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Rose 2015

Rosé 2015


The Fifty Best Rosé Tasting of 2015


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of recent release Rosé wines with 15 pre-qualified wine judges. Rosés from four 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 according to 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 countries are identified for each brand. Prices indicated do not include tax.


Here are the final results:


Notorious Pink
2013 Rosé

(Languedoc, France) $20

This wine is made from 100% Grenache grapes grown in the south of France and fermented at very low temperatures.

Aroma: Ripe peaches, plums, stone fruit, pear, star fruit, orange, honey, floral, herbal.

Palate: Plum, stewed plum, red fruit, ripe berries, sweet cherry, watermelon, pear, peach, orange, honey, crisp, clean, good acidity, well balanced.

Finish: Stewed apples, hint of spice, good acidity, very good minerality, gentle, nice.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

Notorious Pink Rosé


Jamieson Ranch Vineyards
2013 Reata Rosé of Pinot Noir

(Sonoma Coast, CA, U.S.) $24

This wine is produced from Pinot Noir grapes grown in the Carneros area, with five months of aging in oak barrels after vinification.

Aroma: Wild strawberries, soft raspberry, yellow pear, green apple, cotton candy, buttery, floral, pepper, faint mineral, soft leather.

Palate: Strawberry, tart cherry, plummy, red plum, peach, ripe melon, big fruit, creamy, butter, bit peppery, slightly smoky, complex, well balanced.

Finish: White pear, light butter, vanilla, hint of oak, dry, good acidity, great.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards Reata Rosé of Pinot Noir

Château d’Esclans
2013 Côtes de Provence Rosé

(France) $30

For this wine, grapes (primarily Grenache and Vermentino) from the Château d’Esclans estate were harvested from sunrise until noon – with use of only free-run juice from the first pressing and vinified under temperature controlled conditions.

Aroma: Red plum, delicate pear, light strawberry, raspberry, deep berry, green apple, wild flowers, bright minerality.

Palate: Plums, red fruit, tart cherry, apricot, white flowering pear, melon, citrus, vanilla, light butter, oak notes, good minerality, dry, well balanced.

Finish: Rich, soft, creamy, vanilla, oaky, good acidity, well done, beautiful.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

Château d’Esclans Côtes de Provence Rosé

2013 800 Vines Vineyard PN Rosé

(Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CA, U.S.) $25

This wine is made from grapes grown in a one-acre vineyard in the Green Valley AVA of the Russian River Valley that is noted for well-drained soil and a temperate climate. Fermentation takes place in cool temperature stainless steel vessels.

Aroma: Berry, field of strawberries, light cherry, pear, watermelon, cantaloupe, apple, honeysuckle blossoms, wild flowers, herbal notes, buttery, creamy, pretty.

Palate: Blackberry, raspberry, berries, green apple, melon, citrus, herbs, nice minerality, bright, balanced acidity.

Finish: Lemon, tart, buttery, creamy, nicely dry.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

Ousterhout 800 Vines Vineyard PN Rosé

Barton & Guestier
2014 Côtes de Provence Rosé

(France) $12

Made from grapes grown in a high-elevation, certified sustainable vineyard, this wine was processed entirely in stainless steel.

Aroma: Raspberry, strawberry, red plum, fresh watermelon, light red apple, light cherry, white pear, floral, vanilla.

Palate: Strawberry, ripe raspberry, tart berry, red plum, white grape, melon, light citrus, Old World, beautiful, delicate, easy drinking.

Finish: Fruity, hint of watermelon, good acidity, linear, good length.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

Barton & Guestier Côtes de Provence Rosé


Trump Winery
2013 Rosé Monticello

(Virginia, U.S.) $15

Crafted from a blend of grapes – Merlot (44%), Cabernet Franc (35%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (21%) – grown in the foothills of Carter’s Mountain in Blue Ridge, Virginia; fermentation takes place at a low temperature in stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Wild berries, red apple, herbal, floral, slight honey notes, vanilla, clean.

Palate: Wild berries, berry jam, plummy, sweet cherry, citrus, herbal notes, oak, clean, balanced acidity, well balanced, delicate, great with food.

Finish: Light pear, light ruby grapefruit, lemon, little tart, clean, full.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Trump Winery Rosé Monticello

Chateau de Berne
2014 Côtes de Provence Rosé

(France) $25

This sustainably-farmed blend of Grenache and Cinsault grapes (packaged in a striking square bottle) was produced on the grounds of a picturesque estate dating from the 18th century.

Aroma: Ripe berries, strawberry, red currant, subtle gooseberry, light mango, peach, pear, grapefruit, orange peel, light citrus, beautiful white flower note, floral, perfumed.

Palate: Berries, strawberry, gooseberry, banana, pink grapefruit, citrus, juicy acidity, crisp, dry, very easy drinking.

Finish: Berry, papaya, grassy, sweet cream, smooth.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Chateau de Berne Côtes de Provence Rosé

2013 Rosé

(Napa Valley CA, U.S.) $17

Made from a blend of grapes grown in Napa Valley (34% Grenache, 22 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Syrah and 4% Sauvignon Blanc), this wine was entirely aged in stainless steel.

Aroma: Raspberry, strawberry, red currant, red apple, peaches, unripe peaches, slight orange peel, citrus, pollen, floral, intense.

Palate: Ripe pear, strawberry, peach, honeycomb note, honey, buttery, velvety smooth, silky, velvety, mineral, off dry, balanced.

Finish: Sweet, fruity, nice, great.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Cultivar Rosé

2013 Woods Vineyard PN Rosé

(Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CA, U.S.) $25

Fruit for this wine is sourced from a tiny vineyard in the southern part of the Russian River Valley that has sandy loamy soil and experiences morning and evening fog, which has a perfect cooling effect on the grapes.

Aroma: Strawberry, gooseberry, berries, red plummy fruit, green apple, lemon, grapefruit, citrus notes, honey, floral, grass, elegant, pretty.

Palate: Red currant, black currant, raspberry, blackberry, citrus, white pear, green apple, slight tart, nice acid.

Finish: White pear, hint of orange peel, citrus, tart, exceptional.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Ousterhout Woods Vineyard PN Rosé

2013 Pinot Noir Rosé

(Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CA, U.S.) $25

This wine is a blend of grapes from three different well-established Russian River Valley vineyards, fermented over 14 days in cool temperature stainless steel vessels.

Aroma: Red currant, tart cherry, strawberry, hint of raspberry, red tropical fruit, light watermelon, very fruity, honeyed, slightly floral, mineral notes, oak.

Palate: Ripe peaches, tart cherry, green apple, melon, watermelon, grapefruit, light citrus, honeyed, soft, crisp, good minerality, dry.

Finish: Slightly buttery, soft cream, tart, dry, mineral.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Ousterhout Pinot Noir Rosé

Chêne Bleu
2013 Rosé

(Vaucluse, France) $27

Harvested from a vineyard at the crossroads of four Rhône appellations with very stony, clay and limestone soil, the grapes – a blend of Grenache (65%), Syrah (30%) and Cinsault (5%) – were cold fermented for five weeks, with the wine aged in oak barrels for three months prior to bottling.

Aroma: Raspberry, strawberry, star fruit, peach, citrus, light watermelon, honeysuckle, light floral, fresh, bright, clean, delicate.

Palate: Raspberry, strawberry, berry, cherry, ripe red plums, Granny Smith apple, orange zest, juicy, tart, dry, clean, balanced.

Finish: Strawberry, just enough acid, mineral, clean, dry, memorable, perfect.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Chêne Bleu Rosé

2014 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel

(Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, CA, U.S.) $15

Made from grapes harvested in mid-September in order to favor higher acidity and less sugar, this wine is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks.

Aroma: Red berry, red apple, green apple, white grape, pear, raspberries & cream, honeysuckle, hint of hay, earthy.

Palate: Candied berry, strawberry, black currant, papaya, citrus, zesty, silky, delicate, well balanced.

Finish: Light citrus, sour cherry, soft, good acidity.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel


(Portugal) $6

This Portuguese brand was created in 1942 and the current version is a blend of an indigenous varietal (Aragonez) and Zinfandel.

Aroma: Red fruit, unripe peach, passion fruit, honeydew melon, honeysuckle.

Palate: Wild berries, raspberry, strawberry, nectarine, peach, ripe banana, honeydew melon, citrus, green pepper, pepper, tart, bit of pettiance.

Finish: Fruity, banana, black pepper notes, smooth.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal


Mateus Rosé

McPherson Cellars
2013 Les Copains Dry Rosé

(Texas, U.S.) $17

Made from grapes grown in Texas, this wine is a blend of Cinsault (55%), Mouvedre (30%) and Viogner (15%), vinified in downtown Lubbock in a converted 1930’s era Coca Cola bottling plant.

Aroma: Pear, yellow star fruit, wild strawberry, raspberry, stewed plums, dark grape, white sugar, floral notes of rose.

Palate: Strawberry, attractive strawberry preserve, raspberry, sweet cherry, blackberry, blueberry, plum, honeydew melon, grapefruit, citrus, juicy, slight herbal undertones, good acidity, crisp, clean.

Finish: Pear, orange peel, moderate acidity, clean, crisp.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

McPherson Cellars Les Copains Dry Rosé


2014 Rosado

(Spain) $12

Made from a blend of Garnacha (60%), Viura (30%) and Tempranillo (10%) varietals – grown in vineyards at the foot of the Montes Obarenses within the Rioja Alta – a 25-day maceration of the grapes precedes a 25-day fermentation in 1000 litre barrels.

Aroma: Sweet cherry, jammy, Hawaiian Punch, pears, tart apple, lemongrass, honeysuckle.

Palate: Sweet cherry, red currant, berries, pear, apple rhubarb pie, very fruity, slight lemon, light citrus, beautiful sweet pepper, soft, silky.

Finish: Light lemon creme, citrusy, dry, acidic.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

Muga Rosado

Château Maïme
2013 Côtes de Provence Rosé

(France) $20

The grapes for this wine – a blend of Cinsault (40%), Syrah(30%) and Grenache (30%) from the heart of the Provence wine country – are harvested at night, when the temperatures are cool to maximize fruity bouquet and taste in the final product. Blending takes place following fermentation at 64 degrees F and aging on the yeast.

Aroma: Muted strawberry, mixed berries, blood orange, hint of pear, light lemongrass, floral, herbs, cinnamon.

Palate: Peach, pear, guava, strawberry, berries, sweet cherry, muscat, red plum, fruit compote, good acid.

Finish: Delicate pear, floral, creamy, peppery, mineral, crisp.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

Château Maïme Côtes de Provence Rosé



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