The time has finally come in the United States where wine store shelves are overflowing with Rosé. Something you had to seek out just a handful of years ago stares you in the face no matter where you shop. Choice is, of course, a good thing, but it’s also hard to know what to choose. Here’s a look at a dozen current vintage Rosés culled from more than five dozen that I tasted recently. And as a bonus, I’ve included a quick look at a fun book about Rosé that you’ll have a hard time putting down.
Leyda 2017 Pinot Noir Rosé ($15)
This Chilean Rosé is composed entirely of Pinot Noir. It has a brighter, deeper hue than most Pinot-based Rosés. Taking a whiff brings to mind a bowl of ripe red fruit. The palate is rife with cherry, strawberry and currant. Hints of bay leaf and thyme emerge on the clean, crisp finish.
Bertani 2017 Bertarose Rosé ($15)
This offering from the Veneto is a blend of Molinara (75%) and Merlot (25%). The gentle nose shows off rose petals and light red fruit. Strawberry, ripe red plum and hints of spice drive the even-keeled and super appealing palate. Cranberry and hints of bay leaf are evident on the crisp finish. This is a perfect selection to pair with lighter foods.
Chronic Cellars Pink Pedals Rosé 2017 ($15)
Grenache (87%) and Syrah (13%) make up this Rosé from Paso Robles. It has a beautiful salmon hue. Bright red fruit aromas lead the way here. The palate is loaded with juicy flavors of watermelon, Bing cherry and spice. Candied strawberry and bits of vanilla close this one out. This is a refreshing and delicious Rosé in a fun package.
Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2017 Rosé ($16)
The Yamhill Valley Vineyards Rosé is produced entirely from Pinot Noir grown in the McMinnville AVA. Tropical and red fruit characteristics provide lovely aromatics. Juicy red fruits such as ripe wild strawberry, red apple and red melon drive the full-flavored palate. Bits of kiwi and white pepper are evident on the long finish.
Pedroncelli 2017 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel ($17)
Dry Creek Valley is the home office of Zinfandel, and that’s where the Pedroncellis grow theirs. They’ve been producing a dry Rosé since the 1950s long before it was in style. Wild strawberry and cherry lead the nose and reverberate on the palate along with bits of vanilla bean and subtle spice notes. Sour red cherry emerges on the lengthy finish. One vintage after another, they produce a delicious Rosé, and 2017 is no exception.
Recanati 2017 Rosé ($17)
Hailing from Galilee Israel, this Rosé is a blend of Barbera (80%) and Merlot (20%). It’s darker in color than most Rosé. Oodles of fresh, bright red berry fruits are evident from the first whiff to the final sip. Cherry and candied cherry are of particular note. Crisp acid lends to the thirst quenching nature here.
Ah-So Navarra Rosé ($19)
This Spanish Rosé is made entirely of Garnacha. It’s sold in four packs of 250ml cans. From the first whiff to the last sip, it’s fruity, fresh and delicious. Oodles of red fruit flavors abound. It’s the perfect choice for a picnic or to bring to the beach.
Montinore Estate 2017 Pinot Rosé ($20)
This Willamette Valley Rosé is composed of 100% Pinot Noir. The nose is stuffed with a bevy of alluring, ripe red berry fruit. A mélange of red fruit flavors tinged by hints of papaya and spice dominate the palate. A tiny bit of crème fraiche is evident on the crisp, acid-driven finish
Brook & Bull Cellars 2017 Rosé ($20)
This offering from Columbia Valley Washington is composed of Mourvedre (47%), Syrah (33%), Grenache (18%) and Sangiovese (2%). Red cherry aromas and a hint of savory herb emerge from the nose. Strawberry and red raspberry flavors abound, while white pepper and bits of wet limestone are evident on the finish.
Figuière Première Rosé, Côtes-de-Provence AOP ($23)
Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre are blended together in this offering from Provence. Wisps of salinity are evident from the first whiff to the last sip. Strawberry and a bit of peach dot the nose. The palate is gentle and layered with bits of red and yellow fruit as well as subtle savory herbs. Mineral and spice notes emerge on the engaging finish.
Sokol Blosser 2017 Estate Rosé ($25)
This is entirely Pinot Noir from the Dundee Hills AVA of Willamette Valley. Rose petal and red cherry aromas lead the charge. The palate is loaded with sour red fruit underpinned by bursts of citrus and gentle wisps of spice. The finish is long, layered and crisp with cranberry and pomegranate notes.
Stewart Cellars 2017 Sonoma Mountain Rosé ($28)
This Rosé from Sonoma County is a blend of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Peach and watermelon aromas are part of the boisterous nose. The palate is loaded with melon, citrus and red berry flavors. Hints of ripe apricot are joined by bits of crème fraiche on the long, crispy finish.
If you want to learn a lot more about Rosé, you’d be hard pressed to do better than this fantastic book from sommelier Victoria James. It covers everything from production techniques, regional differences, cocktail and food recipes, pairing suggestions and quotes about Rosé from chefs, sommeliers and the like. It’s a good-looking book that’s loaded with fun illustrations, and most importantly, it’s an entertaining read. Bring it out back with a bottle and have twice the fun.