Let’s Call Them “True Rosés”

As I have been mentioning all week, this Saturday (June 10th) is National Rosé Day (not to be confused with National Rose (as in the flower) Day which is June 12th. I am not sure which marketing genius should be fired over this, but I have already had one person contact me over the confusion and I am sure he is not the only one.

Yesterday, I published reviews of the seven rosés in the Terlato Wine Group’s portfolio, but the wines listed below do not have such a unifying theme (I mean other than the fact that they are all rosés, of course). After a bit of research, I was able to determine that all of them are also wines that were always intended to be rosés–not a by-product of red wine production (i.e., saignées where a bit of juice is drawn off of red wines to further concentrate the remaining juice–this used to be discarded, but many now sell it as a rosé).

Unbelievably, there is not a commonly used term to describe this type of rosé. I have heard and seen “pressed,” “intentional,” “dedicated,” “bespoke,” and worst of all “not saignée.” I have wondered for some time why there is not a unifying term to delineate this type of wine. So I intend to end that now. Being the trend setter that I am, I choose to refer to them as “True Rosés” since, well, in my mind (and the mind of others) the best rosés are designed to be pink from the beginning–the vines are farmed and the fruit is treated all along in a manner to ensure the best rosé possible.

2016 Domaine du Bila-Haut (Michel Chapoutier) “Les Vines” Rosé Pays d’Oc: Retail $15. 78% Grenache, 14% Cinsault and 8% Syrah. True Rosé. There are a few big producers in France that cause no hesitation on my part: Hugel (Alsace), Jadot (Burgundy), Piper-Heidsieck (Champagne), and Henri Bourgeois (OK not huge but really good Sancerre). Add to that Chapoutier whose tentacles who have a wide reach in the South of France. Great strawberry fruit, with exceptional tartness. Pool, patio, picnic? Take your pick. Fantastic. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.

2016 Chronic Cellars Pink Pedals: Retail $15. 87% Grenache, 13% Syrah. True Rosé. Nice strawberry fruit with accents of watermelon and even peach. On the palate, the acidity is a bit lacking and it is a tad sweet on the backend. Plenty of good fruit there, certainly refreshing, and has a bike on the label–what else could you ask for? Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.

2016 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Rosé Reserva Chile: Retail $10. 100% Shiraz. True Rosé. Concha y Toro is one of the largest producers in the world and makes some of the best value wines on the market. This is no exception. Pale pink with a slight orange hue with strawberry and cherry aromas predominate. On the palate, this is refreshingly tart with peach, grapefruit, and even plum coming through. For ten bucks, you really can’t do much better here. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

2016 Day Owl Rosé California: Retail $15. 100% Barbera. True Rosé. I have to be honest, when I opened this box, I was worried, first there is a rather large animal on the bottle. Now, there are exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, I usually avoid “critter” wines. Second, the press kit packaging was, well, a little kitchy—another warning sign. Third, and less serious, was the appellation: California. Many people have made great wines (see Dave Phinney) from such large, nondescript classifications, but they tend to be rare. As for the wine? I was very pleasantly surprised: nice strawberry fruit, dry as a bone, nice and tart—everything you want in a rosé. Really. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.

2016 Montes Cherub Rosé Colchagua Valley, Chile: Retail $16. 85% Syrah, 15% Grenache. True Rosé. I was just in Chile a couple of months ago visiting Montes, and I am fairly certain that we did not have any of this wine. Too bad. Great roasted strawberry fruit and while initially a bit shy, with some time this opens up nicely. Certainly in the Provence style with modest flavors that meld nicely with the acidity. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

2016 Murrieta’s Well Estate Dry Rosé Livermore Valley: Retail $30. 55% Grenache, 45% Counoise. True Rosé. In all of my years of living in and then visiting California, I have never been to the Livermore Valley. Well, that is not entirely true: I did go there a few times for bike races, but that is not the time to go wine tasting (in case you were wondering). Too bad. Murrieta’s Well is a leading winery in the region, and this is a fabulous reason why. Wonderful aromas of strawberry, melon, peach, and even rhubarb exude from the delicate pinkish-peach colored beauty. Wonderful fruit, laser-like acidity, lasting finish. Bravo. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.


About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Barbera, Cinsault/Cinsaut, Counoise, Grenache, Rosé, Syrah, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Let’s Call Them “True Rosés”

  1. Jill Barth says:

    In my Provence Master course these are called “direct press”. Not that exciting of a term, but there we go.

    I really enjoyed the Marietta’s Well lineup… pleased to find that blend in a West Coast rosé…. particularly Counoise.

    Thanks for this great series on rosé! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. True rosés….I’ll drink to that!

    Liked by 1 person

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