Rosé Round-Up: Top Ten Summer-Time Sips
These blush-wines resemble more of an adult Kool-Aid; where the only thing missing is the straw. But I know, I know some folks reading this just love those "sweet-wines" looking lovingly at that style through rose-colored glasses [ha]. If that is your favorite style, that's great I have a couple choices for you in this line-up. But stick with me a moment; as I invite you to give into your need for exploration, which may be lying dormant from the sugar over-load.
So what can you expect to find in what I call a true rosé? They are often made in a “dry” style, displaying vibrant fresh red-fruit flavors, like strawberry, raspberry, ripe summer peach, ripe red-pear or even watermelon side of the fruit spectrum, peppered with subtle spicy floral. A true rosé is a nice dry, tangy and crisp wine, nothing like the blush wines, which tend to be heavy and syrupy-sweet. In fact their only true similarity is in the semi-pink to fluorescent-red color. In my mind a properly made rosé will always have great depth of flavor, crispness, lightly layered red-fruit, floral spices; characteristics all of which makes a great summer sipping style of wine.
1. Chivite's Gran Feudo Rosado [
2. Envie d'été 2010 Château Garrineau Rosé [France]: A very tasty rosé composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. On the nose you'll find elegant aromas and flavors of cherries and strawberries, wrapped in floral overtones. It’s the kind of wine that feels like summertime in the South of France. I scored this wine 88 points and it sells for about $15 USD, though I couldn't find a place that sells this wine here in the
3. Pine Ridge 2011 Encantado Rosé [Stags Leap]: This rosé was crafted using the saigneé, [to bleed off] a technique where juice is extracted from the must. A true-rosé composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, a fantastic rosé brimming with the fresh red-fruits flavors of - strawberry, raspberry and a hint of citrus. I discovered this wine on one of my recent trips to the Napa Valley, where Mrs. Cuvee and I could be found slurping this wine down, while reclining under a umbrella covered picnic-table on the wonderful grounds of Pine Ridge. I scored this wine 89 points. It sells for a SRP of $22.
4. V. Sattui's 2011 Gamay Rouge [
5. Vivanco Tempranillo Grenacha Rosé 2009 [Rioja]: This is a vibrant Rosé with dominating flavors of rose petals, raspberries and toasty-strawberries; there is a kick of spice on the finish. This wine was made in the traditional “Sangrado” style, where skin contact was 12-24 hours for the color. This wine sells for $15 a bottle and I scored it 92 points. It goes great with a spinach quiche.
6. Penman Springs 2010 Estate "Two Roses" [Paso Robles]: This rosé cut from the Syrah grape and I recall this wine had the most "funky" nose. Some incoherent barn-yard aromas, was my first impression. After a few more swirls some toasty cranberry and strawberry aromas, which carried through to some wonderful dried red fruit flavors, just a bit of white pepper and refreshing crisp finish. I initially thought this was Grenache, but later learned it was Syrah. I scored this wine 89 points and it sells for $15 through the website or in the tasting room.
7. Balletto 2011 Rosè of Pinot Noir [
8. Banfi 2010 Rosa Regale Brachetto [
9. Rol Valentin Rosé 2010, St-Emilion [France]: Another nose full of bright fresh baskets of strawberry, water-melon and ripe raspberry fruit that carries through to the palate, some dried spice notes and a boat-load of crisp acidity to balance the big, up-in-your-face fruit. This beauty sells for $10 most places and I gave it 90 points. A stunner of great value [QPR], overflowing with flavor, from one of the new breed of garagiste wines that have emerged in St-Emilion.
10. Royal Cuvée Vintage 2004 [
An okay folk that’s the list, I hope one of these wines will be filling your glass soon. Summer is in fine form, heating up the landscape, sending folks scurrying for a way to be the heat. You may want get busy stocking up on a few of these gems, as you definitely don't want to be on the outside looking in, when it comes to securing some of these wonderful rosés for your upcoming warm weather activities. Until next time sip long and prosper.