2020 Rosé Roundup

With so many rosé wines on the market, and in demand especially throughout summertime, it’s important to note each rosé varies on a wide spectrum, from salmon-pink Provencal rosés to full-bodied rosé of cabernet sauvignon.

Most rosé wines are made using the process of short maceration – fermenting wine is drained from the skins after a short period of time – typically a few hours, and then moved to stainless steel tanks to continue fermentation in the process of white wine, temperature-speaking. Other winemakers blend red and white wines to create rosé, but this is not typical – or permitted in Europe.

As rosé wines go, it’s a personal preference, and my palate is undeniably Provencal style. But around the globe, if the terroir permits vineyards to grow Provencal grapes, I’m happy to taste. And I’m ready to report I’ve tasted 15 amazing bottles of rosé from all over the world and happy to share my thoughts with you.

My rosé roundup has been a labor of love for me throughout SiP days, where I’ve been “sip tripping in place” while sheltering in place.


2019 Malene Rosé, Central Coast, California
$22
Sip Tripper rating: GOAT

Why? Because it encompasses all that I love in a rosé: 48% Grenache, 23% Mourvedre, 12% Rolle and 17% Cinsault.

Visually, this is a medium pink rosé offering a light bouquet and notes of peach, a tinge of white grapefruit and a favorite of mine: peony. On the palate, a perfect expression of a fresh-picked strawberry with a smidgen of nectarine leads to a crisp finish of clean, crisp acidity.

Grenache, the black grape variety, needs a warm climate to ripen well, and its red-fruit flavors attribute to the summertime sip’s success. The growing region in the Central Coast of California is as close to the terroir of Provence as one can get, which is why this rosé is a favorite of mine! www.MaleneWines.com


2019 Herdade de São Miguel Colheita Seleccionada Rosé
$14.99
Sip Tripper rating: AWESOME

Why? Because this salmony-pink blend wow’d my palate. It’s in a class unto itself due to the use of a few grapes specific to the terroir of Alentejano in Portugal: 50% Touriga Nacional, 30% Syrah and 20% Aragonez.

By the way, this wine has a cork stopper, regardless of its value pricing – hey, it hails from the land of cork forests! Why not? I do, however, recommend that once you open a bottle, plan to consume in one sitting with a friend, as it loses its complexity by next day. Best enjoyed with sushi, fresh fish, seafood and salads. www.quintessentialwines.com


2019 Tablas Creek Vineyard, Dianthus, Paso Robles, California
$30
Sip Tripper Rating: Success is Southern Rhône cuttings grown in California

Full-on power on the palate, with strawberry and guava and a touch of rose petal. www.VineyardBrands.com


2018 Rosé, The Wolftrap, South Africa
$14
Sip Tripper Rating: Great Value Quintessential Rosé

The trap was set once I read the label for this blend of cinsault (69%), syrah (21%) and grenache (10%). Immediately, I unscrewed the cap and poured half the bottle into an ice cube tray so I could make frozé to share with my neighbor on a hot day in late spring. I threw in about 4 chunks of frozen pineapple, about one cup of sliced strawberries that sat overnight in the fridge in some water, and added the frozé cubes, aa half tray of plain ice cubes and a quarter bottle of The Wolftrap.

The end result was a refreshing version of a slushie in all its rosé perfection. The next day, I poured the remaining bottle to enjoy without the slush effect. There’s a softness on the palate that I enjoy from South Africa wines, and I would declare this bottle to be well-crafted and a best value summer sip! www.vineyardbrands.com


2018 Marqués de Cáceres excellens, Rioja
$11
Sip Tripper Rating: Amazing Value — top of my list for rosés

Wine varietals of Rioja have always held a special place in my palate, so when I discovered this Spanish blend of 60% Garnacha tinta and 40% Tempranillo, I was pleased as pink. And this pink is pleasing, believe me. If you could taste what the lightest pink would be, excellens is it. It’s a lovely expression of Spanish grapes softened with bright acidity and freshness.


2018 Domaine Delaporte Sancerrre, Chavignol
$32
Sip Tripper Rating: Ooh La La!

Crafted with 100% pinot noir grown on French terroir of Domaine Delaporte, this rosé leaves a lasting impression of the palate — a pristine expression of the Domaine’s 15-year-old grapevines and its limestone soil.

The grapes are 100% hand-picked and pressed straight away without any maceration (skin soaking time), which accounts for the feather light pink color, and following six months aging on lees.

A young Sancerre rosé typically offers raspberry and wild peach aromas, and this is no exception. The full palate of raspberries and crisp cool acidity and finish of citrus almost calls for a dollop of whipped cream. Drink within two years of bottling and enjoy on hot summer nights. www.VineyardBrands.com


2018 Studio by Miraval
$14.99
Sip Tripper Rating: Lightest rosé ever tasted

It’s irrelevant that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie own the chateau and vineyard. They may be divorced, but they parented a new label with their brand, Miraval. Studio by Miraval, like the estate rosé, has been made in partnership with the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel. And it’s good. Really good.

This rosé from southeast of France carries the appellation “Les Vins de Méditerranée Indication Géographique Protégée”. Its blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle, and Tibouren grapes grown on soil influenced by the sea sprays and the proximity of the Mediterranean Sea attributes to the Frenchness of this very pale rosé. On first inspection, the watered down pink wine indicates barely a flavor, but wow, it packs a bright red fruit punch infused with white flowers and a squeeze of citrus. www.VineyardBrands.com


Louis Pommery Rosé Brut Sparkling Wine, California
$26.99
Sip Tripper Rating: Vivacious, Elegant Sparkling Rosé

The coolness of the Pacific Ocean and the heat of the hinterland of the California vineyards are met with French tradition and exceptional wine-making to create this masterpiece of elegance. Well balanced, this brut rosé features a bouquet of delicate red berries with a hint of citrus, all wrapped in pastry.

Winemaker Thierry Gasco, former Champagne Pommery cellar master for 25 years, crafted this sparkling wine with 76% Chardonnay grapes and 24% Pinot Noir — via methode champenoise, with fermentation in the bottle and aging on the lees.

Enjoy as an aperitif or with fresh seafood and plenty of French fries! www.champagnepommery.com


2019 Lucas & Lewellen Rosé of Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, California
$19.99
Sip Tripper Rating: Pleasant

Why? While I’m not a fan of rosé made with pinot noir… unless it’s sparkling, this light pink, light-bodied semi-dry wine is made by a family winery and was pleasant. My palate didn’t embrace this wine fully – perhaps due to the fact that there’s a small percentage of viognier – my least favorite varietal. This rosé paired well with my Japanese vegetable fritters served over white rice and edamame.
The bouquet of blossoms was especially pleasing, as is the acidity.
www.quintessentialwines.com


2017 The Clambake limited edition Rosé of Mendocino, California
$19
Sip Tripper Rating: Philanthropically delicious!

First, let me say that with every case of wine you order, Clambake will send two complimentary bottles of wine to your healthcare worker of choice to thank them for their service.

I opened my bottle of old-vine carignan rosé as a self-described “not a huge fan of carignan,” but the deep color alone bedazzled my senses to open my mind. Dry-farmed and head-trained at Zaina-Sargentini Family Vineyard, these grapes produced a wine with notes of ripened cherries, limestone and candied grapefruit that paired well with my special treat of mail-ordered lobster tails. www.ripelifewines.com


2019 Bricoleur, Flying by the Seat of our Pants
$27
Sip Tripper Rating: Pleasant/Acceptable

I tasted and played with the bottle app, dragged the tip of my phone over the label’s target and received all the info I wanted to learn about this light, fresh, acidic rosé of grenache from grapes harvested in the Fountaingrove District in Sonoma County.

Admittedly, this wine really doesn’t taste like a Provence rosé, but it has much of the same light, fresh, acidic qualities, and the color is barely a tint of the lightest pink rose petal. I taste more peach on the palate than watermelon or strawberry, but every taster has his/her opinion. https://russianrivervalley.org/vineyards/bricoleur-vineyards


2019 Bricoleur, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
$32
Sip Tripper Rating: Splendid/Elegant

Typically, I’m not a fan of rosé made of pinot noir unless it has bubbles. But anything from the Russian River of Sonoma County dispels set notions. Is this the greatest California growing region? Perhaps. A light raspberry with tint of orange and perfection in acidity. This is a winner and worth the price per bottle. https://russianrivervalley.org/vineyards/bricoleur-vineyards


2019 Reserve Côtes du Rhône, Famille Perrin, France
$14.99
Sip Tripper Rating: Elegant / What is expected of a rosé

The quintessential rosé blend of cinsault, grenache, mourvede and syrah, this ballet-pink summer sip offers a fresh strawberry bouquet and crisp palate of light red berries and grapefruit finish. Background of interest: The Perrin Family has owned Chateau de Beaucastel since 1909 with five generations involved in the Southern Rhône Valley vineyard. www.vineyardbrands.com


2018 Goose Bay Pinot Noir Rosé, New Zealand
$28
Sip Tripper Rating: Atypical and potent

This is an in-your-face burst of strawberries rosé. If you are not a fan of the ballet-pink version of rosé and want more of a fruit candy flavored wine, this is the one for you.

With grapes grown on New Zealand’s South Island on Goose Bay, I would expect nothing more than a vastly different taste. It’s worth noting that this is a vegan wine, and is Kosher for Passover. And if you’re curious about life on a kibbutz winery, novices and oenophiles alike can explore all this and more with Kosherwine.com’s free Live-Streamed Wine Events, presented in partnership with the Israeli Wine Producers Association (IWPA), now through July 5.

Visit Kosherwine.com for a full schedule, to register, receive notices of every event, and catch up on past episodes. www.SpencerHillWine.com Imported by Royal Wine Corp.


2018 The Daily August Rheingau Rosé, August Kesseler, Germany
$35.99
Sip Tripper Rating: Unimpressed

Why? Because my first sip was a bit fizzy, and this isn’t a sparkling rosé of pinot noir. Wine Enthusiast gave this wine a 91-point rating and suggested to “drink now”. I agree with the vibrant flavors, but something was amiss and my bottle seems to have begun a secondary fermentation other wine reviewers interpret as “zesty” – but it’s a bottling flaw (carbon dioxide was trapped during bottling). www.vineyardbrands.com


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