The Fifth Annual Largest Blind Tasting of American “True” Rosés in the World—Flights 15-17 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 Yamhill Valley Vineyards Rose of Pinot Noir Estate, McMinnville AVA, OR: Retail $18. Dark pink, more of a light red, with a nose that screams roasted marshmallow. Fruity, quite tart, extremely dry. Could actually use a bit of sugar, I think. Or a steak. Excellent. 91 Points.

2019 Acquiesce Grenache Rosé Lodi, CA: Retail $25. Beautiful pretty color, lovely nose of tropical fruit, and the palate is simply stellar. Absolutely wonderful. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2019 Brooks Pinot Noir Rosé Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $22. Rich color, a bit of a funky nose, with some fruit, but a bit stinky on the nose, but pleasant on the palate with good balance, but that stinky aspect… Excellent. 90 Points.

2019 Klinker Brick Bricks & Roses, Lodi, CA: Retail $16. 40% Grenache, 24% Mourvèdre, 18% Syrah, 18% Carignane. Quite light in color, with a candied fruit nose. The palate is fruity, but lean, a perfectly acceptable rose. Very Good. 89 Points.

2019 A to Z Wineworks Rosé, Oregon: Retail $16. “Mostly Sangiovese.” Bubblegum pink with a pleasant nose that is quite savory and mineral. Fruity, a tad sweet, but all parts in the right places. Excellent. 92 Points.

2020 Chehalem Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $25. Bubblegum pink with a wonderful nose. Tropical, nectarine. Whoa. This is absolutely stunning: wonderful fruit, great tartness, impeccable balance. Outstanding. 95 Points.

2019 McCay Cellars Carignane Rosé, Lodi, CA: Retail $24. Orange, with some pink. Ann odd nose, more savory than sweet with no fruit evident. Flat, disjointed, out of balance. Good. 86 Points.

68 bottles of pink ready to be chilled down.

2020 ACORN Rosato Alegría Vineyards, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $24. A field blend of 20% Cabernet Franc, 19% Sangiovese, 19% Dolcetto, 19% Zinfandel, 6% Syrah, 3% Merlot, 2% Cinsaut, 2% Blue Portuguese, 2% Petite Sirah, 2% Viognier, 2% Barbera, and 4% includes Liatiko, Dornfelder, Einset, Freisa, Chardonnay, Aromatico, and Suffolk. Dark in the glass. More of a light red than pink. The nose? A bit strange as it is quite beefy (as in smells like steak), but better on the palate. Some fruit, but not that much, decent acidity. Very Good. 89 Points.

2019 Cambria Pinot Noir Rosé Julia’s Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, CA: Retail $22. Light pink with a really reductive nose, but the palate is not nearly as bad as the nose. There’s fruit, acid, balance, but it is marred by that nose. Very Good. 88 Points.

2019 Oak Farm Vineyards Estate Grown, Mokelumne River, Lodi, CA: Retail $26. 65% Sangiovese, 35% Barbera. Orangish-pink with a lovely nose, sweet, fruity, nice. Comes off as sweet on the palate, almost to the point of too much. Crowd-pleaser. Very Good. 88 Points.

2020 Amarose Rosé, Lodi, CA: Retail $30. 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 25% Carignan, 25% Mourvèdre. Closer to golden than pink, with an enticing nose—candied fruit, a bit of oxidation. Fine, but rather non-descript. Fine. Very Good. 88 Points.

2020 Tongue Dancer Pinot Noir Rosé de Ville, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $60 (Only sold in magnums). Rich, almost red color. Flinty, rose petal, dark cherry. Fruity and a touch sweet on the palate, this is a big, robust wine regardless of it being a rosé. Nice. Excellent. 90 Points.

Getting chilly (hopefully).

For those that have never done it, tasting 68 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 68 wines twice. Still, after tasting 68 high-acid wines, the teeth and gums go into a bit of a revolt.

Bagged and numbered.

 

Some general observations:

  • I ran a couple of correlations and I found once again 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= – 0.034868). Likewise, there was not a significant correlation between perceived quality and price (r= – 0.125996).
  • As witnessed in the last four years, this year seemed to have an overall increase in the quality of the wines this year (as compared to the last four years). While certainly, some wines were “better” than others, all the wines fell at least into the “Good” category, with more than half achieving “Excellent” (30.9% at 90-92 points) or “Outstanding” (27.9% at 93 points and above).
  • 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 (one wine was from 2017, 7 from 2018, and 34 from 2019, and 26 from 2020), but that was certainly not the case. Although, there were a higher concentration of  “Outstanding” wines from the 2020 vintage wines.
  • Although still dominated by California (37 wines), four states were represented: Oregon (21 wines), Washington (six), Texas (two), New York (one), and I snuck one in from Argentina.
  • 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.

Part of the “tasting panel.”

 

Many thanks to those who attended the tasting and offered their comments and expertise!

Here are the group’s top wines, first with those that were included on all five lists of top wines:

  • 2020 Raeburn Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA ($20)
  • 2019 Peltier Rouge Rosé, Lodi, CA ($26)
  • 2020 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA ($20)

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

  • 2020 Chehalem Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR ($25)
  • 2019 Furioso Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($32)
  • 2019 Acquiesce Grenache Rosé, Lodi, CA ($25)
  • 2019 Gran Moraine Rosé of Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, OR ($28)
  • 2019 WillaKenzie Estate Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($28)
  • 2019 Capture Rose of Sangiovese Sangiovese Rosé, Sonoma County, CA ($30)
  • 2020 Roaming Dog Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA ($18)

 

Here are my top-three wines from the tasting:

  • 2020 Raeburn Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA ($20)
  • 2019 Peltier Rouge Rosé, Lodi, CA ($26)
  • 2020 Chehalem Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR ($25)

And here are another dozen that I found to be Outstanding:

  • 2020 Troon Vineyard Kubli Bench Rosé, Applegate Valley, OR ($25)
  • 2019 Capture Rose of Sangiovese Sangiovese Rosé, Sonoma County, CA ($30)
  • 2018 Peltier Rouge Rosé, Lodi, CA ($26)
  • 2020 Be Human Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, WA ($18)
  • 2020 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA ($20)
  • 2019 Acquiesce Grenache Rosé, Lodi, CA ($25)
  • 2020 Stephen Ross Pinot Noir Rosé, Edna Valley, CA ($25)
  • 2020 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Avant Garde ($30)
  • 2020 Purple Star Rosé, Columbia Valley, WA ($18)
  • 2020 Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR ($28)
  • 2017 Ripe Life Wines The Clambake Rosé, Mendocino, CA ($18)
  • 2020 Lucia Pinot Noir Lucy Rosé, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA ($24)

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 $23.41, which was only $0.13 higher than last year). It should also be pointed out that both the 2019 and the 2018 iterations of the Peltier Rosé made my top wines.

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 3-5      Flights 6-8     Flights 9-11     Flights 12-14

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 Aromatico, Barbera, Blue Portuguese, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Chardonnay, Cinsault/Cinsaut, Dolcetto, Dornfelder, Einset, Freisa, Grenache, Liatiko, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Rosé, Sangiovese, Suffolk, Syrah, Viognier, Wine, Zinfandel. Bookmark the permalink.

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