Rose Wine
 

Best Rosé Wine
– Drink Pink.

 

The Fifty Best Rosé Tasting of 2021

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 20 recent release Rosé winess with 10 members of our wine judging panel. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Strict tasting rules were applied. 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 and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting. Medals are provided based entirely on merit and only to products judged worthy of such award.

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. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Maison Lorgeril Ô de Rosé 2020
(Languedoc, France)  $24

This wine was made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Viognier and Grenache Blanc grapes by the Saignée method (in which a portion of the red juice that has been in contact with the skins and seeds is “bled” off and allowed to ferment on its own).

Aroma: Raspberry, white strawberry, cherry, peach, melon, crabapple, pink grapefruit, lemon-lime, honeysuckle, white flowers, soft, lovely.

Palate: Cherry, peach, apricot, melon, green apple, orange pith, burnt orange peel, lemon, cotton candy, hibiscus, wet stone, minerality, smoky, bright, juicy.

Finish: Raspberry, white peach, melon, lime, salty air, minerality, crisp acidity, rich and robust..

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Maison Lorgeril Ô de Rosé



Château Pesquié Cuvée Terrasses Rosé 2020
(Ventoux, France)  $14

To make this wine, hand-harvested Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks using natural yeast and then aged in French oak for 3 months before bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, crushed strawberry, melon, jasmine, pineapple rind, lemon, lemon curd, rose petals, lavender, Lillet, fresh, crisp, rich, lovely.

Palate: Ripe raspberry, strawberry, strawberry pie, sweet cherry, young peach, apricot, melon, hints of persimmon, red grapefruit, citrus, nice grape, white pepper, mineral.

Finish: Raspberry jam, watermelon, cantaloupe, lemon peel, well balanced, classic, bright, soft, delicate, very nice, elegant.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Château Pesquié Cuvée Terrasses Rosé



Cantina Zaccagnini Rosé 2020
(Abruzzo, Italy)  $14

Made from a blend of hand-harvested Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes from a single sustainably-farmed vineyard, this wine was cold fermented and rested on its lees (wasted yeast) for 4 months before further aging in stainless steel tanks and bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, strawberry, pomegranate, peach, nectarine, apricot, cut orange, rhubarb, hibiscus, white flowers, floral, hint of allspice.

Palate: Ripe raspberry, tart raspberry, strawberry, tart cherry, pomegranate, Fuji apple, green apple, apricot, fresh orange, citrus, rhubarb pie, nice acidity, creamy mouthfeel, layers of flavors.

Finish: Strawberry, peach, juicy, citrus, cherry blossom, mineral, wet stone, crisp, bright, easy drinking, an everyday rosé, elegant, beautiful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Cantina Zaccagnini Rosé



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Rodney Strong Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir 2020
(Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA)   $25

This wine was made from grapes grown certified sustainable, and produced carbon neutral by cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Bing cherry, Amarena cherry, strawberry, red fruit in a bowl, watermelon candy, red grapefruit, orange, lemon, lemon peel, rose petal, vanilla, orgeat, Greek black olives.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, pomegranate, white peach, lychee, grapefruit, lemon, toasted almonds, orgeat, mineral, tart, delicate.

Finish: Strawberry, white cherry, Pink Lady apple, lime, lemon zest, excellent minerality, clean and fresh.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Rodney Strong Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir



Château de Corcelles Rosé d’Une Nuit 2019
(Beaujolais, France)  $10

This wine was made from 100% Gamay grapes that were macerated for a short period of time and then fermented slowly at low temperatures, followed by aging for over 6 months in stainless steel tanks before bottling.

Aroma: Ripe raspberry, strawberry, ripe watermelon, white grapefruit, hint of lemon, fresh green mint, summer flowers, thyme, earthy, slight oak, touch of cedar.

Palate: Black cherry, strawberry, red plum, cranberry, watermelon juice, honeydew, white peach, lemony, citrus, raspberry tart, gardenia, peony, minerals, good acidity, tannin, oaky, depth not usually associated with rosé.

Finish: Raspberry seltzer, berries, pink grapefruit, citrus, green peppercorn, earthy, fresh, delicate, classic style, summer wine, delicious.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château de Corcelles Rosé d’Une Nuit





Muscardini Rosato di Sangiovese 2019
Santo Giordano Vineyards

(Sonoma County, CA)  $24

Aroma: Cara Cara orange, tangerine, orange peel, citrus, honeydew melon, starfruit, red plum, cranberry, strawberry, honeysuckle, fresh field of daisies, white flowers, slightly mossy, touch of bark, minerality.

Palate: Pomelo, pamplemousse, ripe grapefruit, lemon, lemonade, bright green melon, peach, raspberry, cranberry tart, saline, highly acidic.

Finish: Cantaloupe, melon, lime, lemon rind, saline, complex, powerful, zesty, juicy, pleasant.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Muscardini Rosato di Sangiovese





Notorious Pink Rosé 2020
(Béziers, France)  $22

This wine was made from Grenache grapes harvested from Domaine la Colombette in the South of France, and fermented at low temperatures.

Aroma: Peach, white peach, poached pear, cranberry, rhubarb, cherry cola, subtle green melon, blood orange zest, orange peel, lemon, pie crust.

Palate: Dark cherry, sweet cherry, cherry Jolly Rancher, cotton candy, cooked strawberries, raspberry, cranberry, apricot, aprium, yellow peach, peach juice, banana, pear, tangerine, balanced tartness, balanced, refreshingly light.

Finish: Cherry, lively raspberry, tropical fruits, pear, crabapple, white peach fuzz, apricot jam, juicy, balanced, well made.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Notorious Pink Rosé





Château Roubine Lion & Dragon Rosé 2020
(Côtes de Provence, France)  $24

This wine was made from a blend of organic Grenache, Tibouren, Mouvedre and Vermentino grapes, that following fermentation was aged in French oak barrels for 6 months before bottling.

Aroma: Fresh pressed watermelon juice, Sugar Baby watermelon, rhubarb, white peach, pink grapefruit, lemony, mint, pepper, minerality, earthy, smoky peat.

Palate: Raspberry, sweet berries, cherries, cassis, honeydew, lemon, lemon peel, citrus, mushroom, earthy, minerals, wet stone, tannins, hints of smoke, tart, tangy.

Finish: Peach, apricot, rhubarb, sour cherry juice, tart citrus, wet stone, touch of oak, nice easy finish.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château Roubine Lion & Dragon Rosé



Château La Mascaronne Rosé 2020
(Côtes de Provence, France)  $21

This wine was made sustainably from a blend of Grenache (35%), Cinsault (35%), Syrah (20%) and Vermentino (10%) Certified Organic grapes.

Aroma: Raspberry, strawberry, macerated strawberries, watermelon, rhubarb, pear, tangerine, lemon, lemon peel, lemon through an orchard breeze, rose petals, white flower, fresh honeycomb.

Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, strawberry & rhubarb pie, black cherry, apricot, nectarine, hint of pear, pink grapefruit, pink grapefruit peel, citrus, honeysuckle, roses, white flowers, bell peppers, smoky.

Finish: Strawberry, nectarine, red plum skins, blood orange, pink grapefruit, citrus, rose petals, minerality, woody notes, nice flavorful finish, delicious.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château La Mascaronne Rosé



Day Owl Rosé 2020
(California)  $19

This wine was made from a blend of Barbera (43%), Grenache (30%), Syrah (14%) and French Colombard (13%) grapes that were cool-fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Strawberry, raspberry, Bing cherry, pomegranate, ripe peach, banana, tangerine, red grapefruit, orange peel, lemon rind, white flowers, gentle hints of its red wine cousin, bright acidity.

Palate: Ripe cherry, dark cherry, red plum, nectarine, watermelon, melon, crabapple, tart green apple, lemon, herbal notes, hint of tobacco, tomato plant, minerals, juicy mouthfeel.

Finish: Lingering nectarine, nice starfruit, ruby red grapefruit, subtle cherry, citrus, green olive, flint, slate, mineral, soft acid, crisp, delicate, pleasant, charming.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Day Owl Rosé



Château d’Anglès Le Rosé 2020
(Saint-Pierre-la-Mer, France)  $13

This wine was fashioned from a blend of Cinsault (40%), Grenache (30%) and Mouvedre (30%) hand-pressed grapes, and following fermentation the wine was aged on its lees (wasted yeast) for 3 months in concrete vats prior to bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, red plum, peach, melon, hint of watermelon, green apple, lemon, white flowers, floral, chalk, great minerality, wet stone, clean.

Palate: Fresh pressed raspberry, strawberry, cherry, peach, nectarine, unripe mango, stone fruit, lychee, white grape juice, grapefruit, tart lemon, hibiscus, white pepper, wet stone.

Finish: White peach, Valencia orange peel, light, grapefruit, white citrus, white pepper, tannin, mineral, crisp.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Château d’Anglès Le Rosé



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Lorenzi Estate M Rosé of Malbec 2020
(Temecula Valley, CA)  $45

This wine was made from estate-grown grapes hand-harvested at night, cold fermented then followed by a 90-day, 37 degree chill.

Aroma: Fresh strawberry, dark cherry, black currant, cassis, red plum skins, ripe pineapple, candy apple, fresh honey, butterscotch candy, salt water taffy, hints of vanilla, honeysuckle, hibiscus, hibiscus tea, smoky.

Palate: Intense blackberry, raspberry, macerated strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, currant, fresh watermelon, sweet grapefruit, hint of lime, plum, plum wine, spices, oak, sweet & sour.

Finish: Strawberry, stewed strawberries, red plum, sour cherry, watermelon, dried fruit, cider, eucalyptus, tannins, smoky, well made.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Lorenzi Estate M Rosé of Malbec



Aimé Roquesante Rosé 2020
(Côtes de Provence, France)  $14

This wine was made from a blend of Grenache (45%), Cinsault (26%), Syrah ($15%), Carignan (10%) and Mouvedre (4%) grapes that were fermented slowly in stainless steel at a low temperature.

Aroma: Peach, white peach, rich ripe purple plum, strawberry, fruit compote, green apple, lemonade, citrus, herbal, honeysuckle, floral, celery, wet stone, vibrant.

Palate: Peach, nectarine, sour apricot, sweet berries, red plum, red currant, green apple, pink pamplemousse, grapefruit, orange peel, lemony, citrus, honey, soft, delicate.

Finish: Strawberry, delicious pomegranate, pear, blood orange, mineral, crisp acidity, balanced acidity/fruit, classic, all day rosé.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Aimé Roquesante Rosé 2020



Château Sainte Marguerite Rosé 2020
(Côtes de Provence, France)  $18

Fashioned from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes from hot and dry coastal vineyards that were macerated before pressing and fermented under controlled temperatures, this wine was fined and filtered before bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, honeydew, grapefruit, lemon, lemonade, pink lemonade, lemon peel, lemon zest, blood orange peel, honeysuckle, flowers, minerality, saline terroir, seaside.

Palate: Strawberry, pomegranate, tart cranberry, sour cherry, poached pear, melon, grapefruit, lemon, white flowers, white pepper, hint of sherry, delicious.

Finish: Cherry, cherry blossom, blood orange, lemon, soft minerality, balanced, fresh, clean, crisp, great with seafood, beach rosé.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Château Sainte Marguerite Rosé



Chacewater Rosé 2020
(Sierra Foothills, Lake County, CA)  $22

This wine was made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon organic grapes that were aged in stainless steel prior to bottling.

Aroma: Strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, ripe peach, mango, orange, melon, lemon, floral, minty, tarragon, cigar box, soft oak, bold.

Palate: Strawberry, blackberry, dark cherry, dark ripe plum, stone fruit, apricot, mango, tropical fruit, pear, orange, lemon, crabapple, red apple skin, white flowers, oaky.

Finish: Lush ripe strawberry, apricot, aprium, rhubarb, hints of vanilla, rich.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Chacewater Rosé



Smashberry Rosé 2020
(Paso Robles, CA)  $15

This wine was made from a blend of grapes (64% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Viognier) that were slowly fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel and aged in 100% stainless steel before bottling.

Aroma: Strawberry, sweet cherry, plum, lush ripe peach, nectarine, crisp apple, crabapple, pink grapefruit, lemon, citrus, hints of cotton candy, light floral notes, bright.

Palate: Strawberry, cherry, tart cranberry, lingering white peach, melon, green apple, blood orange, grapefruit, lemon, lemon peel, citrus, minerality, tart.

Finish: Honeydew melon, pink grapefruit, lemon, lemon zest, citrus, acidic, lingering minerality, balanced, bright, pleasant, great with seafood.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Smashberry Rosé



Garré Vineyards Rosato di Sangiovese 2020
(Livermore, CA)  $30

This wine made from Sangiovese grapes was fermented and aged in stainless steel before bottling.

Aroma: Black cherry, sweet cherry, cherry pie filling, sun kissed strawberries, rhubarb, blood orange, citrus, bubble gum, rose petals, floral, almond, oatmeal, peat, bog, earthy.

Palate: Fresh picked strawberries, raspberry, tart cherry, jammy, pomegranate glaze, orange peel, lemon, grapefruit, citrus, lemon grass, elderflower, hibiscus, white pepper.

Finish: Juicy nectarine, tart apple, lingering lemon, citrus, lots of fruit, juicy, tasty, a hot tub wine.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Garré Vineyards Rosato di Sangiovese



Château La Négly – La Natice Rosé 2020
(Languedoc, France)  $17

Made from a blend of Grenach, Cinsault and Syrah grapes, it was vinified by the Saigneée method (a portion of the red juice that has been in contact with the skins and seeds is “bled” off and allowed to ferment on its own), then aged in stainless steel tanks for 6 months before bottling.

Aroma: Ripe nectarine, apricot, pear, white grape juice, hints of pink grapefruit, rhubarb, strawberry, rich strawberry blossom, rose petal, honeysuckle, taffy, mineral, earth.

Palate: White peach, strawberry, tart cranberry, blood orange, tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, pink grapefruit, lemon peel, lemon zest white flowers, floral, tart, balanced.

Finish: Nectarine, star fruit, berries, lemon zest, citrus, magnolia flowers, peppercorn, spicy, pleasant, summer lovin’.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Château La Négly La Natice Rosé



Château de Campuget 1753 Rosé 2020
(Costières de Nîme, France)  $15

Produced from a blend of Syrah (80%) and Vermentino (20%) grapes by the Saingée method in which a portion of the red juice that has been in contact with the skins and seeds is “bled” off and allowed to ferment on its own.

Nose: Strawberry, peach, watermelon Jolly Rancher, ripe honeydew, melon, blood orange, pink grapefruit, lemon zest, peony, white pepper earthy, minerals.
Palate: Raspberry, peach, white peach juice, Bellini cocktail, nectarine, apricot, papaya, honeydew, melon, orange, red grapefruit, lemon, citrus, green apple skins, fallen acorns on the ground.
Finish: Ripe peach, mango slices, red plum, lemon, citrus, acidic, tart, fresh, charming.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Château de Campuget 1753 Rosé



J. Wilkes Rosé 2020
(Paso Robles, CA)  $28

This wine was made from grapes (67% Grenache and 33% Syrah) that were harvested at night and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, followed by aging in stainless steel prior to bottling.

Aroma: Fresh ripe strawberry, strawberry mousse, cherry, crushed black currant, peach, pomegranate, crabapple, Concord grape jam, grapey sweetness, cream.

Palate: Cherry, Rainier cherries, cherry pie filling, strawberry, macerated strawberries, pomegranate, apple, melon, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, lemon tart, citrus, green grass, tutti-frutti sweetness.

Finish: Bright peach, cherry, berry, rose, citrus, acidic, soft, pleasant, great on the beach.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



J. Wilkes Rosé

 


 

Rosé’s Popularity Presses On

Sales of rosé in the U.S. has rocketed since 2014. No longer a fad, rosé wine can now be considered a long-term trend – as consumers are choosing to drink rosé all year round.

There are two main techniques for making rosé wines. The first is the Maceration technique, where red-skinned grapes are essentially produced like white wine. The grapes are crushed and the juice and skins are macerated (that is, 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.

Rosé wines pair easily 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.

 

 

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