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

2020 ACORN Rosato Alegría Vineyards, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $32. 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 color, particularly among this lineup. With dark fruit, lovely floral, even perfumed on the nose. Fruity and tart on the palate, good balance and depth. Given the color, I did not expect to like it this much (as I expected some tannins which I struggle with in rosé–but not here!). Excellent. 90 Points.

2021 ACORN Rosato Alegría Vineyards, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $35. 20% Syrah, 20% Zinfandel, 15% Dolcetto, 15% Sangiovese, 5% Cinsaut, 10% various Muscats, 2% Blue Portuguese, 3% Viognier, Liatiko, and other varieties. Dark, even really dark, particularly for a rosé. Meaty and fruity on the nose, a bit of mint or eucalyptus here, too. Rich, fruity, big for a rosé as one might expect from the color. Very nice. Excellent. 92 Points.

2020 Ancient Peaks Rosé, Paso Robles, Santa Margarita Ranch, CA: Retail $26. Varietal composition? I believe this is a saignée. Pale salmon color with a fruity, yet also meaty nose with dark cherry predominate. Fruity, fun, with some depth and body. Excellent. 90 Points.

2021 Amarose Rosé Lodi, CA: Retail $25. 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 25% Carignan, 25% Mourvèdre. Light to medium pink with a lovely, fruity nose. The palate is also quite lovely and beautifully balanced. Not the “best” wine in this tasting, but it is not straining too hard to look up at those above it. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2021 Be Human Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, WA: Retail $18. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Last year, the 2020 was one of the stars of the show. The 2021 is fantastic albeit a slight step below that 2020. Orangish pink in the glass with a sweet, slightly fruity nose, and a touch of floral. Lovely palate with the fruit, tartness, and alcohol all in balance. Very nice, close to a whoa. Excellent. 92 Points.

2021 Bells Up Winery Pinot Noir Prelude, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $28. Richer color here, a light red more than pink. Salinity and muted fruit on the nose with an agreeable palate loaded with fruit but a tartness that struggles slightly to keep up. Overall, though, a solid wine. Excellent. 90 Points.

2021 Benziger Family Winery Rosé, North Coast, CA: Retail $26. No indication anywhere what variety(ies) are involved here. Candied cherry on the nose of this medium pink wine. Nice and tart with a touch of sweetness on this? Perfectly fine, in fact, excellent, but does not need that touch of sweetness. Excellent. 91 Points.

2021 Brooks Pinot Noir Rosé Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $32. Cotton candy pink color with orange highlights. Jolly Rancher, candied nose. Great on the palate with some good fruit and acidity. There is a bit of an odd finish (a slightly sweet, almost saccharine element), but that barely detracts. Nice. Excellent. 91 Points.

2021 Calafia Pinot Noir The Princess, Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $25. Bubblegum pink with a sweet, fruity nose, think a cross between Jolly Rancher and cotton candy. The palate comes off as sweet as well, but it seems to work. Nice. Excellent. 90 Points.

2021 Cattleya Alma de Cattleya Rose of Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $22. 100% Pinot Noir. This has always been a solid performer in the World’s Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosé and this 2021 is not an exception. Light pink with an orange hue with good fruit and a salty, slightly meaty, but lovely nose. Very nice on the palate, too, a solid wine, top to bottom. Excellent. 91 Points.

2020 Chehalem Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $24. Quite light in the glass, even “Provencal” light. A tad funky/metallic on the nose with floral hints  (rose). I find the palate quite lovely, however, with good balance and quite tart. Excellent. Excellent. 91 Points.

2021 Chehalem Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $18. Salmon color with a bit of a dirty, flinty nose. The palate, though, is pretty fantastic, good fruit, nice and balanced. Quite lovely, really close to a whoa. Excellent. 92 Points.

2021 Cline Cellars Mourvèdre Rosé Contra Costa County, CA: Retail $21. Medium to light pink with orange highlights and a nose that while a bit muted, exhibits some lovely fruit. Tons of fruit on the palate as well, so much that it comes off as a bit sweet. The acidity tries to catch up, bet never quite gets there. Very Good. 88 Points.

2021 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Rosé Jane’s Vineyard, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $25. Under screw cap. Another light pink with a gorgeous nose of tropical fruit and peach. Whoa, lovely, rich fruit here on the palate, fantastic. I believe this is the first Bynum rosé I have tried and it is fabulous. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2020 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Avant Garde, Carneros, CA: Retail $30. A lovely, fruity, salty nose on this light pinkish/orange wine. The palate falls a bit short, however, as the fruit is difficult to find. Fantastic acidity and a lengthy finish, but the fruit was a bit missing. Very Good. 89 Points.

2021 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Avant Garde, Carneros, CA: Retail $30. Quite pale salmon in the glass with a fantastic nose of peach and lemon zest. Nice. Great on the palate, even better than great with fruit (present but subtle), great balance, and depth. OK, whoa. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2021 Elouan Rosé, Oregon: Retail $20. Pinot Noir? (No indication as to the varieties involved.) I saw this at my local H-E-B (I love my H-E-B) for around twelve bucks, so I bought a bottle to include in the tasting. Medium pink and plenty of watermelon Jolly Rancher on the nose. The palate is quite nice and perhaps what I think of when I conjure the “American” rosé. Good fruit, candied, a touch sweet? Excellent. 92 Points.

2021 Emery Grant Pinot Noir Rosé, Anderson Valley, CA: Retail? I assume this is 100% Pinot Noir. This is one of several special bottles that I was sent for the tasting. I say “special” because they are very limited in production and generally not available for purchase. The wine was made by Pinot Guru James MacPhail and sent to me by his rockstar partner in crime (and wife) Kerry MacPhail. What a treat! 5. Lovely color with a slight orange tint to the light pink wine. Lovely fruit on the nose, but a bit shy nonetheless. Decent fruit on the palate with an off-the-charts acidity. Normally, that is a plus for me and while the wine is quite nice, it could use a bit more fruit to counterbalance that tartness. Excellent. 90 Points.

2021 Ferrari-Carano Sangiovese Rosé, Dry Creek Valley, CA: Retail $15. Medium color with a sweet, fruity nose, fruitier than most of the rosés in this lineup with rich, ripe strawberry on the nose. Rich, intense fruit on the palate, almost too intense, is that possible? But great acidity. Excellent. 91 Points.

2021 Flaunt Wine Company Pinot Noir Rosé, Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $24. Very light in the glass, almost Provencal, with subtle fruit and white flower. The palate is also full-blown Provence with excellent balance and brightness. This might be a bit light for some, but if they were trying to imitate Provence, they certainly nailed it. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2021 Girasole Vineyards Rosé, Mendocino County, CA: Retail $15. 51% Zinfandel, 49% Pinot Noir. Lovely nose of ripe strawberry, some melon, and peach, and maybe some mint. Lovely palate w plenty of fruit but also, I think clearly, some residual sugar here. It certainly works, but not sure it’s needed? Outstanding. 93 Points.

2019 Grape Creek Vineyards Malbec Rosé, Texas: Retail $35. Pinkish orange in the glass with lovely fresh strawberries on the nose. Rather non-descript on the palate with not much fruit until the finish. Very Good. 88 Points.

2021 Ireland Family Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $32. Light pink with a lovely, fruity nose with just a hint of funk. The palate is quite fruity and tart, with that little bit of funk as well. If it were not for that? Excellent. 90 Points.

2020 Left Coast Estate White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $28. Quite light, barely any color at all. Sweet nose of white peach and an herbal aspect (celery seed?). White peach really comes through on the palate but it lacks a bit of tartness for me. Very Good. 89 Points.

2021 Lofty Pinot Noir Rosé Putnam, Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $30? I am pretty sure this was made by James MacPhail for a private client. Medium-plus color with a sweet nose of strawberry, peach, really nice. The palate? Big and bold, holy cow. An explosion of fruit and tartness. Whoa. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2021 Lucia Pinot Noir Lucy Rosé, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA: Retail $24. Pale salmon color with a delicious nose of ripe strawberry and cherry. Nice. Rich, fruity, lovely tartness, maybe a bit of Residual Sugar, but this is a lovely wine. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2021 Malene Wines Rosé, Central Coast, CA: Retail $22. 53% Grenache, 23% Cinsault, 12% Vermentino, 7% Mourvedre, 5% Carginan. Quite pale pink, very Provence in color. More floral than fruity with plenty of white flower but also some red berry fruit below all that perfume. Very tart with some good fruit (tart cherry) on the palate. Yum, another really nice wine. Excellent. 92 Points.

2020 Old Zin Vines Primitivo OZV, California: Retail $15. Pale orange—much more so than pink—with intense tropical aromas, including banana and guava, also some olive (more green than black), or maybe pickle juice. The palate is quite nice, with the oodles of tropical fruit that the nose did portend. Nice. Excellent. 91 Points.

2021 Old Zin Vines Primitivo OZV, California: Retail $15. 100% Primitivo. Light cotton candy color in the glass with a lovely, albeit muted nose while the palate is much richer than I expected, with oodles of fruit that could use a bit more acid (or a little less sweetness). Still, Very Good. 89 Points.

2021 One Stone Rosé of Pinot Noir, Central Coast, CA: Retail $18. On the dark side for rosé, with darker red fruit (cranberry) and a violet component. Big fruit, nice acidity, good balance. The dark color might turn people away, perhaps, but this is a lovely wine. Would be even better with some food, but this is outstanding. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2021 Pedernales Cellars Over the Moon Rosé, Texas: Retail $30. 49% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 9% Mourvedre, 5% Sangiovese, 2% Carignan. Part True Rosé, part saignée. Medium pink with a decided orange hue, with good fruit on the nose and a bit of seashell. Good fruit on the palate as well with the requisite tartness, just lacking a bit of verve. Excellent. 90 Points.

2021 Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley, CA: Retail $15. Darker in color than most rosés, with watermelon Jolly Rancher both in color and aromas. The palate is fruity and fun, a real crowd pleaser—not overly complicated but very nice. Excellent. 90 Points.

2020 Pellegrini Family Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir Olivet Lane Vineyard, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $40. Very light salmon with plenty of melon and it has that country road on a cool summer morning kind of vibe to it. The palate is tart and balanced with good fruit and length. A delightful quaff. Excellent. 90 Points.

2021 Purple Star Rosé, Columbia Valley, WA: Retail $20. 70% Mourvedre, 30% Syrah. A little darker than the typical Provençal style, but not by much. Lovely, candied fruit, minerality, just a delight on the nose. Whoa. Even better on the palate, if that is possible. Great fruit and tartness, depth, and just a hint of minerality on the finish. Yowza. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2020 Raeburn Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $18. 74% Pinot Noir, 22% Zinfandel, 4% Grenache. Really, really light in the glass, hardly any color at all. Lovely nose, of delicate fruit and white flower. Whoa. Lovely on the palate as well, with depth of flavor and incredible richness. Whoa. Really intense flavors. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2020 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Rosé, CA: Retail $25. Under screwcap. (Under $15 locally). This has long been a stellar performer at the World’s Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosé. This 2020 was one of the top wines last year, and it remains stellar. Medium-pink with loads of fruit on the nose, red berry, and peach. Really impressive fruit on the palate, with depth that one does not always find in rosé. Long finish. Very nice. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2021 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $25. Under screw cap. A little darker than a Provencal rose, but certainly light for a US rosé. Great tropical fruit on the nose, really inviting. The palate follows right along with the nose, tart, fruity, lovely. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2021 Sangiacomo Wines Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $35. Under screwcap. Made by, I believe, renowned Pinot guru James MacPhail. Cotton candy pink both in color and aromas with really good fruit but a bit lacking in acidity, which likely might be due to the fact that it went through 92% malolactic fermentation. Very Good. 89 Points.

2021 Sokol Blosser Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $28. Pale pink in the glass with a somewhat off-putting nose—a meaty, kerosene, manure kind of thing. The palate though? Whoa. Great fruit, wonderful balance, really fantastic. But that nose? Perhaps this might need more bottle time? 93 points on the palate. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2019 Sosie Syrah Rosé Vivio Vineyard, Bennett Valley, CA: Retail $25. Medium salmon with nice ripe strawberry, and a sweetness on the nose. Initially, it is a bit lacking on the palate—in both fruit and acidity, but both come through on the finish. Very Good. 88 Points.

2021 Sosie Syrah Rosé Vivio Vineyard, Bennett Valley, CA: Retail $32. 100% Syrah. On the lighter side of pink (but not quite as light as the “typical” rosé from Provence) with just a hint of orange and a gorgeous nose of wild strawberry and rose petals. Whoa. The palate does not disappoint, either as it is light and delicate with subtle fruit and very nice tartness. A fantastic rosé. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2021 Spicewood Vineyards Grenache Rosé, Texas: Retail $25. Medium pink with an odd nose. I hate to use that word, but I am not sure what it is. Beneath, there is some rich fruit. The palate is also odd but I like it, well, oddly. I really need to know more of what is going on here. Very Good. 88 Points.

2020 Stephen Ross Pinot Noir Rosé, Edna Valley, CA: Retail $25. 100% Pinot Noir. Under screw cap. I liked this a lot more last year–maybe my theory on the aging potential of True Rosé needs to be readdressed? Orangish pink in color with a wonderfully fruity nose—ripe, sweet strawberry. Really nice tartness on the palate, but lacking in fruit, surprisingly. Also, a chalky finish detracts just a bit. Very Good. 89 Points.

2021 Stephen Ross Pinot Noir Rosé, Edna Valley, CA: Retail $25. Under screwcap. Last year, this was one of the top wines and this 2021 really brought the goods as well. Really tart and fruity on the nose of this light pink wine. The palate is just fantastic with truckloads of fruit, quite tart, lovely balance, it has it all. Whoa. Yowza. A beautiful rosé. Outstanding. 95 Points.

2020 Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $25. Medium pink with a slight orange hue and a beautiful nose of candied strawberry, peach, and melon. Yum. The palate might even be more stunning with an abundance of fruit, perfectly matched with the acidity, and Whoa. Outstanding. 95 Points.

2021 Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $25. Pale pink with a joyous nose of tart strawberry, peach, and maybe even watermelon. Tart, on the verge of austere on the palate until the fruit washes in mid-way through and lasts through a lengthy finish. Excellent. 92 Points.

2021 Tongue Dancer Pinot Noir Rosé, Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $25. Saignée. This is one of the few saignées that I allow into the tasting since a) it is always fantastic and b) James and Kerry MacPhail (the winemakers) are two of my favorite people on the planet. Light salmon color, but with a slightly odd nose, a bit on the sour side. The palate, however, is completely delightful with great fruit, wonderful tartness, and some heft. Excellent. 92 Points.

2020 Troon Vineyard Kubli Bench Rosé, Applegate Valley, OR: Retail $25. 60% Primitivo, 40% Tina Roriz. Fairly light in color more orange than pink with a delightful nose of red berry and cotton candy. Bright, tart, and fruity on the palate with great balance and depth. A very nice start the Sixth Annual World’s Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosé. Whoa. Outstanding 93 Points.

2020 Westmount Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $20. Under screw cap. True Rosé. [Purchased Bottle]. Lovely pink hue, a bit darker than cotton candy, but beautiful color. More floral than fruity with rose and maybe even violet on the nose. The palate has a salinity, meaty component, not a ton of fruit here, and comes off a little hot with some odd residual something or other in the bottom of the glass. Very Good. 88 Points.

2021 WINC Buellton Summer Water, Central Coast, CA: Retail $25. 85% Grenache, 15% Syrah. [Purchased bottle] I have been wanting to try this wine for some time now and instead of reaching out to the producer to attempt to procure a sample, I just bought one at my local H-E-B (I love my H-E-B). Really light pink (Provence) in the glass with intense strawberry, melon, and even grapefruit on the nose. The palate is fruity and fun with the acidity coming in on the mid-palate, and running the ship all the way through to the finish. Lovely. Excellent. 92 Points.