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Rosé
Think Pink.

 

The Fifty Best Rosé Tasting of 2016

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 36 recent release Rosé wines with 15 pre-qualified wine judges. Rosés from eight countries were represented in this tasting. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the wines were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles and served well chilled. Only ice water and white bread were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each wine on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The states and countries are identified for each brand. Prices indicated do not include tax.



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Amisfield
Pinot Noir Rosé 2015

(Central Otago, New Zealand) $19

To produce this wine, hand-picked Pinot Noir grapes were cool-fermented in tanks after which the wine was matured on its lees (wasted yeast) for 3 months.

Aroma: Strawberry, raspberry, peach skin, orange, red grapefruit, orange peel, kumquat, melon, rose, flowers, cucumber, limestone, effervescent.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, cherry, apricot, kiwi, watermelon, lemon, grapefruit, lively and savory fruits, Jolly Rancher, honey, floral, fresh.

Finish: Honeyed, flavorful, mineral, tart, dry, crisp, smooth, well balanced, nice, great.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Amisfield Pinot Noir Rosé

 



McPherson Cellars
2015 Les Copains Dry Rosé

(Lubbock, Texas) $18

Following harvest, the Cinsault, Mouvedre and Grenache grapes for this wine went directly to pressing and spent just a few hours on their skins prior to fermentation.

Aroma: Raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, cherry, watermelon, pomegranate, soft flowers, lavender, meadow, fresh mountain air.

Palate: Cherry, maraschino cherry, red plum, strawberry, raspberry, berries, apricot, peach, watermelon, melon, pink grapefruit, grapefruit, lemon, floral, herbal, green olive, oak, fresh, tangy, wonderful acidity, great balance.

Finish: Citrus, grape, cola, herbal, flowery, grassy, dusty, smooth, soft, crisp, tart, nice, fresh, balanced.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



McPherson Cellars Les Copains Dry Rosé



Château de Saint Martin
Cru Classé Cuvée Grande Réserve 2015 Rosé

(France) $22

This wine is a blend of Grenache, Tibouren, Cinsault, Carignan and Syrah grapes that were mechanically harvested, cool fermented and aged in a “stone-carved” underground cellar.

Aroma: Fresh strawberry, white peach, peach, banana, melon, watermelon, green apple, citrus, citrus peel, lemon zest, cotton candy, bubblegum, violet, clean, crisp.

Palate: White peach, unripe apricot, strawberry, pear, green apple, bitter melon, orange, grapefruit, lemon, orange peel, tropical fruit, citrus, Sweet Tart candy, minerality, crisp, light, refreshing.

Finish: Citrus, pear, white pepper, clean, mineral, balanced, crisp.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Château de Saint Martin Cru Classé Cuvée Grande Réserve Rosé



Arrayán
Rosado 2015

(Toledo, Spain) $7

This wine was made from a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grapes that were cool-fermented over 20 days.

Aroma: Raspberry, cherry, cranberry, apricot, juicy peach, plum, grapefruit, tangy, bitter dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa, stewed herbs, spice, white pepper, minerality, leather, great mouthfeel, slight frizzante.

Finish: Grapefruit, peppercorn, earthy, crisp, tangy, creamy smooth, flavorful.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Arrayán Rosado





Triennes
2015 Rosé

(Nans-les-Pins, France) $14

This wine is a blend of Cinsault (60%), Syrah (18%), Grenache (17%) and Merlot (5%) grapes. It was produced from “free-run” juice following maceration for 2-3 hours and slow fermentation over a month in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats.

Aroma: Strawberry, cranberry, cooked red fruit, green apple, watermelon, melon, burnt honey, floral, dried herbs, earthy, linen, crisp.

Palate: Raspberry, blackberry, sweet tart apricot, white stone fruit, watermelon, grapefruit, lemon, lime, citrus, white flowers, rose, herbaceous, sage, nice minerality, tangy, fresh.

Finish: Raspberry, fruity, citrus pith, oaky, dusty, earthy, soft, crisp, clean, well-made.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Triennes Rosé





South Coast Winery
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosè

(Temecula Valley, California) $18

For this wine, hand-harvested grapes from Saint’s Valley Vineyards were pressed from “whole-clusters”, and the juice cold-settled prior to fermentation, using selected yeast from Provence.

Aroma: Fresh strawberry, light mixed berry, pomegranate, juicy red cherry, red plum, crab apple, stewed red fruit, sweet candy, herbs, grassy.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, red cherry, red plum, savory red fruits, apple, red melon, citrus, floral, black pepper, really nice body, tangy.

Finish: Red fruit, citrus, smooth, tangy, tart, grassy.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



South Coast Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Rosè



Lauren Ashton Cellars
Rosé 2015

(Woodinville, Washington) $21

To make this wine, the grapes (50% Grenache, 50% Mouvedre) were de-stemmed and crushed with the juice and allowed to “sit” on the skins for five hours before pressing and fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Cotton candy, subtle Juicy Fruit gum, raspberry, ripe strawberry, pears, watermelon, floral, grassy.

Palate: Vanilla, crisp raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, mixed berries, black currant, jammy, savory, crabapple, pear, citrus, fresh, acidic, tangy, touch of frizzante.

Finish: Cherry, lemon, nice, dry, crisp, effervescent, bubbly, soft, balanced.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Lauren Ashton Cellars Rosé



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Black Barn Vineyards
Hawke's Bay Rosé 2015

(Hawke's Bay, New Zealand) $23

To make this wine, selectively picked grapes were immediately pressed and cool-fermented.

Aroma: Strawberry, raspberry, cherry, tart pears, under-ripe watermelon, floral bouquet, green floral, herbs, mint, minerality, soft, fresh.

Palate: Raspberry, cranberry, cherry, ripe plum, tart pears, peach skin, citrus, hibiscus, herbs, spearmint, minerality, smoky, tangy, smooth.

Finish: Herbal, minerality, tart, balanced, elegant, classy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Black Barn Vineyards Hawke's Bay Rosé



Barton & Guestier
La Villa Barton Côtes de Provence 2015 Rosé

(France) $16

Made from a blend of Granache (45%), Syrah (30%) and Cinsault (24%) grapes grown in the southwest of France, this wine was fermented at a controlled temperature and aged on its lees (wasted yeast) for 2 months prior to bottling.

Aroma: Berry, stone fruit, watermelon, melon, orange, citrus pith, yellow pepper, white hyacinth, flowery, rose petal, grass, crisp.

Palate: Raspberry, strawberry, apricot, green apple, orange, lemon, Meyer lemon, herbal, spice, smoky, stone, ash, mineral, nice mouthfeel, snappy, bright.

Finish: Delicate white flowers, dry, crisp, creamy, soft, smooth, full flavor.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Barton & Guestier La Villa Barton Côtes de Provence Rosé



Château Notre Dame du Quatourze
2015 Rosé

(Languedoc, France) $16

This wine was made from a blend of Syrah (55%), Grenache (22.5%) and Cinsault (22.5%) grapes grown in a vineyard whose first vines were planted by the Romans more than 2000 years ago, and noted for soil consisting of hard sandstone, quartz and rounded pebbles.

Aroma: Raspberry, cranberry, sweet peach, plum, pear, apple, citrus, grapefruit, kumquat, light floral bouquet, flowery sweetness, fresh, crisp.

Palate: Raspberry, strawberry, light peach, plum, pear, peach skin, citrus, grapefruit, floral, dandelion, rose petal, mineral, amazing balance, great citric acid, soft sweetness, delicious.

Finish: Gripping cranberry, dry grapefruit, crisp, clean, soft sweetness.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château Notre Dame du Quatourze 2015 Rosé



Barton & Guestier
Côtes De Provence 2015 Rosé

(France) $15

This wine was produced from a blend of Grenache (50%), Cinsault (35%) and Syrah (15%) grown in the southwest of France. Following harvest, grapes were de-stalked, macerated for a few hours and fermented at a controlled temperature, then aged for 2 months before bottling.

Aroma: Strawberry, peach, green apple, melon, citrus, caramel, white flowers, garrigue, crisp, fresh, soft sweetness.

Palate: Raspberry, cherry, cranberry, ripe plum, white globe grapes, lemon, white grapefruit, citrus, caramel, roses, smoky cherry blossom, spicy, minerality, crisp, tangy, elegant.

Finish: Cherry, herbs, rich tannins, spicy, dusty, crisp.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Barton & Guestier Côtes De Provence Rosé



Château Maïme
2015 Côtes de Provence Rosé

(France) $15

This wine is a blend of Cinsault (40%), Syrah (30%) and Grenache (30%) grapes grown in the heart of Provence wine country at the foothills of the Massif des Maures. Following harvesting of the grapes at night-time (when they were cool), the juice of the individual varietals were fermented separately (at controlled temperatures), aged on their lees (wasted yeast) and then blended prior to bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, wild strawberry, black currant, cherry, plum skin, watermelon, light sweet ripe fruit, bubblegum, acacia flowers, rose petals, lightly floral, garden herbs, sea foam.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, clean berry fruit, red grapes, apples, green apples, soft minerals, earthy, good acidity, fresh.

Finish: Good red berry fruit, cherry, grass, mint.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château Maïme Côtes de Provence Rosé



Pedroncelli
2015 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

(Sonoma County, California) $12

This wine was produced from grapes grown in Dry Creek Valley by combining “free run” juice from early picked grapes (60%) with juice drawn from the fermentation tank of fully ripened grapes. Fermentation was completed in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, juicy berries, cranberry, cherry, white cherry, black cherry, slight pomegranate, cabernet grape must, herbal, crisp.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry, black cherry, sweet watermelon, kiwi, citrus, lemon, tropical, fruit punch, chocolate, floral, smoky leather, savory, nice structure, dry, crisp, snappy.

Finish:
Cherry, peach skin, citrus, soft, smooth, really nice.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Pedroncelli Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley



Fattoria Ambra
Barco Reale Di Carmignano Rosato Vin Ruspo 2015

(Tuscany, Italy) $12

This wine was produced from a blend of Sangiovese (80%), Cabernet (10%) and Canaiolo Nero (10%) grapes grown on a vineyard at 350-500 feet above sea level.

Aroma: Ripe strawberry, stewed blackberries, cherry, cranberry, crab apple, soft flowers, rose petal, herbs.

Palate: Cherry, tart cherry, red currant, white cranberry, light strawberry, tart red plum, melon, red grapefruit, citrus, fruit punch, rose petal, brioche, woody, crisp, tangy.

Finish: Cranberry, floral, rosewater, herbs, earthy, smooth, crisp.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Fattoria Ambra Barco Reale Di Carmignano Rosato Vin Ruspo



Kerloo Cellars
Painted Hills Vineyard 2015 Grenache Rosè

(Columbia Valley, Washington) $22

The Grenache grapes for this wine were harvested early in the morning and pressed, to stainless steel tanks where the initial fermentation took place over 5 days, after which the wine was transferred to neutral barrels and aged on its lees (wasted yeast).

Aroma: Sweet black plum, yellow peach, Anjou pear, melon, bubblegum, lavender, grassy, slight oak, sharp.

Palate: Strawberry, berry, black cherry, plum, apricot, dried apricot, melon, citrus, lemon, red grapefruit, honey, cognac, smoky, minerality, beautiful structure and balance.

Finish: Mineral, dry, tart, crisp, amazing.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Kerloo Cellars Painted Hills Vineyard Grenache Rosè



Sunstone Vineyard & Winery
Rosè 2014

(Santa Barbara County, California) $28

This wine is a blend of primarily Syrah and Merlot (62%), with Pinot Noir (21%), Grenache Noir (14%) and Sauvignon Blanc (4%), which were fermented separately and blended after 6 months of aging.

Aroma: Berries, raspberry, cranberry, juicy plum, cherry, cherry sauce, banana, peach skin, lemon, rose, herbaceous, subtle.

Palate: Cherry, black cherry, sweet berries, red plum, smoky black currant, apples, citrus, sweet grape jam, honey, vanilla, green pepper, herbal, spearmint, tobacco, leather, fresh, tangy, balanced.

Finish: Raspberry, melon, grapefruit, forest floor, clean, crisp, tart, tangy, smooth, balanced, attractive.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Sunstone Vineyard & Winery Rosè



Morgan Winery
Lee Family Farm 2015 Rosé

(Santa Lucia Highlands, California) $18

Strong afternoon winds and early morning fog account for the long growing season in the vineyard where the grapes (100% Pinot Noir) for this wine were harvested. Following pressing of the grapes, the juice was fermented in a stainless steel tank and aged in stainless steel for four months before bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, strawberry, pear, peach, apple, melon, citrus, blood orange, flowery, rose.

Palate: Strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, wild berry, cherry, plum, peach, kiwi, watermelon, melon, grapefruit, bitter lemon, lemon zest, blossom, dried herbs, minerality, woody, fruit really comes through, good acidity, good balance.

Finish: Berry, violet, tannic, mineral, earthy, tart, crisp.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Morgan Winery Lee Family Farm Rosé



Jada Vineyard
2015 1149 Mourvedre Rosè, Estate Bottled

(Paso Robles, California) $28

For this wine, hand-harvested grapes grown using sustainable and biodynamic farming practices were fermented in concrete tanks and bottled with minimal filtration.

Aroma: Raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, tangerine, apricot, tropical, sugarcane, cotton candy, bubblegum, licorice, fresh white flowers, floral, crisp.

Palate: Ripe red plum, peach, watermelon, lemon zest, jammy pear, cotton candy, rose, floral, white pepper, mineral, smoky, tangy, fresh.

Finish: White flowers, soft, velvety, creamy, spicy, tangy, expressive, flavorful.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Jada Vineyard 1149 Mourvedre Rosè



Caves d’Esclans Sasha Lichine
Whispering Angel 2015 Provence Rosè

(France) $14

Grapes for this wine were grown in La Motte en Provence and consisted primarily of Grenache, Rolle and Cinsault that were harvested from sunrise to noon. Following destemming and slight crushing, the “free run” and “pressed” juices were fermented in temperature-controlled steel tanks.

Aroma: Plum, peach, white stone fruit, crisp apple, citrus, grapefruit, watermelon rind, flowery, herbal, grassy, mineral, fresh.

Palate: Berries, strawberry, cherry, cranberry, white cranberry, crisp apple, lime pith, taffy, floral, rose petal, herb, sauvignon blanc, tangy, earthy, woody, great minerality and acidity.

Finish: Floral, light, crisp, high acidity, lingering minerality, great structure, nice even finish.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Caves d’Esclans Sasha Lichine Whispering Angel Provence Rosè



Château de Saint Martin
Eternelle Favorite Cru Classé 2015 Provence Rosé

(France) $23

This wine was fashioned from a blend of Tibouren, Carignan and Grenache grapes grown in a vineyard that was developed by the monks of Lerins during the 10th to 15th Centuries, and owned by its current family of proprietors since 1740.

Aroma: Strawberry, cranberry, berry, sweet apple, green apple, crisp sweet apricots, cantaloupe, watermelon, citrus, cotton candy, honeysuckle, sweet roses, crisp.

Palate: Strawberry, sweet cherry, plum, tart apricot, banana, watermelon, dry apple, lemon, grapefruit, citrus, floral, herbaceous, light basil, grass, nice acidity, crisp, tangy.

Finish: Cherry, peach, melon, herbs, tangy, smooth, flavorful.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château de Saint Martin Eternelle Favorite Cru Classé Provence Rosé



Artner
2015 Rosè

(Austria) $13

The Zweigelt grapes for this wine hailed from eastern Austria (near Vienna). Following cool fermentation over 18 days, the wine was aged for 2 months in stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Strawberry, tart raspberry, ripe blueberry, plum, watermelon, citrus pith, cucumber, herbs, crisp, a bit frizzante.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, plum, watermelon, pink grapefruit, lemon, citrus, peach skin, lemongrass, herbs, earthy, minerality, sauvignon blanc, slightly tart nice, smooth.

Finish: Fruity, crisp, tart, rich, fresh, good acidity.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Artner Rosé



South Coast Winery
2015 Tempranillo Rosè

(Temecula Valley, California) $14

Grapes for this wine hailed from Carter Estate Vineyard, which in 2015 experienced a very early harvest owing to early “budbreak,” a warmer than usual spring, coupled with low rainfall.

Aroma: Fresh strawberry, light mixed berry, pomegranate, juicy red cherry, red plum, crab apple, stewed red fruit, sweet candy, herbs, grassy.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, red cherry, red plum, savory red fruits, apple, red melon, citrus, floral, black pepper, really nice body, tangy.

Finish: Red fruit, citrus, smooth, tangy, tart, grassy.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



South Coast Winery Tempranillo Rosè



Rock Wall
2015 Uncle Roget’s Grenache Rose

(Contra Costa County, California) $18

To produce this wine Grenache grapes (from a vineyard in the town of Davis) were crushed, chilled overnight, pressed and cold-fermented over a one month period in stainless steel. The wine was then aged in neutral barrels for 3 months before bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, red berries, cherry, red currant, black plum, flowery, rose petal, lavender, grassy.

Palate: Raspberry, tart cherry, red currant, sweet melon, black plum, ripe peach, honey, light herbs, allspice, oak, leather, smoke, light acid, snappy, soft on palate, balanced.

Finish: Jam-like, green olive, mineral, smooth, crisp, bright.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Rock Wall Uncle Roget’s Grenache Rose



Evan's Vineyard
Pacifica 2015 Evan's Collection Columbia Gorge Rosé

(Oregon) $19

This wine was made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Merlot grapes, grown on a vineyard in the Mount Hood area, with 6 months of aging on its lees (wasted yeast) following fermentation. Kosher (and kosher for Passover).

Aroma: Bing cherry, cherry, raspberry, blueberry, plum, watermelon, light citrus, red grape must, bubblegum, subtle floral, herbal, dried herbs, grassy, clean.

Palate: Raspberry, sweet berry, strawberry, white cherry, cherry, red plum, red currant, apricot, apple, stewed red fruit, citrus, tannic.

Finish: Crisp, dry, lingering acidity, soft, smooth, nice, refreshing.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Evan's Vineyard Pacifica Evan's Collection Columbia Gorge Rosé



Château Tourril
Havana Rosé 2015

(Carcassonne, Languedoc, France) $13

Made from a blend of Cinsault (70%) and Grenache (30%) grapes, harvested in the early morning hours, this wine was fermented at low temperatures in vats and matured on its lees (wasted yeast).

Aroma: Young strawberry, raspberry, pear, watermelon, mandarin orange, citrus pith, perfume, dried herbs.

Palate: Sweet strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, peach, melon, apple, pear, orange, orange peel, grapefruit, citrus pith, honey, herbs, minty, mineral, tart, savory mouthfeel, nicely balanced.

Finish: Soft, crisp, great structure, big.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château Tourril Havana Rosé



Remy Pannier
2015 Rosé d'Anjou

(St Florent, Loire Valley, France) $10

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Franc (50%), Grolleau (40%) and Gamay (10%) grapes from vineyards between Nantes and the Touraine region of the Loire Valley. Following low-temperature fermentation, this wine was stored in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks until bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, strawberry, white cranberry, sweet red plums, melon, green apple, citrus, flowery, sweet jasmine, damp soil, garrigue, crisp.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, white cranberry, yellow peach, red plum, lemon, lime, ruby-red grapefruit, fruit punch, minty, bright acidity, minerality, fresh, great balance of sweet and tart.

Finish: Lemon, saline, crisp, soft, lingering sweet notes.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Remy Pannier Rosé d'Anjou



Notorious Pink
2015 Vins de Pays d'Oc Rosé

(Languedoc, France) $18

To produce this wine, Grenache grapes from the Domaine La Colombette were fermented at low temperatures.

Aroma: Raspberry, perfumed bouquet of ripe berries, cherry, light white peach, tart red plums, cooked cranberry, watermelon, light orange, lemon, lime, tropical fruit, bubble gum, cotton candy, soft dry flowers, grass, fresh, summer breeze.

Palate: Cotton candy, strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, cranberry, plum, pear, yellow peach, apricot, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, lime, citrus, great acidity, fresh, tangy.

Finish: Jammy, lemon, airy, soft, vibrant, balanced, nice, great.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Notorious Pink Côtes de Provence Rosé



Keller Estate
2015 Rosé

(Sonoma Coast, California) $22

Produced from Syrah grapes grown in La Cruz Vineyard (located in the “Petaluma Gap” area), this wine was fermented at cool temperatures over a three week period.

Aroma: Strawberry, pomegranate, red currant, cranberry, red apple, caramel, cotton candy, flowery, rose petals, allspice.

Palate: Juicy raspberry, strawberry, juicy cherry, pomegranate, apple, kiwi, stewed cooked berry, spicy, woody, tangy, crisp.

Finish: Racy, smooth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Keller Estate Rosé



Zonte’s Footstep
2015 Scarlet Ladybird Rosé

(Australia) $18

This wine was made from fruit sourced from hand-selected blocks in McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek. Following harvest, the grapes were crushed with the free run juice fermented in stainless steel tanks, and cold settled before bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry strawberry, ripe cranberry, cherry, sweet cherry, plummy, melon, rhubarb, pink roses, wild herbs, cardamom, au jus, earthy, mineral, white stone.

Palate: Boysenberry, raspberry, strawberry, cherry, tart cherry, red plum, watermelon, melon, citrus, fig, intense fruit, Jolly Rancher, slight herbal note, thyme, green pepper, slight tartness, touch of wood, slight tannins, effervescence, bright, refreshing.

Finish: Raspberry jamminesss, tart lemon, fig, mint, melting tannins, crisp, clean, good acidity, balanced, refreshing, excellent.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Zonte’s Footstep Scarlet Ladybird Rosé



Château Sainte Marguerite
Symphonie 2015 Provence Rosé

(France) $26

This “certified organic” wine was produced from a blend of Granache and Cinsault grapes harvested from vines over 75 years old in La Londe les Maures area of Provence. Following maceration and temperature-controlled fermentation, the wine was aged on its lees (wasted yeast) in vats and fined and filtered before bottling.

Aroma: Apple, herbal, floral, flowery, fresh.

Palate: Raspberry, light strawberry, cherry, pear, apple, orange, white grapefruit pith, citrus, white violet, light herbal, ripping with acidity, minerality, mineral driven, fresh, tangy, Provence-style.

Finish: Tart fruit, crisp, clean, nice.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château Sainte Marguerite Symphonie Provence Rosé



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Domaine Valery Renaudat
2015 Reuilly Rosé

(France) $15

This wine was made from Pinot Gris grapes grown in clay and limestone soil in vineyards in the Le Berry area of the Loire Valley. Following mechanical harvest and pressing (using the traditional “Saignée method”), the juice was fermented under temperature-controlled conditions and aged on its lees (wasted yeast).

Aroma: Peach, stone fruit, strawberry, watermelon, pink grapefruit, citrus, faint floral, mint, elegant, pretty.

Palate: Strawberry, light raspberry, peach, pear, stone fruit, citrus, lemon, dry cherry, taffy, white flowers, rose petal, herbal, white pepper, oak, mineral, tart, tangy, refreshing.

Finish: Hibiscus, floral, white flowers, earthy, fresh, crisp, soft, smooth.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Domaine Valery Renaudat Reuilly Rosé



Domaine de Camaissette
2015 Aix-en-Provence Rosé

(France) $16

This wine was made from a blend of grapes grown on a classified vineyard 8 miles from Aix-en-Provence.

Aroma: Strawberry, cherry, ripe fruit salad, slightly tart apple, honeydew, citrus, candy, bubble gum, sweet flowers, honeysuckle, spice, herb, crisp.

Palate: Raspberry, strawberry, red berry, sweet berries, white peach, tart red plum, citrus, lemon, lemon peel, tropical fruit, white sugar, bubble gum, limestone, tangy, soft, dry.

Finish: Citrus, candy, touch of herbs, tangy, tart.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Domaine de Camaissette Aix-En-Provence Rosé



Maison Cubi
Pinot du Sud Pinot Noir Rosè
Côtes de Thongue 2015

(France) $13

The Pinot Noir grapes for this wine were grown in calcareous clay soil in vineyards with a southwest exposure. Following harvest, the grapes were pressed and fermented at low temperatures using selected yeasts.

Aroma: Berry, apricot, melon, light watermelon rind, red grapefruit, flowery, floral, rose, cucumber, garrigue.

Palate: Orange peel, grapefruit, lemon, citrus, lemon pith, flowery, grass, minerality, slightly tart.

Finish: Lemon, minerality, clean.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Maison Cubi Pinot du Sud Pinot Noir Rosè Côtes de Thongue



Domaine de La Castille
Maison Cubi - Vin de Pays du Var Rosè

(France) $16

This wine was made from a blend of grapes grown on a classified vineyard 8 miles from Aix-en-Provence.

Aroma: Strawberry, cherry, ripe fruit salad, slightly tart apple, honeydew, citrus, candy, bubble gum, sweet flowers, honeysuckle, spice, herb, crisp.

Palate: Raspberry, strawberry, red berry, sweet berries, white peach, tart red plum, citrus, lemon, lemon peel, tropical fruit, white sugar, bubble gum, limestone, tangy, soft, dry.

Finish: Citrus, candy, touch of herbs, tangy, tart.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Domaine de La Castille Maison Cubi Vin de Pays du Var Rosè



VieVité
Extraordinaire Côtes de Provence 2015 Rosé

(France) $19

Hand selected grapes for this wine (80% Grenache from 80 year old vines, 10 % Cinsault and 5% Rolle) were harvested from the Domaine Sainte Marie, located 10 miles west of Saint Tropez and noted for filterable siliceous soil containing michaschists, schists and whole quartz.

Aroma: Wild strawberry, crisp apple, green apple, orange peel, watermelon rind, bell pepper, rose, floral, light, airy, breezy.

Palate: Peach, plum, rhubarb, white grape, lemon, citrus pith, white flowers, mineral, oaky, crisp, tangy, bright.

Finish: Mineral, light acidity, tannic, tangy, soft, crisp.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



VieVité Extraordinaire Côtes de Provence Rosé



Rock Wall
2015 Zin Nymph, Sophia Favalora Vineyard

(Contra Costa County, California) $22

This wine was produced from 100% Zinfandel grapes that were pressed immediately after harvest, then slowly fermented and aged in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Strawberry, cherry, plum, honeydew, red skin maceration, flowery, earthy.

Palate: Strawberry, berries, cherry, pear, watermelon, citrus, lemon, candy, floral, herbal, minerality, tangy.

Finish: Fruit forward, crisp, grassy, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Rock Wall Zin Nymph Sophia Favalora Vineyard

 


 

Everything's coming up rosé.

2015 was a great year for rosé, with sales in the U.S. rocketing for the second year in a row. So pretty and easy to drink, rosé is the perfect go-to summer wine. There was such a shortage of the stuff in the Hamptons last summer, it was actually hunted for like a rare commodity.

What used to be considered an detestably sweet, supermarket wine is now finding its way on to some of the fanciest and most expensive wine lists in the U.S. From The French Laundry in California to Le Bernardin in New York, “pink wine” is making a serious name for itself. According to a Nielsen report, the entire dry rosé wine category showed an increase of 41.1% on value and 34.3% on volume for imported rosés greater than $12 for the 52-week period ending mid 2015. Provence, the world leader of rosé wine production, saw global exports increase 180% from 2003-2013; and 53% growth on volume and 70% on value for the period from mid 2014 to mid 2015. Provence rosé currently accounts for around 42% of all French rosé volume sold in the U.S. The U.S. ranks second in the world for rosé consumption (after France) and has enjoyed twelve straight years of double-digit growth, proving that the perception of rosé as a low quality wine is a thing of the past.

Why this change? According to experts, the primary reason is that there’s been a significant improvement in the quality of rosé. In the past, most winemakers set out to make red wine and then later decided to turn a portion of the juice into rosé. While this is still done by some, more and more winemakers are now choosing to make rosé from the outset and are specifically focusing their viniculture efforts on producing rosé rather than simply using it as an outlet for unused juice. So quality of the wine has naturally improved. Affordability is another reason rosé has seen a boost in popularity, since most rosés are priced at around $15 or less, which makes them appealing to a broad consumer base.

In addition, the growth rose's in popularity can be attributed to its easy pairing with a variety of foods. Structurally, rosé’s bracing acidity, lack of oak aging, and moderate alcohol are all very food-friendly traits. Acidity mirrors the tangy and pungent ingredients of spring and summer while also highlighting their fresh flavors. Moderate alcoholic strength means that it won’t exacerbate spice or salt, and won’t overpower food. Rosé offers the best-of-both-worlds—it has white wine structure and red wine flavors, so it can be as light or intense as necessary depending on the food it’s being paired with.

There are two main techniques for making rose wines. The first is Maceration technique, where red-skinned grapes are essentially produced like white wine. The grapes are crushed and the juice and skins are macerated (i.e. kept in contact with each other) for a period long enough to extract the desired amount of color. The juice is then separated from the skins, and fermented like white wine, usually in stainless steel tanks. The second is the Saignée technique, where a portion of the pink juice is run off from the just-crushed red grapes after a short partial fermentation maceration to extract color and aroma (usually 12 to 24 hours). The juice is then separated from the skins, & fermented in tanks.

 

 

 

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Fifty Best > Wine > Best Rose
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