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Best Rosé Wine
– Drink Pink.

 

The Fifty Best Rosé Tasting of 2019

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 30 recent release Rosé winess with 12 members of our wine judging panel. 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 crusty peasant bread were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each wine on score sheets. The scoring was based on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges.

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

Hecht & Bannier
Côtes de Provence Rosé 2018

(Côtes de Provence, France) $18

This wine was made from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Rolle grapes that, following fermentation, were aged in a combination of concrete and stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Strawberries, berries, pomegranate, nectarine, lychee, sweet grapefruit, grapefruit, pomelo, lemony, high citrus, Pink Lady apple skins, roses, magnolias, flowers, earthy, minerals.

Palate: Berry, peach, white peach, pear, crabapple, watermelon, pomelo, pampelmousse, grapefruit, pink grapefruit, citrus, lavender, earthy, minerality, wet stone, balanced, soft, smooth.

Finish: Pear, pomelo, grapefruit, citrus, tart, crisp, clean, minerality, soft, smooth, subtle, interesting, nice, pleasant.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Hecht & Bannier Côtes de Provence Rosé

 



Notorious Pink
Grenache Rosé 2018

(Provence, France) $17

This wine was made from 100% Grenache grapes grown in the South of France.

Aroma: Fresh strawberry, apricot, pomegranate, citrus, lemon peel, unripe pomelo peel, plum skin, floral, grassy.

Palate: Strawberry, peach, bright lemon, lemon, lemon zest, lime, green apple, rhubarb, roses, minerals, lively, energizing, delicious.

Finish: Strawberries, fresh melon, honeysuckle, lovely sweetness, clean, smooth, elegant.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Notorious Pink Grenache Rosé



Famille Lançon Domaine de la Solitude
Côtes du Rhone Rosé 2018

(Côtes du Rhone, France) $11

This wine was made from hand-harvested Grenache (70%) and Syrah (30%) grapes fermented and aged in vats on its lees (wasted yeast) for 5 months before bottling.

Aroma: Strawberry, strawberry fields, raspberry, berry, papaya, honeydew, watermelon, citrus, great fruit, mint, early summer, crisp, clean.

Palate: Strawberry, great ripe strawberry, apricot, peach, white peach, under ripe peach, pear, watermelon, citrus, wet stone, balanced tartness, soft, smooth, fresh, delicious.

Finish: Perfectly balanced strawberry, citrus, hay, wet stone, balanced acidity, clean, delicate, refreshing.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Famille Lançon Domaine de la Solitude Côtes du Rhone Rosé



Château Sainte Marguerite
Love Provence 2018 Rosé

(Côtes de Provence, France) $26

This wine was made from certified organic grapes grown in vineyards in the La Londe Les Maures area of Provence that is noted for well-draining soil and a warm Mediterranean climate. Following fermentation, the wine was aged on its lees (wasted yeast) and fined and filtered before bottling.

Aroma: White peach, pomegranate, guava, strawberry taffy, crab apple, rhubarb, lemon peel, herbal top note, peach, white flowers, seaside roses, floral, summer.

Palate: Strawberry, smooth cherry, light raspberry, peach, white peach, watermelon, lemon, lemonade, honeysuckle, mineral, minerality, crisp, delicate, gentle.

Finish: Raspberries, honeydew, melon, lemon, light floral, herb, clean green grass, unexpected caramel, mineral, soft tang, well balanced, staying power, elegant.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Château Sainte Marguerite Love Provence Rosé



Pascal Jolivet
2018 Sancerre Rosé

(Sancerre, France) $25

Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes grown in chalky soil, this wine was naturally fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel.

Aroma: Fresh strawberry, berries, strawberry pie, apricot, citrus, rhubarb, fresh, flowering spring field.

Palate: Delicious ripe strawberries, raspberry, tart cherry, cranberry, blood orange, ruby red grapefruit, quince, slight lime, citrus, tangy, tart, lush, rich, classic.

Finish: Great strawberry, kiwi, peach, ruby red grapefruit, honeydew melon, mineral, tangy, tasty, perfect.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rosé



Campuget
1753 Rosé 2018

(Costières de Nîmes, France) $26

This wine was made from a blend of Syrah (80%) and Vermentino (20%) grapes grown in the Rhone region of France in a vineyard noted for pebbly soil and warming Mediterranean sunshine.

Aroma: Georgia peaches, white peaches, apricot, grapefruit, lemon peel, rhubarb, honeysuckle, gardenia, white flowers, minerality, loamy, musty, earthy.

Palate: Strawberry, peach, pomelo, grapefruit, white grapefruit, lemon, honeysuckle, lavender, grass, leather, minerality, wet stone, nice tartness, awesome balance, wow!

Finish: Cherry, white peach, pomelo, apple, citrus all the way, memorable tannins, crisp, delicate, velvety, soft, serve with food, delicious.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Campuget 1753 Rosé



Yes Way Rosé 2018
(Indication Géographique Protégée Méditerranée, France) $13

This wine was made from a blend of organically-farmed Grenache and Syrah grapes grown in southern France’s Mediterranée Appellation.

Aroma: Fresh raspberry, strawberry, gooseberry, peach, kiwi, pomegranate, green apple, faint rose, herbal top note, minerals, clean, fresh, delicate, beautiful, springtime.

Palate: Strawberries, strawberry jam, fresh raspberry, raspberry compote, peach, white peach, pom, black current, citrus, minerality, fresh, crisp, bright.

Finish: Raspberry, cherry, cotton candy, citrus, citrus peel, tart, tangy, silky, delicate, elegant, super pleasant.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Yes Way Rosé



South Coast Winery
2018 Tempranillo Rosè

(Temecula Valley, CA) $18

Made from 100% Tempranillo harvested from a vineyard in the Temecula Valley AVA, this wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel.

Aroma: Strawberry, raspberry, sweet cherry, cranberry, peach, white peach, nectarine, pear, grapefruit, lime, rhubarb, cream, floral, peppery.

Palate: Strawberry, smooth cherry, light raspberry, peach, white peach, watermelon, lemon, lemonade, honeysuckle, mineral, minerality, crisp, delicate, gentle.

Finish: Ripe cherry, strawberry, faint raspberry pie, yellow peach, grapefruit skins, citrus, floral, crisp, perfect acidity, well balanced, wonderful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



South Coast Winery Tempranillo Rosè



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Triennes 2018 Rosé
(Nans-les-Pins, Provence, France) $14

This wine was made from primarily Cinsault grapes with a smaller amount of juice from Grenache, Syrah and Merlot grapes that were all harvested at night and fermented at low temperatures until dry.

Aroma: Strawberry, sweet black/red berry, cherry, peach, nectarine watermelon, grapefruit, pomelo, citrus peels, rhubarb, floral, grassy, clover, earthy.

Palate: Wild strawberries, strawberry, peach, white peach, pear, watermelon, grapefruit, pamplemousse, grapefruit peel, lemon, citrus, Pink Lady apple skins, bubble gum, faint rose, licorice, soft, gentle, delicate.

Finish: Raspberry, young peach, grapefruit, lime, citrus, pomelo skins, satisfying tang, well balanced, complex, soft, delicate, beautiful.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Triennes Rosé



Penns Woods Winery 2018 Rosé
(Chadds Ford, PA) $25

This wine was made by the “saignee” method (in which a portion of the juice is “bled” off ) from a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes. Following fermentation, the wine was aged on its lees (wasted yeast) for 3 months before bottling.

Aroma: Wild strawberry, ripe strawberries, apricot, red grapefruit, pomelo, citrus, grapefruit pith, rhubarb, grassy, funk, minerality, crisp.

Palate: Strawberry, peach, white peach, kiwi, clean melon, lemon, citrus, grapefruit peel, grapefruit pith, tart, pleasant sourness, minerality, like the south of France.

Finish: Strawberry, young peach, citrus, grapefruit pith, soft tartness, light minerality, slight fizz, effervescent, smooth, easy, for summer beach drinking, delicious, love it.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Penns Woods Winery Rosé





Le Grand Noir 2018 Rosé
(Languedoc-Roussillon, France) $14

This wine was made from a blend of Grenache (85%) and Shiraz (15%) grapes that were cold macerated, then fermented and allowed to age on its lees (wasted yeast) for 3 months before bottling.

Aroma: Strawberry, pomegranate, unripe raspberries, unripe plum, rhubarb, rose hips, faint rose petals, wild honey blossoms, fresh hay, wet stone.

Palate: Raspberry, strawberries, tart cherry, red plum, peach, white peach, crunchy tart apple, baby rose blossoms, lavender, floral, green grass, earth, creamy, great mouthfeel, bright, surprising.

Finish: Green apple, lemon, grapefruit skins, clean, gentle, interesting.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Le Grand Noir Rosé





Pedroncelli 2018 Rosé
Dry Creek Valley Signature Selection

(Sonoma County, CA) $17

Grapes for this wine were grown in well-drained rocky soils. Once destemmed and pressed, the juice was slowly fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled a few months after harvest.

Aroma: Ripe strawberries, tart sour cherries, black currant, raspberry candy, peach, watermelon, cotton candy.

Palate: Cherry, ripe tart cherry, strawberry, berry, peaches, blood orange, citrus, floral, tart, mineral.

Finish: Cherry, strawberry, crabapple, apple, watermelon, sweet tang, mineral.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Pedroncelli Rosé Dry Creek Valley Signature Selection





Campuget Tradition Rosé 2018
(Costières de Nîmes, France) $11

This wine was made from a blend of Syrah (70%) and Grenache Noir (30%) grown in a vineyard noted for pebbly soil and warm Mediterranean sunshine. Following harvest and a short maceration period, the wine was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, semi-sweet plums, white peach, rhubarb, green apple orchard, citrus, lemon zest, orange candy, mushroom, must.

Palate: Strawberry, white strawberry, raspberry, cherry, unripe plums, orange, rose, musty, oaky, minerals, nice acidity.

Finish: Great raspberry, lemon, citrus, corn silk, nice, smooth, bright.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Campuget Tradition Rosé



Cass Winery Oasis 2018 Rosé
(Paso Robles, CA) $22

Made from a blend of hand-picked Grenache and Mouvedre grapes, this wine was fermented over a period of 6 weeks.

Aroma: Peach, ripe peaches, nectarine, bananas, sour cherry, rhubarb, ripe pomelo, tangerine, orange, lemon, citrus, marshmallow, light licorice.

Palate: Peach, peach tart, nectarine, tangerine, papaya, berry, tart sour cherry, orange, citrus, lavender, spice notes, earthy, great tannins, velvety, soft, provocative.

Finish: Peach, apricot, strawberry, lime, rich, surprisingly good, yummy.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Cass Winery OasisRosé



Chêne Bleu 2018 Rosé
(Crestet, Vaucluse, France) $21

This wine was made from a blend of Syrah and Grenache grapes from vines over 40 years old, planted in soil noted for its clay and limestone and stony texture.

Aroma: Strawberry, cherry, sweet cherry, nectarine, apricot, banana, lemon, citrus, grapefruit peel, citrus, mushroom, earthy, minerality.

Palate: Cherry, crabapple, apricot, grapefruit, lemon, lemon zest, floral, appealing spice notes, crisp, minerality.

Finish: Peach, kiwi, citrus, floral, tart, tangy, smooth, nice, love it.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Chêne Bleu Rosé



La Spinetta
Il Rosé di Casanova 2018 Rosato

(Tuscany, Italy) $17

Grapes for this wine (50% Sangiovese, 50% Prognolo Gentile) hailed from a vineyard in Tuscany noted for sandy soil and ocean sediment. Folowing temperature-controlled fermentation using natural yeast, the wine was aged for 3 months in stainless steel vats on its lees (wasted yeast) before bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, ripe strawberry, rhubarb, green apple, sour cherry, citrus, lemon peel, unripe grapefruit, watermelon.

Palate: Raspberry, strawberry, tart cherry, sour cherry, pomelo, lemon, apple, honeydew rind, soft delicate spice notes, salinity, minerality, fresh.

Finish: Nectarine, pineapple, apple, lemon, citrus, Sour Patch, mineral, wet stone, tangy, super bright, summer by the bay, perfect, yummy, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



La Spinetta Il Rosé di Casanova Rosato



Arrington Vineyards
Firefly Rosé 2017

(Tennessee) $20

This wine was made from early harvested Sangiovese grapes that were pressed then fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Fresh picked raspberry, ripe raspberries, strawberries, strawberry tart, apricot, peach, nectarine, blood orange, cranberry, pom juice, melon, honeysuckle, fresh.

Palate: Ripe strawberries, white strawberries, strawberry, peach, pineapple, sour apricot, grapefruit, lemon, sharp citrus, rhubarb, rose, balanced, nice mouth feel, complex, soft, delicate, refreshing.

Finish: Fresh ripe red plum, raspberries, strawberry, nectarine, rhubarb, citrus, clean, crisp, refreshing.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Arrington Vineyards Firefly Rosé



Château de Saint Martin
Cuvée Grande Réserve 2018 Rosé

(Côtes de Provence, France) $20

This wine was made from a blend of Grenache, Tibouren, Cinsault, Carignan and Syrah grapes that following crushing had skin contact for 6 hours before pressing and then fermented under temperature-controlled conditions.

Aroma: Strawberry, ripe strawberries, raspberries, peach, pears, apple, rhubarb, lime, citrus, soft pink & red roses, dusty rose, flowers.

Palate: Cherry, ripe sour cherry, yellow peach, red peach, peaches, pomegranate, crabapple, floral, cinnamon, minerals, crisp, tart, tangy.

Finish: Cherry, crabapple, banana, tannin, earthy, minerality, wet stone, smooth, easy, mellow.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château de Saint Martin Cuvée Grande Réserve Rosé



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Moulin de Gassac 2018 Guilhem Rosé
(Languedoc, France) $10

This wine was made from a blend of Grenache (60%), Carignan (20%) and Syrah (20%) grapes that were 100% destemmed, pressed, then fermented and aged for 6 months in stainless steel before bottling.

Aroma: Strawberry, red plum, southern peach, red currant, cranberry, lemon, citrus, raspberry bush, apple blossoms, pepper.

Palate: Cherry, strawberry, beautiful strawberry salad, pomegranate, raspberry coulie, red peach, green apple, bright citrus, grapefruit pith, flowers, fresh, clean, crisp.

Finish: Strawberry, kiwi, much citrus, floral, spring breeze, crisp, wet stone, satisfying, perfect.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé



South Coast Winery
2018 Grenache Noir Rosè

(Temecula Valley, CA) $22

This wine was made from 100% Grenache Noir grapes harvested from Carter Estate Vineyard in Temecula Valley and fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Raspberry, unripe raspberries, strawberry, apricot, tangerine, cotton candy, rose petals, floral, wild raspberry bushes, rhubarb.

Palate: Strawberry, ripe strawberries, bright cherry, watermelon, citrus, tart apple, berry pie, cotton candy, rose water, minerality, crisp, tangy, easy drinking.

Finish: Strawberry, cranberry, black current, citrus, tart, floral, pretty.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



South Coast Winery Grenache Noir Rosè



Château de Saint Martin
Eternelle Favorite 2018 Cru Classé Provence

(France) $25

This wine was made from a blend of Tibouren, Cinsault and Grenache grapes that had 6 hours of skin contact following crushing and were then pressed and fermented under temperature-controlled conditions and aged in an underground cellar.

Aroma: Cherry, peach, ripe pomelo, citrus, apple pie, banana Laffy Taffy, peanut candy, cotton candy honeysuckle, autumn apple orchard, grassy, minerality.

Palate: Cherry, cherry sorbet, strawberries, tart cranberry, blood orange, unripe orange, lemon, citrus, floral, tart, clean, delicate.

Finish: Cherry, strawberry, black current, grapefruit, soft pink grapefruit, pomelo segments, banana, tart, refreshing.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Château de Saint Martin Eternelle Favorite Cru Classé Provence



Champs de Provence Rosé 2018
(Côtes de Provence, France) $15

This wine was made from a blend of hand-harvested Grenache (50%), Cinsault (40%) and Syrah (10%), each fermented separately under temperature controlled conditions and aged on their lees (wasted yeast) and finally blended before bottling.

Aroma: Ripe cherry, strawberry, peach, nectarine, pomelo, grapefruit, summer flowers, floral, minerality, wet stone.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, cherry, apricot, white peach, melon, grapefruit, lemon, roses, spice, oak, clean, smooth, delicious.

Finish: Cherry, apricot, frozen white peach, light cranberry, lemony, citrus, nice tang perfectly balanced, creamy soft, smooth, tasty, refreshing.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Champs de Provence Rosé



Butternut 2018 Rosé
(Central Coast, CA) $15

This wine was made from 100% Tempranillo grapes harvested from vineyards in California’s Central Coast (mainly in the Paso Robles area) that were crushed and pressed immediately after harvest.

Aroma: Ripe strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, apricot, honeydew melon, grape juice, flowers, floral, tomato plant, earth, minerals.

Palate: Strawberry, muddled strawberry, berries, cherry, peach, iced watermelon, grape juice, grapefruit, light minerality, clean.

Finish: Melony, crabapple, great fruit, fresh, beautiful, fresh, delicious.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Butternut Rosé



McGrail Vineyards
2018 Kylie Ryan Rosé

(Livermore Valley, CA) $24

Made from a blend of a third each of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec grapes grown in California’s Livermore Valley, this wine was fermented in both stainless steel and used red wine barrels.

Aroma: Ripe strawberry, raspberry, cherry, red plum, grapefruit, orange, citrus, coconut, rhubarb, dusty.

Palate: Cherry, red cherry, raspberry, strawberry, berry, red plum, peaches, orange, tangelo, grapefruit, citrus rind, lavender.

Finish: Cherry, sour cherry, cranberry, white cranberry, ripe watermelon, peach, banana, orange, citrus, peppery, mineral, edgy, refreshing.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



McGrail Vineyards Kylie Ryan Rosé



BRONZE MEDAL WINNERS

Pierpaolo Pecorari
Ros’Alba Rosato 2018

(San Lorenzo Isontino, Friuli-Venezia) $17

This wine was made from a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Refosco grapes grown in Italy’s Friuli region, with fermentation carried out in stainless steel tanks.

Nose: Fresh picked strawberries, berry, pomegranate, honeydew melon, citrus, toasted marshmallow, strawberry blossoms, rose water, floral, late spring, peppery.
Palate: Pomegranate, watermelon, white peach, honeydew melon, hint of pink grapefruit, rhubarb, crabapple, citrus, light flowers, vanilla, mineral.
Finish: Strawberry, sour apple, crabapple, grapefruit pucker, very citrus, salinity, black pepper, tart, very bright.


Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Pierpaolo Pecorari Ros’Alba Rosato



Château de Ségriès
2018 Tavel Rosé

(France) $25

This wine was made from a blend of sustainably grown Grenache (50%), Cinsault (30%), Clairette (10%) and Syrah (10%) grapes that, following destemming and maceration overnight in a cement tank, were processed by the saignée method (in which a portion of the juice is “bled” off and fermented).

Nose: Bright cherry, tart cherries, ripe strawberries, raspberry, pomegranate, ripe plums, red plum, watermelon, floral.
Palate: Ripe red cherries, sour cherry, raspberry, strawberries, strawberry pie, roses, floral, spicy, earth, great mouthfeel, tart, complex, interesting, lovely.
Finish: Cherry, black cherry, ripe strawberries, lingering citrus.


Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Château de Ségriès Tavel Rosé



Aimé Roquesante Rosé 2018
(Côtes de Provence, France) $14

This wine was sourced from grapes grown in the warm, sunny Argens Valley in a vineyard noted for well-draining soil.

Nose: Blood orange, pomelo, grapefruit, faint citrus, fresh straw, dusty, musty, earthy, wet soil, mineral.
Palate: Pomegranate, citrus peel, minerality, wet stone, mushroom, earthy, wet soil, smoky, oaky.
Finish: Red plum, faint pomelo, soft tannins, funky, charcoal.


Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Aimé Roquesante Rosé



Red Car
2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir

(Mendocino & Sonoma Counties, CA) $25

Grapes for this wine hailed from vineyards in the cool climate appellations of Sonoma Coast and Mendocino Ridge. Fermentation was conducted using native yeast and was followed by 3 months of barrel aging before bottling.

Nose: Cherry, white peach, white strawberries, lychee, pink grapefruit, citrus, strawberry crème Lifesavers, watermelon candy, smoky, complex.
Palate: Sour cherries, unripe cherries, under ripe berries crabapple, pink grapefruit, sour grapefruit, lemon, citrus, cherry skins, honeysuckle, crisp, tart, tangy.
Finish: Grapefruit, tart, wet stone, great on summer days.


Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Red Car Rosé of Pinot Noir



Château d’Anglès Le Rosé 2018
(Languedoc, France) $15

Made from hand-selected sustainably-grown grapes (80% Mouvedre, 10% Syrah and 10% Grenache), this wine was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel and aged in concrete tanks on its lees (wasted yeast) for three months before bottling.

Nose: Ripe nectarine, early peach, unripe peach, raspberry, cooked fruits, lemon zest, dew, herb, grassy, barn, funky, musty, earthy, muddy field, forest.
Palate: White flowers, unripe berries, red peppers, musty, minerality, smooth.
Finish: Black cherry, unripe peach, black pepper.


Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Château d’Anglès Le Rosé



Lorenzi Estate
M Rosé 2018 Cabernet Franc

(Temecula, CA) $45

Made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes, this wine was fermented until total dryness.

Aroma: Cherry, sour cherry, ripe strawberry, durian fruit, apple, grapefruit, orange, orange peel, rose hips, gardenia herb, leather, wet stone.

Palate: Pineapple, floral, minerals, wet stone, tart, tangy.

Finish: Unripe raspberry, tart, saddle leather, stone.

Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Lorenzi Estate M Rosé Cabernet Franc

 

 


 

The Future of Rosé Looks Rosy.

Everyone is drinking pink these days. Since 2014, sales of rosé in the U.S. has rocketed. Rosé continues to be among the hottest segments of the drinks market, and has become the go-to wine during the summertime.

What used to be considered a cloyingly 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 CA to Le Bernardin in NY, “pink wine” has made a serious name for itself. Exports from the Provence region of France have exploded – marking several straight years of double digit growth in the U.S., 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 the 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.

Another reason for rose's growth 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, and fermented in tanks.

Rosés from Provence and the Languedoc are the fastest-growing regions for rosé wine exports. The largest of rosé’s gains are coming from established wine markets including the U.S., France, South Africa, Denmark and Australia. According to the latest IWSR Vinexpo Report, global sales of rosé wine are forecast to reach over 250 million cases by 2021. Growth rates for rosé in 2018 were up 25% in the U.S. With New York City leading in rosé sales at 12.7%, on-par with 2017 levels; followed by Chicago (up 18%), Seattle (up 73%) and Boston (up 30%).

No longer a fad, rosé wines can now be considered a long-term trend as the variety expands and drinkers opt for rosé outside the traditional summer months.

 

 

 

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