Fifth Annual World’s Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosés—Alphabetical List

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 A to Z Wineworks Rosé, Oregon: Retail $18. (I have no idea what the varietal composition is here, but I assume it has at least some Pinot Noir.) Medium pink with a lovely nose of peach, strawberry, the palate is perhaps even fruitier. Intense fruit, a touch of sweetness, really nice. Excellent. 92 Points.

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 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.

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 Be Human Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, WA: Retail $18. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Another more-orange-than-pink with candied peach, watermelon, and strawberry. The palate is stunning. Rich, balanced, tart, this really has it all here. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2020 Bells Up Winery Pinot Noir Prelude, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $24. 109 Cases made. Quite red for a rosé. A bit medicinal on the nose with some red fruit. The palate is also quite fruity with some intense acidity. Very nice. Excellent. 92 Points.

2019 Bokisch Vineyards Rosado Terra Alta Vineyard Lodi, CA: Retail $20. 44% Garnacha, 34% Graciano, 22% Tempranillo. Under screw cap. Last year, I was not as enthralled with this wine (88 pts.) but this year I was, lending some credence to my assertion that True Rosé can age. More of an orange tinge to this wine with an inviting nose of candied pear, and a bit of crème brulée. The palate is round but also tart, with great fruit and the hint of sweetness. Another stellar rosé. Excellent. 91 Points.

2020 Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris de Cigare, Central Coast, CA: Retail $19. 71% Grenache, 11% Cinsault, 5% Clairette Blanche, 5% Grenache Blanc, 4% Mourvèdre, 4% Vermentino. Medium pink-orange with quite a sweet nose, loaded with peach. Not as inviting initially on the palate, but the fruit really comes in on the finish. I was ready to write this off, but it really recovers. Excellent. 90 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.

2020 Calafia Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé The Princess, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $25. 62% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cork closure. This is my first experience (I think) with this producer, hopefully, it will not be the last. Darkest one so far, a rich pink with a floral and candied nose and tons of cherry. Good fruit and initially quite round until the acidity kick in on the finish. Nice fruit, crowd-pleaser. Excellent. 90 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 Capture Rosé of Sangiovese, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $30. Quite light in the glass with a beautiful nose of peach, cherry, and white flower. The palate? Whoa. Great tartness and balance here. This is another contender for top wine. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2020 Cattleya Alma de Cattleya Rose of Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $20. Lovely pink with an odd, almost sausage like aroma. Also some peach and hints of cherry. Wonderful on the palate—initial wave of fruit, a healthy tartness, maybe a hint of sugar, but it works. Excellent. 91 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 Copain Rosé Les Voisins, Anderson Valley, CA: Retail $32. 100% Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley. Light pink with a very fruity nose and some red flower. The palate is lovely. There might be a touch of RS here, but it works, at least for me.
Excellent. 91 Points.

2019 Descendants Liegeois Dupont Le Rosé, Columbia Valley, WA: Retail $22. 69% Syrah, 16% Mourvèdre, 15% Counoise. This was one of the top wines from last year’s tasting (93 pts) but decidedly not this year. I am thinking there is something off with this bottle from the Hedges’ Family on Red Mountain as this mostly pink with some orange highlights wine is quite funky on the nose and falls flat on the palate. Odd. Not rated.

2020 Diora Pinot Noir La Belle Fête, Monterey, CA: Retail $22. This was the second vintage of this wine and I have to say: “Where have you been all my life?” Light cotton candy color with a wonderful nose, lovely peach and floral, tart on the palate, with wonderful fruit on the palate. One of the better wines here. My only gripe? A bit short on the finish. Excellent. 92 Points.

2018 Division Winemaking Company Gamay Noir Division-Villages, “L Avoiron”, Oregon: Retail $20. 100% Gamay. Orangish pink with a really odd nose. Really odd. The palate is not much better either. It is trying really hard to be interesting, but it’s out of balance and, well, not good. (I know the winemaking team here and this is out of whack in some way.) Not Rated.

2020 Domaine Bousquet Pinot Noir Gaïa Rosé, Gualtallary, Mendoza, Argentina: Retail $16. More orange than pink. Loads of peach, some indication of sweetness, a touch floral. Quite nice. Despite being from Argentina, I decided to slip this this wine into the tasting (technically, I guess this is still an “American” True Rosé). Excellent. Excellent. 91 Points.

2020 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Avant Garde, Carneros, CA: Retail $30. Light in color, equal parts pink and orange. Lovely on the nose, more floral than fruity. Nice. The palate is quite balanced with rich fruit, a mineral aspect. Lengthy finish. Outstanding. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2019 Ferrari-Carano Sangiovese Rosé, Dry Creek Valley, CA: Retail $15. Rich color, fruity nose (peach and strawberry), fruity on the palate with plenty of acid, almost a bit high, which renders it a bit out of balance. Still, this is likely a crowd pleaser. Very Good. 89 Points.

2019 Fields Family Wines La Vie, Lodi, CA: Retail $19. Variety unknown. Deeper color, but an odd nose. Medicinal, which blocks out the fruit. Flat, not very interesting on the palate. Very Good. 87 Points.

2020 Flaunt Wine Company Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills, CA: Retail $24. Really dark for a rosé, almost a red. Candied nose, almost over-the-top strawberry, but the palate is quite delicious, rather surprising, actually. Very nice. Excellent. 92 Points.

2018 Fullerton Wines Pinot Noir Rosé Three Otters, OR: Retail $20. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Gris. I liked this wine last year (91 pts.) and I still do. Medium plus pink with orange highlights. A bit funky on the nose with good fruit, a tad savory on the nose. Fruity, a bit sweet on the palate, but quite vinous. This might be the heaviest wine of the flight. Excellent. 90 Points.

2020 Fullerton Wines Pinot Noir Rosé Three Otters, Oregon: Light pink with an orange hue. Medicinal on the nose, tough to get any fruit off of it. The palate is more appealing than the nose, but still lacking fruit. Good acidity, but that nose… Very Good. 88 Points.

2019 Furioso Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $32. Rich, color, a bit funky on the nose with a medicinal aspect. The palate is rather lacking in fruit and overly tart, and rather savory. Still, I could see this as part of a barbecue on the back patio, yeah, that’s the ticket. Very Good. 89 Points.

2019 Gran Moraine Rosé of Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $28. Lovely light pink with an elegant nose of red flower, rhubarb, a tad savory. Another homerun on the palate, great fruit, acidity, the whole nine here. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2019 Grape Creek Vineyards Malbec Rosé Texas: Retail $35. Medium color with an orange tint, the nose is difficult to find, eventually a bit of mint. The palate is interesting, balanced but it is just a bit lacking in fruit. Very Good. 88 Points.

2019 Hightower Cellars Murray, Red Mountain, Columbia Valley, WA: Retail $18. 100% Syrah. Last year I was not a huge fan of this wine (87 pts.). This year? Different story. Pale strawberry red. A bit muted on the nose, more red fruit than anything else. The palate is quite nice with loads of fruit, a tad savory and quite nice. Excellent. 92 Points.

2018 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve, California: Retail $17. 82% Pinot Noir, 15% Syrah, 3% Grenache. More orange than pink. An interesting nose of fruit, a bit of oxidation, caramel even. Good fruit, with some RS here, and that interesting toasted caramel thing going on. I liked this last year (90 Pts.) and I still do. Very Good. 89 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.

2018 La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé, Monterey, CA: Retail $25. Light pink with an orange rim. A bit “dirty” on the nose but plenty of peach, a hint of rhubarb, lovely, actually. The palate, is unfortunately characterized by that “dirtiness” there is also some sweetness. Another wine that did not fair well with the additional year of age. I loved this last year (92 Pts) but this year? Not so much. Could it be an off bottle? Maybe…. Very Good. 87 Points.

2019 Lange Pinot Noir Rosé, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $28. Under screw cap. I first tried this last year and while I liked it then (89 Pts.) I seem to like it slightly less now. Darker, almost a light red with some darker berry fruit on the nose (cranberry, black cherry). Quite tart but pretty lacking in fruit. In fact, I struggled to find any. There is plenty of acid, but really that’s about it. Very Good. 87 Points.

2019 Lenz Firefly Rosé, North Fork, Long Island, NY: Retail $20. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Gewurztraminer. Not much information is available on this wine. In fact, I am not certain that it is a True Rosé. Regardless, it was great to have a wine from the Empire State in the tasting, Long Island, no less. Orangish pink with what appears to be bubbles in the glass, but comes off still. Another with great fruit and plenty of acidity. A bit chalky on the mid-palate. Nice. Very Good. 89 Points.

2019 Long Meadow Ranch Pinot Noir Rosé, Anderson Valley, CA: Retail $25. I do not have a ton of experience with this brand, but it was a part of last year’s tasting, where it fared well (91 pts.). Quite pale, could be confused with a white. Fruity (mango, strawberry), some spice, and floral. The palate again, is a bit lacking in fruit, there is some, but it is hard to find. Good acidity, however, that lingers on the finish. Very Good. 88 Points.

2019 Lost Draw Cellars Arroyo Rosé, Texas High Plains, TX: Retail $25. (I could not find the varietal composition.) Right down the middle color-wise with another gorgeous nose, fruity, a tad sweet. The palate is also quite inviting with great fruit and balance. Really nice. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2019 Lucia Pinot Noir Lucy Rosé, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA: Retail $25. Light pink with some orange and sulfur on the nose. The palate, while tart, has some fruit that I just can’t place. It’s nice, refreshing, solid. Excellent. 90 Points.

2020 Lucia Pinot Noir Lucy Rosé, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA: Retail $24. Medium pink, a little muted on the palate. With some faint fruit and considerable minerality. Intense fruit on the palate, great tartness, and just a touch of sweet. It works and works well. Outstanding. 93 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.

2019 McCay Cellars Grenache Rosé, Lodi, CA: Retail $24. Another Lodi wine that was also a part of last year’s tasting and one that I particularly liked (91 pts.). This go around? Not so much. Medium pink good fruit on the nose with a candied aspect. The palate is a bit uninspiring and not very nuanced and a bit of a one-note. Not very interesting. Very Good. 87 Points.

2019 McCay Cellars Cinsault Rosé, Lodi, CA: Retail $24. Orangish pink with an odd nose, somewhat of a mocha thing going on. The palate? Yikes. This might be flawed. Last year, this showed so much better. Yup, bad bottle. Unrated.

2019 Montinore Estate Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $20. Lovely light pink. Funky on the nose. Really funky. Almost “this might be flawed” kinda funky. Luckily the palate is much better with plenty of fruit, acidity, and good balance. But that nose? Tough to score. I’m basing this on the palate. Excellent. 90 Points.

2018 Murphy-Goode Rosé, California: Retail $14. 81% Pinot Noir, 17% Syrah, 2% Grenache. Light orangish-pink with a tree fruit nose, intense fruit, even. It’s all about the peach on the palate, really peachy. But this wine works as well. Excellent. 91 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.

2019 Pedroncelli Dry Rosé, Dry Creek Valley, CA: Retail $16. 100% Zinfandel. Rich pink color. Rich fruit nose, some smoke, candied. Rich fruit, intense flavors, tart. Nice. I liked this last year (88 pts.) but it has improved. Excellent. Excellent. 91 Points.

2020 Pedroncelli Dry Rosé, Dry Creek Valley, CA: Retail $16. 100% Zinfandel. Bubblegum pink. Good fruit on the nose, but a hint of funk (I like the funk). Sweet on the nose with some intense acidity. Very Good. 88 Points.

2018 Peltier Rosé of Pinot Noir, Lodi, CA: Retail $26. While I liked this last year (90 pts.), I really liked it this year. Light pink floral with some garrigue, peach, strawberry. Lovely. The palate is off the charts good, another wine that is going to end up at the top of the heap here. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2019 Peltier Rouge Rosé, Lodi, CA: Retail $20. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pink with a touch of orange. A tad floral with bright fruit (tangerine and strawberry). Really lovely on the palate with rich fruit and balanced acidity. Quite nice. Whoa. One of the top wines of the tasting thus far. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2019 Purple Star Rosé, Columbia Valley, WA: Retail $18. 70% Mourvèdre, 30% Syrah. Another wine that has improved over the last 12 months (87 pts last year). On the dark side of rosé with a candied fruit and a bit reductive. I was going to say that this was a bit bland, but the fruit came in on the mid-palate. Still, just a bit disjointed. Very Good. 89 Points.

2020 Purple Star Rosé, Columbia Valley, WA: Retail $18. 70% Mourvèdre, 30% Syrah. Medium to dark pink. A wonderful nose, fruit, mineral, quite lovely. Fruity, peach, watermelon, strawberry. Palate is quite lovely and balanced with intense fruit and tartness. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2020 Raeburn Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $18. Very light pink with a lovely nose, quite fruity but also floral. Really stellar nose that I could smell for a while. Wow. Holy cow and a whoa. Great fruit, lovely acidity, balanced, maybe a hint of sweetness. Yowza. Outstanding. 95 Points.

2019 Raptor Ridge Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $30. Candy cotton pink with an orange tint. Decent nose, of floral and fruit. The palate is fine, good fruit and acidity, but might be lacking a bit of pizazz. OK. Very Good. 89 Points.

2017 Ripe Life Wines The Clambake Rosé, Mendocino County, CA: Retail $19. 100% Carignan. Another wine that has used the last year to improve, while it was fine (89 pts.) last year, this year it’s a few notches above for sure. Dark for a rosé, closer to red than pink. Lovely fruit—really nice—on the nose (strawberry). The palate is equally inviting—loaded with fruit, quite tart (laser focus). Very nice. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2020 Roaming Dog Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA: Retail $15. 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec. Cotton candy pink with a really fruity nose of peach and strawberry. The palate is also loaded with fruit. Wow, really nice acidity, balanced, and a lengthy finish. Hint of sweetness. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2020 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $25. Under screwcap. Cotton Candy pink. Lovely nose: great fruit, floral. The palate is quite lovely. Another one that sits near the top of the tasting. Also more evidence that the folks at Rodney Strong know what they are doing. Back up the truck. Excellent. 93 Points.

2019 Saffron Fields Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $30. Rich color, more red than pink. Really meaty and candied on the nose. A bit over-extracted, on the palate, rich and intense. Very Good. 88 Points.

2019 Sosie Syrah Rosé Vivio Vineyard, Bennett Valley, CA: Retail $25. Orange in the glass, maybe with some pink highlights. Maybe. A bit smoky on the nose, perhaps roasted red pepper?. Rich and unctuous on the palate. Very Good. 89 Points.

2020 Stephen Ross Pinot Noir Rosé, Edna Valley, CA: Retail $25. 100% Pinot Noir. Under screw cap. I would consider Paula and Stephen (Steve) Ross Dooley friends, so I was happy when they decided to send a couple of bottles of their Rosé of Pinot Noir for the tasting. I was even happier to find out that I and the rest of the panel really liked it, despite the fact that it was randomly selected as the first wine of 68 that we tasted. Pale pink with a lovely nose on cotton candy and strawberry/peach. The palate is absolutely singing with great fruit, lovely acidity and a fantastic finish. A really great start to the tasting.Outstanding 93 Points.

2020 Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, WA: Retail $28. Cotton candy pink with oodles of fruit, a bit of white flower, hints of sweetness. The palate is also lovely with the fruit dominant initially, and the acidity struggling to get noticed. It does and balances everything out. Quite nice. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2020 Tongue Dancer Pinot Noir Rosé, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $22. 100% Pinot Noir. I believe this is James and Kerry MacPhail’s *first* True Rosé which I am going to take credit for since I bug them about it all the time (despite knowing that it was more likely due to the fires that plagued the 2020 vintage). Regardless, this is fabulous. Medium pink with red highlights. Quite fruity with red berry fruit prevalent. The palate is quite fruity as well with lip-smacking acidity and perhaps the tiniest bit of Residual Sugar? (Which works exceedingly well, btw.) Very nice. Excellent. 92 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.

2018 Torii Mor Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $20. Last year, I liked this wine just fine. Pretty much the same vibe this year. And for under twenty bucks? One could do far worse. Rich color, orange, not pink. The nose is a bit austere and much more floral than fruity. In fact, the fruit is pretty much absent. Lacking fruit on the palate. Good tartness. Very Good. 89 Points.

2020 Troon Vineyard Kubli Bench Rosé, Applegate Valley, OR: Retail $25. 60% Primitivo, 40% Tinta Roriz. Really light in color, barely a rosé. Beautiful nose of strawberry, cherry, rhubarb. Fantastic on the palate with lovely fruit, tart acidity, great balance. Nice. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2019 WillaKenzie Estate Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $28. 100% Pinot Noir. Another wine that seems to have improved over the last 12 months (92 Pts. in 2020). Classic medium pink with a lovely nose of ripe peach and rose petals. Fruity on the palate with a savory note, plenty of tartness, a another lovely wine. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2019 Winderlea Pinot Noir Rosé, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $35. Medium color, quite floral but light in fruit. The palate is a similar story. Good acid, but not really enough fruit to hold it together. Very Good. 89 Points.

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.

2020 Youngberg Hill Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $40. Light to medium pink with another interesting nose which I can’t quite place. Tomato paste? The palate is fruity, with that tomato aspect, but also some solid fruit and a touch of sweetness. Very Good. 89 Points.