The Fourth Annual Largest Blind Tasting of American “True” Rosés in the World—Flights 11-13 and Final Results

This is the last article about this year’s Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosés in the World and as I have done the past three previous years, I thought I would end with some general impressions and this year’s top rosés. But first, here are the remaining last three flights of the tasting:

2019 Cattleya Alma de Cattleya Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $20. Light pink. Nice nose of red fruit and a few floral notes. A nice palate of fruit and acidity with one of the lengthier finishes thus far. Whoa. Maybe more. Oustanding. 94-96 Points.

2018 Tongue Dancer Pinot Noir Rosé, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $25. Saignée of Pinot Noir. Medium pink. Floral nose but fruity palate with tartness and good balance. A Watermelon Jolly Rancher aspect, but I really like it. Excellent. 90-92 Points.

2019 Reddy Vineyards Rosé Blocks 5 & 18, Texas High Plains, TX: Retail $25. 73% Cinsault, 19% Mourvèdre, 8% Merlot. Light orangish-pink with aromas reminiscent of a Christmas candle. Fruity, but a bit flabby. Good flavors but needs some tartness. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

2018 McCay Cellars Grenache Rosé, Lodi, CA: Retail $24. There was something off with this bottle. Not corked, but certainly not where it should be. Unrated.

2019 Lange Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills, OR: Retail $28. Bright translucent red, fruity and floral. Pedroncelli? Fruity and fun on the palate with a bit of sweetness. Good. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.

2019 Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley, Dry Creek Valley, CA: Retail $15. Medium reddish-pink. Muted nose, OK palate, but really nothing to distinguish it. Fine, but… Very Good. 87-89 Points.

2018 Lazy Creek Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé of Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, CA: Retail $17. Medium-orangish pink, strawberry, and cherry on the nose. Fruity and sweet on the palate, but with good acidity and pretty good balance. Excellent. 90-92 Points.

It was tough to get all 74 in one shot.

2019 Yamhill Valley Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir Estate, Willamette Valley, McMinnville, OR: Retail $18. Darkish cotton candy with an odd nose: savory and dill pickle even. Tangy, tart, and a bit of that savory aspect on the palate. Odd, but I think I like it. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.

2018 Division Winemaking Company Gamay Noir Division-Villages, “L Avoiron”, Oregon: Retail $20. 100% Gamay. Light cotton candy. Muted fruit with white flowers. Nice tart palate, in balance. Provençal-style. Very Good to Excellent. 89-91 Points.

2019 Klinker Brick Bricks & Roses, Lodi, CA: Retail $16. 40% Grenache, 24% Mourvèdre, 18% Syrah, 18% Carignane. Provencal pink, with a peach seven-up aroma to it. Not a ton of fruit on the palate, but decent acidity. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

2019 Peltier Rouge Rosé, Lodi, CA: Retail $20. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium pink with an orange tint. Hints of strawberry and cherry. A bit spritzy on the palate, fruity, tart. But that spritz. Very Good to Excellent. 89-91 Points.

2019 Hightower Cellars Murray, Red Mountain, WA: Retail $18. 100% Syrah. Medium pink, with a bit of menthol on the nose. The palate is fruity and tart, but there is a medicinal aspect that seems out of place. Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.

2019 Purple Star Rosé, Columbia Valley, WA: Retail $18. 70% Mourvedre, 30% Syrah. Medium pink with slight orange. Savory on the nose and the palate with some subtle fruit notes. Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.

2018 Torii Mor Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $20. Light pinkish-orange. Somewhat fruity on the nose and palate, but needs a good dose of acidity. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.

For those that have never done it, tasting 74 rosés blind might sound “fun” but it is actually pretty difficult. First, there are only a dozen or so descriptors for the color pink. Sure, you could get fancy and introduce foreign words or tap into Crayola, Behr Paint, or nail polish color names, but, well, I’ll just say that is not my style.

Here are a few ways to describe “pink” but they’re in French….

As it did the last couple of years, it took a toll on my teeth. Swishing around all that acid in your mouth really challenges the gums and chicklets. Two years ago, my teeth hurt for a solid four days after tasting through 68 wines twice (I stupidly tasted all the wines right before the tasting). Ouch.

This year, I decided not to try the 74 wines twice. Still, after tasting 74 high-acid wines, the teeth and gums go into a bit of a revolt.

Some general observations:

  • I ran a couple of correlations and found that there was no correlation between when the wine was tasted and its score (in other words, there was no apparent advantage to occurring early or later in the tasting; r= -0.06771). Likewise, there was not a significant correlation between perceived quality and price (r= 0.1099).
  • As witnessed in the last two years, this year seemed to have an overall increase in the quality of the wines this year (as compared to the last three years). While certainly, some wines were “better” than others, all the wines fell at least into the “Very Good” category, and more than half achieving “Excellent.”
  • I contend that “True Rosé” can age as well as any well made white wine, but I did think that it would be fairly easy to identify the older wines (four wines were from 2017, 30 from 2018, and 40 from 2019), but that was certainly not the case.
  • Although still dominated by California (51 wines), four states were represented: Oregon (18 wines), Washington (four), and Texas (one).
  • At big tastings such as this, even when spitting, the alcohol eventually starts to have a bit of an effect–there were much more conversation and general hilarity by the end of the tasting.

Many thanks to Sandra Crittenden (Wine-Thoughts), Katrina René (the Corkscrew Concierge), and Rebecca Castillo (MyVinoRules) for their help and expertise!

Here are the group’s top wines:

  • 2019 Raeburn Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA ($20) (This was the only wine that appeared on all four top-wines lists).

These two wines appeared on three of the four top-wines lists:

  • 2019 Troon Vineyard Kubli Bench Rosé, Applegate Valley, OR ($25)
  • 2019 WillaKenzie Estate Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($28)

The following wines appeared on two of the lists:

  • 2019 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($28)
  • 2017 Alara Cellars Grenache Rosé,  San Benito County, CA ($25)
  • 2017 Bella Grace Rosé, Amador County, CA ($26)
  • 2018 Benovia Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA ($32)
  • 2019 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc Sylviane, St. Helena, CA ($32)
  • 2018 Kokomo Grenache Rosé Pauline’s Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, CA ($26)
  • 2018 La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé, Monterey, CA ($25)
  • 2018 Long Meadow Ranch Pinot Noir Rosé, Anderson Valley, CA ($25)
  • 2018 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Rosé,  Sonoma County, CA ($25)
  • 2019 Tongue Dancer Pinot Noir Rosé, Sonoma County, CA ($28)
  • 2019 Winderlea Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills, OR ($35)

Here are my top-ten  wines from the tasting:

  • 2019 Cattleya Alma de Cattleya Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, CA ($20)
  • 2019 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc Sylviane, St. Helena, CA ($32)
  • 2019 Brooks Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($22)
  • 2019 Tongue Dancer Pinot Noir Rosé, Sonoma County, CA ($28)
  • 2018 Benovia Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA ($32)
  • 2019 Troon Vineyard Kubli Bench Rosé, Applegate Valley, OR ($25)
  • 2019 Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir Rosé, Santa Barbara County, CA ($22)
  • 2019 Raeburn Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA ($20)
  • 2019 Descendants Liegeois Dupont Le Rosé, Columbia Valley, WA ($22)
  • 2018 Brooks Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($22)

And another ten that were right on their heels:

  • 2019 WillaKenzie Estate Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($28)
  • 2017 Bella Grace Rosé, Amador County, CA ($26)
  • 2019 Malene Wines Rosé, Central Coast, CA ($22)
  • 2019 Winderlea Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills, OR ($35)
  • 2018 Kokomo Grenache Rosé Pauline’s Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, CA ($26)
  • 2018 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Rosé,  Sonoma County, CA ($25)
  • 2017 Alara Cellars Grenache Rosé,  San Benito County, CA ($25)
  • 2019 Montinore Estate Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($20)
  • 2018 La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé, Monterey, CA ($25)
  • 2019 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($28)

As you can see, there are a ton of fantastic rosés out there, many that can be had for a bargain (the average suggested retail this year was $23.28). It should also be pointed out that both the 2019 and the 2018 iterations of the Brooks Pinot Noir Rosé made my top ten–that is a first, for sure and at 22 bucks? A steal.

That’s it for this year’s Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosé! My next “big” tasting is this fall, with American Pinot Noir.

Flights 1-2        Flights 3-4      Flights 5-6     Flights 7-8     Flights 9-10

An alphabetical listing of all the wines tasted can be found HERE.

 

 

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 Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Gamay, Grenache, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Pinot Noir, Rosé, Syrah, Wine, Zinfandel. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Fourth Annual Largest Blind Tasting of American “True” Rosés in the World—Flights 11-13 and Final Results

  1. Tom McFadden says:

    I see that you haven’t been introduced to Montepulciano or Aglianico Rose’. Lange Twins has the latter, I’ve been making the Montepulciano Rose’ for a couple of years now.

    Like

    • Hi Tom, thanks for stopping by and for the comment! I usually contact the Lodi Winegrape Commission for samples but I will remember to reach out to Lange Twins next year–I’d love to include your Montepulciano!

      Like

  2. Betsy Nachbaur says:

    Thanks. Love your lists and try to seek out many to try. Bummed we missed sending our 19 Rosato. Will try not to miss out next year.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.