And Then There Were 68

Well, the big day is almost upon me. My big True Rosé tasting is set for this Saturday (June 9th, which happens to also be National Rosé Day) at 1:00. Last year, I billed the tasting as “The Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosés (Ever)” and to my knowledge, it was (sure, that is a bit selective on the knowledge front, but that seems to be rather in vogue these days).

Last year, we tasted 29 True Rosés (OK, one of them was a saignée), and I published the consensus top wines from the tasting as well as my top fifteen (or so).

This year, the tasting has expanded some (to say the least). I received 45 current releases and to that 20 wines from 2016 (many producers submitted two bottles for the tasting last year and I held onto the second bottle for this year’s tasting). I also have some older vintages (the oldest being 2013) that I am also throwing into the mix.

Why the older vintages? Why not just stick to the current releases? Well, despite popular opinion, rosés, particularly when they are True Rosés, can and do age gracefully. Those (like me) who like a bit of age on their wines (both red and white) would be surprised by how well rosé can evolve in the cellar. When well-made rosés age, the shed a bit of the fruitiness and reveal more secondary vinous qualities like licorice, minerality, salinity, and even gaminess.

While most people would likely argue that rosé is meant to be consumed young, fresh and fruity, I contend while that aspect of rosé is certainly desirable and should be heralded, well-made rosé has so much more to offer. Just as with white and red wines, a bit of patience can often be rewarded with surprising features and considerably more opportunities. Here in Texas, for instance, aged rosé is a remarkable pairing for barbecue since it can take on the aforementioned gaminess aspect.

Thus, with the added complexity of age, the tasters coming this Saturday will not only be asked to evaluate all 68 rosés before them (we will be tasting in flights of five), but they also will be tasked to try to identify the “older” wines. It will be interesting to see how many of those 23 wines are indeed identified as such. There are also 6 1/2 saignées in the group, and I will see if we can identify those, as well.

Most of this year’s lineup.

This year, I plan to publish notes on all the wines, over the course of several posts, as well on the experience itself and the views of the other writers involved. And if you are in the Houston area, there will be a lot of rosé wine left over for sampling and revelry starting around 5:00 or so!

Last Year’s Reveal. I hope the island is big enough for this year….

Here are the wines for this year’s tasting:

Winery Wine Cépage Vintage Appellation
Acorn Rosato Blend 2017 Russian River Valley
Acquiesce Grenache Rosé Grenache 2017 Lodi
Benovia Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Russian River Valley
Bokisch Rosado Blend 2017 Clements Hill-Lodi
Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris de Cigare Blend 2017 Central Coast
Cambria Estate Winery Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Santa Maria Valley
Chehalem Three Vineyard Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Willamette Valley
Cline Ancient Vines Mourvèdre Rosé Mourvèdre 2017 Contra Costa County
Copain Tous Ensemble Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Mendocino County
Denison Cellars Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Willamette Valley
Farmstrong Field Rosé Blend 2017 Redwood Valley
Ferrari-Carano Dry Sangiovese Sangiovese 2017 Sonoma County
Gifft by Kathie Lee Gifford Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Monterey County
Gran Moraine Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Yamhill-Carlton
Harney Lane Dry Rosé Blend 2017 Lodi
J. Bucher Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Russian River Valley
Keller Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Sonoma Coast
Kramer Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Yamhill-Carlton
Lazy Creek Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Anderson Valley
Lion Ranch Vineards & Winery Lioness Blend 2017 Santa Clara Valley
Longford Estate Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Monterey County
Lucas & Lewellen Estate Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Santa Barbara County
McIntyre Estate Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Santa Lucia Highlands
Onward Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Redwood Valley
Passaggio Tempranillo Rosé Tempranillo 2017 Clarksburg
Patois Wines Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Monterey County
Pedroncelli Dry Rosé Zinfandel 2017 Dry Creek Valley
Plow & Press Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Monterey County
Quady North Counoise Rosé Counoise 2017 Applegate Valley
Quady North GSM Blend 2017 Rogue Valley
Quady North Grenache Rosé Grenache 2017 Rogue Valley
Real Nice Shallow Seas Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Willamette Valley
Rodney Strong Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Russian River Valley
Ryder Estate Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Central Coast
Sanford Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Sta. Rita Hills
Sassoferrato Rosé of Sangiovese Sangiovese 2017 Mendocino County
Scheid Estate Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Monterey County
Scheid District 7 Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Monterey County
Sidebar Syrah Rosé Syrah 2017 Russian River Valley
St. Amant Rosé Barbera 2017 Lodi
Stoller Estate Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Willamette Valley
The Larsen Projekt Grenache Rosé Grenache 2017 Dry Creek Valley
Tongue Dancer Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2017 Sonoma Coast
Westwood Single Vineyard Rosé Blend 2017 Sonoma Valley
Wilakenzie Estate Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2017 Willamette Valley
Acquiesce Grenache Rosé Grenache 2016 Lodi
Benovia Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2016 Russian River Valley
Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris de Cigare Blend 2016 Reserve
Brooks Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2016 Willamette Valley
Claiborne & Churchill Cuvée Elizabeth Pinot Noir 2016 Edna Valley
Ferrari-Carano Dry Sangiovese Sangiovese 2016 Sonoma County
Jaqk Cellars Charmed Rosé Pinot Noir 2016 California
Keller Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2016 Sonoma Coast
Kokomo Grenache Rosé Grenache 2016 Dry Creek Valley
Lasseter Enjoué Rosé Blend 2016 Sonoma County
Lazy Creek Vineyards Rosado Pinot Noir 2016 Anderson Valley
Magna Porcum Sus Volans Pinot Noir 2016 Green Valley of Russian River Valley
McIntyre Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2016 Santa Lucia Highlands
Onward Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2016 Redwood Valley
Passaggio Tempranillo Rosé Tempranillo 2016 Clarksburg
Red Car Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2016 Sonoma Coast/Mendocino Ridge
Sanford Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2016 Sta. Rita Hills
Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé Pinot Noir 2016 Willamette Valley
The Larsen Projekt Grenache Rosé Grenache 2016 North Coast
Vicarious Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2016 Russian River Valley
Onward Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2015 Redwood Valley
Onward Rosé of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2014 Redwood Valley
Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris Tuilé Blend 2013 Central Coast
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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 Aragonez, Cinsault/Cinsaut, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Rolle, Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Vermentino, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to And Then There Were 68

  1. Enjoy your big day on the 9th!

    Like

  2. Incredibly impressive! I look forward to the results (and to being invited in the future).

    Like

  3. Kelly MacKay says:

    sounds like a interesting day a head. enjoy the 9th.

    Like

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