This Saturday (June 10th) is National Rosé Day. While I think these various “Days” are a bit silly, this one does help to shine a bit more light on perhaps my favorite style of wine (OK, that is a blatant lie–sparkling wine is way out in front, but rosé might be second). So much so that I am having a tasting here at my house on the 10th of 30 different American “true” rosés–wines that were made intentionally as rosé, not as byproducts of red winemaking.
The Terlato Wine Group has amassed a fine portfolio of True Rosés and I was fortunate enough to be able to sample the seven wines, which they call their “Passport of Rosé” any of which would be a fine choice to take part in this Saturday’s National Rosé Day (if you are susceptible to such events).
2016 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Rosé Côtes-du-Rhône: Retail $15. 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Cinsault. True Rosé. A vibrant peach color in the glass with plenty of strawberry and a touch of rhubarb (my favorite pie). Tart and direct, a personality that I welcome both in people and wine. Either at the pool, on the patio, at the table with good friends, or even alone in your basement, one can’t go wrong here. Plenty of crisp fruit, exciting the taste buds, this twist-off holds no pretension: it is to be enjoyed. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2016 Mathilde Chapoutier Rosé “Grande Ferrage” Côtes de Provence: Retail $18. True Rosé. Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Rolle. Mathilde, daughter of famed winemaker Michel Chapoutier, shows that quality winemaking might be an inherited trait. This crisp rosé from the South of France has great red berry aromas, stone fruit flavors, and an invigorating tartness that makes this both a fantastic apéritif as well as a wonderful food wine. I visited Provence last year and although this winery was not on the tour, it does bring back pleasant memories from one of my favorite regions in the country. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2016 Lapostolle Le Rosé Chile: Retail $18. Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre. Really pale, with only a slight orange-pinkish tinge with peach predominant initially. Once past the lips, the acidity is initially evident, followed by a brief flash of fruit and a lasting finish. This is not a mind-blowing rosé, but it is subtly impressive–it will not jump off the page and grab you by the, well, throat, but it does hold its own and is worthy of serious consideration. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2016 Il Poggione Brancato Rosato Montalcino: Retail $18. 100% Sangiovese. True Rosé. So this is my kind of rosé (OK, I say that concerning just about every rosé)—it is not a blend, it is a “true” rosé, and it is delicious. Rich and full, this is not a delicate flower but rather an assertive gem. Sure, it is a lovely strawberry pink in the glass, but it has plenty of verve and spunk. Not as tart as some rosés on the market, but those other rosés don’t share this wine’s heft. Honestly? I would not drink this on its own. Rather, I would pair it with some robust barbecue, grilled fish, or even your mother-in-law’s dry pot roast–can’t really go wrong here. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2016 Protea Dry Rosé Swartland, South Africa: Retail $17. 63% Mourvèdre, 20% Shiraz, 16% Cinsault, 1% Grenache. True Rosé. Pale orange in the glass, mostly floral with a slight tinge of funk, this is a wine made in the classic Provençal style with an emphasis on tartness and balance where fruit plays a supporting role. It does that well. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2016 Sanford Rosé of Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills: Retail $20. 100% Pinot Noir. True Rosé. I have a few confessions: First, I loved the Sideways movie and the Sanford Winery played prominently in the movie. Second, the current owner of the winery, the Terlato Group, has been very kind to me and this blog. So does that color my perception of this wine? I really don’t think so. Really. Light pink with an orange tinge, delicate strawberry and melon with a tartness that buoys the fruit. Frankly, this is fantastic and my idea of what a rosé should be: fruity, tart, balanced, lengthy finish. Yum. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2016 Conde Valdemar Rosé Rioja: Retail $13. 75% Garnacha, 25% Viura. Joyous fruit of watermelon and peach meld with a weighty mouthfeel and more juicy flesh. The peach colored wine has a bit of a Jolly Rancher aspect to it, but it works hard to please all angles. While the finish is a bit short, the wine overall is a solid effort and a fine choice for the mid-week table. Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.