August 24, 2018
J Laurens Cremant de Limoux Rose

J. LAURENS Crèmant de Limoux Rosé

Delicious, fruity, crisp and clean mèthode traditionelle sparkling from the Languedoc, southern France. The J Laurens Cremant de Limoux Rosé cuvée is Chardonnay, Mauzac, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir. Get red plums, raspberries, fresh violets, blood oranges. A little creaminess, medium acidity, crystal-clear flavors and a little floral/spicy flavor on the back end & finish. Throw this one back. It’s almost too easy to down!
August 7, 2018
Torre Zambra Cerasuolo

TORRE ZAMBRA Cerasuolo d’Abbruzzo 2017

A Rosé with a darker hue…Cerasuolo is the grape (the name comes from cerasa, which is cherry in the local dialect…gives you an idea of the taste). Yep, the wild red cherry pops out along with fresh raspberry, pomegranate, fresh violets and a little black pepper on the Torre Zambra Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. Very fine tannins rub the gums on the finish. I’ll drink the very dry, peach skin colored Provence Rosés morning noon and night. But to pair with food (almost any food – honest), I want to drink THIS. This is an incredible value and should be purchased by […]
August 7, 2018
d'or et gueules Rose Les Cimels

d’Or et GUEULES Rosé “Les Cimels”

Southern Rhone Valley, very dry Rosé made from Cinsault, Mourvedre mostly, with a little Grenache and Syrah. Smell and taste dried orange zest, dried pink rose petals, white pepper, crushed thyme & tarragon on the Chateau d’Or et Gueules Rose Les Cimels. Has higher acidity (I call it mouth-watering acidity) and a less fruit/more earthy finish. In the whole realm of Rosé styles, this is more Provence style (less fruity, very dry) than Rhone style (more berries and not so acidic).
June 8, 2018
Vivier Rose

VIVIER Rosé of Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir’s wild cherry and violet/rose jump out on the nose along with some talc and blood orange. The taste is pure pleasure…a smack of melon, plum and red berry/cherry and bright acidity that lifts the fruitiness up a couple of notches. Has a lightness and tang that appeals to those that seek the driest style of Rosé, and the fruit to remind you what wine is made from. Stephane Vivier is one of Northern California’s best winemakers. His (and his wife’s) Vivier wines focus on Pinot Noir. He also makes Long Meadow Ranch’s Anderson Valley wines and continues on […]
June 2, 2018
Gather Rose

GATHER Rosé of Tempranillo 2017

So darn tasty…wild strawberry, peach, Meyer lemon and white pepper nose transitions to flavors of blood oranges, berries and that peppery spice. I love the acidity…high enough to make it come across as VERY dry, yet it allows the ripe fruit to come forth. All is balanced to a T. While on the higher side for domestic Rosé at $26, it’s worth every darn penny. More Information GATHER is a super-tiny “Mom & Pop” winery. Jessica Tarpy is the Mom and winemaker (she is also the assistant winemaker at Favia). The “main” wine of Gather is “Decimo,” a mostly Tempranillo-based […]
June 2, 2018
Hudson Grenache Rose

HUDSON Grenache Rosé 2017

On the lightest, crispest side of Rosé. Smell and taste wild strawberries, pink rose petals, red plums, peach, fennel and green tea. Tangy, fat-cutting acidity and intense. A much better food companion than a porch-sipper. I compare this more to a cool northern French (Loire, Burgundy) Rosé than a southern French style. One of Hudson Ranch’s many passions is raising heritage pigs for consumption. A Hudson Ranch slow-roasted pork butt from would make a fine companion. From a block of mature Grenache vines on Hudson Ranch. “Purposeful Rosé,” the Grenache grapes are squeezed (“whole cluster pressed”) straight from the vineyard, […]
June 2, 2018
Tres Sabores Rose

TRES SABORES Rosé 2017

Equal parts red berries, citrus and orchard fruit, this very dry style Rosé stands out for its crisp, floral, subtle yet intense style. Smell and taste raspberries, lemon blossoms, white pepper, guava and grapefruit. Meant for food, especially grilled or poached shrimp, smoked trout, charcuterie and oysters on the half shell. More information Made from 75%  Tres Sabores Estate Zinfandel on Rutherford Bench + 25% Petite Sirah from Calistoga: An early harvest was made to make this “Rosé with intent” in the words of owner/winemaker Julie Johnson. Fermented cold in steel tank where the wine lived 6 months before bottling. This […]
June 2, 2018
Campesino Rose Isa 2017

CAMPESINO “Isa” Rosé 2017

This single-vineyard Grenache from eastern Sonoma Coast AVA (between Sonoma and Petaluma) is picked to make Rosé (“intentional”), fermented and aged 6 months in neutral French oak barrels. Equally citrus and stone fruits as red berries. I get blood orange, ripe peach, and wild strawberry along with white pepper, tarragon and mint tea. Has bright acidity (nice & tangy) counter-balanced by its generous fruitiness. Drinks nicely on its own and further blossoms with mild cheeses and white meats. More Information Campesino Cellars is owned and made by husband/wife Griselda and Macario Montoya (Macario is the winemaker). They honor their Mexican […]
May 17, 2018
Philip Staley Sangiovese Rose

PHILIP STALEY Sangiovese Rosé 2017

On the denser, fuller-flavored side of Rosé, Sangiovese’s character comes out (from picking a touch later…this is 14.1% alcohol). Smell and taste wild cherry (cherry skins keep coming to mind – a texture thing), red plums, dry Italian herbs, peach pit, pomegranate and a  touch of cracked black pepper. While it’s graceful and has the natural acidity of Sangiovese, it has the pleasing ripe qualities and texture that California wine can offer. Be sure to check out all my Rose wines reviewed in 2018 here, and read my Rose Report here.
May 16, 2018
Herencia Altes Garnatxa Rose

HERENCIA ALTES Garnatxa Negra Rose 2017

Very friendly, dry Rosé from Terra Alta in Spanish Catalonia. Picked for Rosé and direct press (Intentional Rosé), this wine has all the delicious qualities of Grenache/Garnacha/Garnatxa. Strawberries, watermelon, fresh pink roses, a dusting of black pepper. Big chill it and drink with gusto. Visit my complete list of Rosé wines here.
May 7, 2018
Frogs Leap Rose

Frog’s Leap Rosé 2017

Stalwart Napa winery gets Carignane (92%) and Valdiguie (8%) to make their purposeful Rosé. “Provencal style,” in the words of Frog’s Leap founder, owner and co-winemaker John Williams. This has a light orange/brick red color then gentle aromas of lavender, strawberry, thyme, orange tea and crushed white peppercorns. Taste is more of the same, falling as much into the citrus as the red berry fruits. It has subtle flavors yet a mighty intensity. I put this in my “the drier the better” style of Rosé. “Le Grenouille Rouganté” = “the blushing frog. Rosé is a blush…. More Information I am […]
May 7, 2018
Gobelsburg Rose

GOBELSBURG Rosé “Cistercian” 2017

Zweigelt and St Laurent, two red grapes most associated with Austria, make this delicious Rosé wine. Smell and taste red plums, raspberries, blood orange, cracked pepper and basil. Dry as can be, a sizzle of acidity, both refreshing and substantial. This winner is a bargain amongst bargains. Schloss Gobelsburg continues to be one of Austria’s best and best-knows top tier wineries. You are assured to have a good wine in your hands if it’s from Gobelsburg. Good news is that their wines are quite available in California.
May 2, 2018
Fontareche Corbieres Rose

FONTARECHE Corbieres Rose 2017

Ancient wine appellation Corbieres in South Central France continues to make solid, great value wines. Here’s a great example. Grapes are 50% Picpoul Noir, 25% Grenache, 25% Syrah. A darker color and textured mouthfeel makes me think it’s saignee but I don’t know this for sure. Smell and taste fresh strawberries and plums plus tobacco, cola and raw prime beef. I like the texture – not too light nor too heavy. And has a healthy acidity to it. Sign me up for a case, please.
May 2, 2018
Rouge Bleu Rose

ROUGE-BLEU Rosé “Dentelles” 2017

A Southern Rhone Valley combo of 50% Grenache, 50% Carignane. This sports an attractive nose of ripe strawberry, raspberry, peach and lime. The taste is bright as a sunny summer day: a smack of acidity with the red fruits holding up to the tang. Classic bits of peppercorn, thyme and fennel ring in. Overall, a tasty Rosé that starts with fruit then surprises with the acidity. Drink up and be happy.
May 1, 2018
Fortunati Rose

FORTUNATI Rosé “Pranzo” 2017

Made from 100% Syrah from Fortunati’s “Estate” vineyard in owner/winemaker Ellen and Gary Luchtel’s backyard. (Gary makes the wine.) A “purposeful Rosé.” Smell and taste black pepper, ripe red plums, fresh blue and raspberry, touch of lavender and coriander. I really like the slightly chewy texture while staying super-fresh and tangy. Fortunati nailed it for flavor, acidity, texture and dryness. This is my garlic/herb marinated, grilled chicken wine for the summer. “I let more grapes grow on the Syrah vines I used to make the Rosé,” Gary explains. “I get ideal hang-time so the grapes develop really good flavors. But […]
April 30, 2018
West and Wilder Rose

WEST and WILDER ROSÉ Can

Each snazzy-looking can has 1/3rd bottle, thus a 3-pack box is 750 ML-same as a standard size bottle. Pinot Noir-based Rosé from unspecified California coastal vineyards. Get wild strawberry, white pepper, talc, fresh skin-on peach, green tea, red plums and cherries both on the nose and in the mouth. Texture is prickly in a good way with healthy acidity, no oak, and a refreshing intensity. On the poundable side…1/3rd can will disappear in a hurry. Important to note that my $20 price tag is for 3 250 ML cans. This makes a fair Value Rating comparison with bottles. I definitely […]
April 24, 2018
Pestoni Family Rose

PESTONI Rose 2017

Made from 61% Sangiovese and 39% Merlot. Saignée method (juice bled off soon-to-be red wine). Pretty aromas of watermelon jolly rancher, fresh peaches, plums and lilacs. Taste is bright, refreshing and friendly: wild cherry, fresh watermelon, dark peach, strawberry and fruit blossoms. Sits lightly in the mouth but with delicious fruit flavors and texture. One of the best Napa Valley Rosés I’ve had. More Information The Pestoni Family proudly claim their 125 year history of grape growing and wine making in the Napa Valley. Andy and Shannon Pestoni have returned to the “family business” after selling their Jelly Jar label […]
April 23, 2018
Olivia Brion Vin Gris

OLIVIA BRION Vin Gris of Syrah 2017

A savory nose of dried orange zest, red currant and peppery greens transitions to myriad flavors that cover fruit, spice and earth. Taste raspberry, apricot, spiced orange tea, green banana, dried blueberry and citron. Finish leads with the spice then comes in with red, crisp fruits (red plums, currants blood orange). Nice mouthfeel and core of acidity. Because it being all Syrah, “purposeful” Rosé and bottled in late March, I expect the flavors to blossom by July 4. More Information Best known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Wild Horse Valley, Olivia Brion Winery “dabbles” in small lots of […]
April 23, 2018
Eugene Carrel Rose

EUGÈNE CARREL Rosé 2017

Made from 80% Gamay and 20% Mondeuse from Carrel’s Estate vineyards in the Savoie, base of the French Alps. Refreshing acidity, crisp red fruits, citrus zest, suggestions of fine herbs and peppery spice define this light, intense, very food-friendly Rosé.  The texture is spot-on…the short time resting on its lees before bottling gives the wine needed mouth feel. This is very dry without being tart. Great with food – I think a cold salmon mousse would be just about the perfect match! More Information The Carrel is picked for Rosé: pressed off, fermented in tank, arrested ML fermentation, briefly aged […]
April 23, 2018
Belharra Rose

BELHARRA Rosé of Syrah 2017

Ripe raspberry, black pepper, pomegranate and dried lavender hit the nose quick. Taste more of the same along with some dark strawberry and candied orange peel. Medium-bodied for Rosé, freshness from cool-climate acidity, robust enough to pair with grilled, full-flavored meats and vegis (as expected from Syrah Rosé). If you’re having a Rose themed dinner party, start with something lighter (like the Vivier) and then move to Belharra Rosé of Syrah. More Information Belharra is a new, micro-winery owned, made and operated by two ladies with notable day jobs. Anne Fogerty (Rivers Marie) and Camille Gaio (Covert Estate). I really […]
April 23, 2018
Cochon Rose Wine

COCHON Rosé 2017

Made from 60% Cinsault, 30% Carignane, 10% Grenache. Smell and taste wild red strawberries, watermelon, cracked pepper (between black & white…can I call them gray peppercorns?), kiss of lavender and thyme. Sits light and dry in the mouth with juicy, tangy sensations and some mouth-coating texture. To me, this hits the mark for flavor, lightness and acidity. I put this in the Southern Rhone style of Rosé over Provence as the strawberry/watermelon flavors point more to a Rhone style. I highly recommend you get to know the three labels under the Cochon “umbrella.” They are Cochon, Odisea and Élevé. They […]
April 23, 2018
Clif Family Rose

CLIF FAMILY Rose of Grenache 2017

Brilliant peach skin/orange/pink color. Smell and taste jasmine, fresh strawberries, pink rose, mandarin orange, watermelon, white pepper. Acidity swirls through. Fresh and invigorating with a strong fruity core while keeping its delicacy. This is a Rosé that drinks great both with or without food. If it is time to eat, I suggest pairing the Clif Family Rose with fresh cheeses, vegis and humus and simple salads and white meats. Grapes harvested for Rose (“purposeful Rose”). At 13.9% alcohol, they must have waited longer than most for their Rosé harvest, which I like: more and better flavor! Clif Family is one […]
April 22, 2018
Oro Bello Rose

ORO BELLO Rosé of Syrah 2017

You can tell this Rosé is made Syrah – raspberries, lavender dark strawberry and black pepper smells and flavors. Medium acidity, no barrel flavor, more texture than the average Rosé. A stronger style for sure, but still it is unequivocally Rosé. An ideal fire-pit cooking wine. More Information Napa producer Oro Bello sourced the Syrah for their Rosé from Madera in the Central Valley. 10% Sauvignon Blanc is added for acidity, more freshness and complexity. Oro Bello is owned and made by Alex Remy – born and raised in Languedoc region of France, he now lives and works in Napa […]
April 22, 2018
Jolie Laide Rose 17

JOLIE LAIDE Rosé of Valdiguié 2017

Sonoma winery Jolie-Laide sources Valdiguie (known for decades in CA as Napa Gamay) from “Buddha Dharma Vineyard,” City of 10,000 Buddhas outside of Ukiah. Wild strawberry and red plum and peppery spice flavors remind me of Grenache Rosé. The twinge of Amaro-esque bitterness takes it another direction, however. Round, curvy texture on the end comes from part concrete tank and neutral oak fermentation and brief aging. More Information Owner/winemaker Scott Schultz does an awesome job making his wines concurrently delicious and interesting. It’s one of two wine lists I am on because they can be hard to get, are always […]