is made with Mourvedre. It is light bodied and displays nice bright acidity. It has nice gentle mineral infused strawberry and lime flavors with hints of kiwi, tangerine and saline. Try this crowd-pleasing Rose with a mahi-mahi sandwich.
Day Owl 2017 Rose (California) $15 (89 points)”
The Day Owl Rose is made from mostly Barbera with a little Grenache. On the palate, it is medium bodied and mouthwatering. It displays tasty mineral infused strawberry flavors with notes of red raspberry and a hint of tangerine. Try it with shrimp cocktail.
Attems 2016 Rose “Ramato” (Venezia Giulia, Italy) $20 (89 points)
This light coral colored wine from Northern Italy is very nice and made from Pinot Grigio. It is light bodied, slightly acidic and mouthwatering. Our class liked its mineral infused red cherry and mild strawberry flavors with a hint of tangerine. Enjoy it poolside on a hot summer day!
Susana Balbo 2017 “Crios Rose of Malbec” (Mendoza, Argentine) $12 (88 points)
This 100% Malbec Rose is medium bodied, vibrantly acidic and mouthwatering. Its flavor profile is a mineral infused ginger ale with notes of watermelon and tangerine with a hint of Maraschino cherry. Pair this good value offering with a bacon wrapped shrimp.
Chateau La Nerthe Rose 2017 “Les Cassagnes” (Cotes du Rhone, France) $15 (88 points) This dark pink colored wine from Cotes du Rhone is medium bodied, balanced and nicely coats your mouth. Our class enjoyed its mild mineral influenced watermelon flavors with hints of gentle strawberry and red cherry mixed in. Pair it with a grilled mahi-mahi sandwich.
Domaine Lafage 2017 Rose “Miraflors” (Cotes Catalanes, France) $16 (88 points)
This very pale pink wine from France comes in an attractive frosty bottle. It is medium bodied, balanced and has a round mouthfeel. It is mainly made from Mourvedre. Its flavor profile is a mild mineral infused gentle tangerine and nectarine blend. Pair it with bruschetta.
Warwick 2016 Rose “The First Lady” (Western Cape, South Africa) $17 (88 points)
This intriguing food friendly Rose is from South Africa. It is made from 100% Pinotage. It is slightly savory, dry, with a medium body and slight acidity. It displays flavors of white peach, red raspberry, watermelon and honey. Serve it with poached salmon for lunch.
This list represents the winners we discovered so far this spring. Be sure to check back for another post later this summer with more winners for you to try. For a complete list of recommended Rose wines. Please visit our Rose Guide page. If you find a Rose that you love, be sure to share it with our readers via the comments below.
Cheers – Ken
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