April 22, 2018
le Artishasic Rose Wine

Le ARTISHASIC Rosé 2017

This is Napa winemaker/wine consultant Artie Johnson’s tiny Rosé label. It’s all “Shake Ridge Vineyard” Amador/Sierra Foothills fruit. 55% Mourvèdre, 44% Grenache, 1% Syrah.  Purposeful Rosé: whole cluster pressed, fermented and aged in neutral French oak. Get ripe strawberries and red plums, tarragon, green tea, raspberry. On the fuller bodied side of Rose while being graceful. On the higher side for Rosé at $38. It justifies its price by giving more texture and flavor than most. It’s not a wine for everybody, but if you like the richer styles of Rosé then it’s for you.
April 22, 2018
Betwixt Rose Wine

BETWIXT Rosé 2017

The aroma is classic, appealing Grenache Rosé: watermelon, blood orange, strawberry, peppercorn. Taste more of the same, but more constricted and subtle. Acidity and a talc-like savory quality take the lead. Tang, citrus and background red fruits on the finish. Ultimately, this falls into my REAL DRY category. That said, the red fruit flavors peak through more than most real dry ones. (Grenache just wants to be fruity!) This is 100% Grenache from the Lodi appellation (Mokelumne River is a sub-AVA of Lodi, in its southwest corner). Betwixt is a tiny winery in San Francisco. Owner/Winemaker Tim Telli’s winemaking story is […]
April 22, 2018
Inizi Rose

INIZI Rosé “Hi Jump” 2017

Made from Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Barbera and Dolcetto, destemmed and crushed. I really like the wine’s snap of acidity on the palate, followed by a quick burst of wild cherry and red currant fruit. Watermelon, black peppercorns and ruby red grapefruit flavors sneak in there. Tannins tickle the gums on the savory finish. There’s more going on in this Rosé than most. More Information The winery writes, “INIZI means beginnings in Italian. The name INIZI came from our belief that a bottle of wine begins in the vineyard.” I was recently introduced to their wines and I like the concept, the story and […]
April 22, 2018
Villa Ragazzi Rosato di Sangiovese

VILLA RAGAZZI Rosato di Sangiovese 2017

“Purposeful” Rosato: Sangiovese picked early, pressed off. High acid, low alcohol. Real crisp…lemons, citron, tart cherry, ruby grapefruit. Undertones of thyme and white pepper. Every sip makes me smile from the brilliant acidity. This is really well done for the crispest style of Rosé wine. The Rodeno Family, owners and winemakers of Villa Ragazzi, take Sangiovese seriously. Their Oakville home and vineyard grows it (along with some Cabernet Sauvignon) and they make it in a truly “old world” style, which is equal parts savory and fruity. The Villa Ragazzi wines are made to age. Waiting ten years, as I suggest […]
April 22, 2018
Hogwash Rose

HOGWASH Rosé 2017

Made with all Grenache from Sacremento Delta and Lodi vineyards. Grenache’s strawberry, watermelon and light spice nose is here in spades. Same fruit flavors with a suggestion of cotton candy and Jolly Rancher (without the sugar sensation-this is dry). The finish is quick and pleasant in its lightness (could use a little more finish, to be honest). This is solid, well-made Rosé with balanced acidity (zippy but not tart) that anyone will happily drink.   Consistently delicious, and one of the best Rosé wines that is readily available in California. Hogwash is owned by Tuck Beckstoffer, who has a handful […]
April 22, 2018
Kale Rose Kick Ranch

KALE Rose “Kick Ranch” 2017

Made from 100% Grenache from hillside vineyards outside of Santa Rosa. Fresh aromas of strawberries, watermelon and pink roses. More fruit in the taste: red berries, melons again plus blood orange with a pinch of white pepper and cilantro. A jolt of acidity elevates the fruity flavors and extends them into the bright, 10 second finish. Everything’s in place in this tiny-production Rosé from Cal-Rhone specialist Kale Anderson. My favorite grape for Rosé wines is definitely Grenache. Its spiced strawberry and dry herb character translates perfectly to pink. Kale has produced a great one here. In the premium Rosé range […]
April 22, 2018
Murgo Brut Rose

MURGO Spumante Brut Rose

A delicious Methode Traditonelle (Metodo Classico means the same thing in Italian – bubbles made in the bottle, 2nd fermentation) from Sicily. 100% Nerello Mascalese. Etna Rosso wines have had a surge of popularity in the U.S. the last 10 years. Now it’s time for Spumante Brut Rose to have its turn. Made in a very dry style (5 G/L dosage according to the importer) and it shows. Smell and taste tart red cherries and plums, raspberries, dry Mediterranean herbs, white pepper and blood orange. The finish is long and savory (more earth and spice than fruit). It’s dryness, and […]
April 22, 2018
Skinner Rose

SKINNER Rosé 2017

47% Grenache, 23% Mourvedre, 16% Counoise, 14% Cinsault. A Rhone-style “purposeful” Rosé from El Dorado/Sierra Foothills. I like the subtle yet obvious smells and flavors of fresh peaches, strawberries, black pepper, orange fleshed melon and orange zest. Very pleasing. What truly sets this Rosé apart from the masses is its round texture, ideal acidity and delicious, apparent Rosé flavors. Bright and refreshing without being severe. Skinner Winery, a Rhone-grape specialist located outside of Placerville, calls this purposeful Rosé, meaning the grapes were harvested for Rose – not saignée. First time I’ve heard this time. I like it – think I’ll […]
April 22, 2018

ARNYCA Rosé 2017

100% Pinot Noir from the heart of Russian River Valley used for this microscopic 46 case production Rosé. Deep watermelon and wild red cherry nose with a little talc and fresh red rose sneaking in there too. In the mouth, a jolt of acidity hits the palate with more melon/red berry fruit, white pepper and pink roses. I really like the creamy texture and how it interacts with the tanginess. It’s not easy to have acidity and texture both make you happy in a Rosé, but this one does it. With all the good $20 and under Rosé out there, […]
April 22, 2018
Terres Secretes Cremant

TERRE SECRÈTES Crèmant de Bourgogne Rosé

80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay from the Mâconnais. This is one of the most friendly, fuller-bodied, fruit-driven Crèmants I’ve had. The fruit and richness could be explained by the high amount of Pinot Noir as well as the 10% Reserve wine added to the cuvée. Friendly, forward fruit quality. Cherry and cranberry as expected + some lemon/lime, crisp green apple and crunch pear. Yes, it’s nice and fruity!
April 22, 2018
Calot Beaujolais Rose

Domaine CALOT Beaujolais Rose 2017

Sourced from Calot’s mature Morgon vineyards. All saignée, fermented and aged in tank for a New York minute. Fruit-forward (red plums, wild cherries) with a faint soil, green tea and dried flower flavor on the just before and during the 10 second finish. Real pretty and happy with an element of serious, of-the-earth character to keep you respectful. I’m very happy buying this wine for low to mid $20s.
April 22, 2018
Kruger Rumpf Rose

KRUGER RUMPF Pinot Noir Rosé 17

Lovely, fruit-driven, bright acidity Rose from Germany’s Nahe region (not as well known as Mosel, but equally good). Smell and taste watermelon Jolly Ranchers, wild strawberries (including the stem), orangy citrus and fresh violets. I really like the bright acidity and the ideal ripeness of the 2017 Kruger Rumpf Pinot Noir Rose. This is a great buy for $20 or under.
April 22, 2018
Pibarnon Bandol Rose

Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rose 2017

Venerable Bandol winery consistently produces a fleshy, serious Rosé from 2/3rd Mourvedre, 1/3rd Cinsault from terraced, 50 year old vines. The Provence Rosé peach skin/orange color is deeper than most, which leads you down the path of typically savory/spicy smells & flavors, but just more of them. Get dried cherry, peach, melon, tea, tobacco leaf and meat stock (just a hint). Cashmere texture…very pleasing. With all the quality $15-20 Rosé available, it takes a lot to call out a $40 bottling as a good buy. That said, this is from the Rosé capital of the world, and it’s a step […]
April 8, 2018
Dragon Rose 17

Domaine du DRAGON Provence Rose 2017

The cuveé (blend) is 1/3rd Syrah, 1/3rd Grenache and 1/3rd Cinsault & Rolle (Rolle being a white grape). Smell and taste fresh spring flowers, peppercorns, red plums and canteloupe, orange zest and peach. Boasts a creaminess on the palate that comes from the region and the lactic acid (ML is allowed, I am told). All tank aged. I know this Rosé so well…for around ten vintages it was the #1 selling Rosé for me at Back Room Wines. For good reason as its fruit, dryness, spice and floral qualities are in harmony every year. And the price is still very […]
March 22, 2018
Shane Rose Ma Fille

SHANE Rosé “Ma Fille” 2017

Tender aromas of blood orange, red cherry, cranberry and violets. Taste is light, bright and intense: watermelon, raspberry and pomegranate + white pepper and cherry blossom. Boasts mouth-watering acidity and, while totally dry, has a most satisfying fruitiness and friendly character. The Shane Rose Ma Fille will please even the most critical of Rosé drinkers. More Information Owner/Winemaker Shane Finley is one of my top 5 California winemakers. His wines are consistently delicious in a richer style, but not by excessive ripening or oak. He just knows how. Oh yeah, and his prices are extremely fair! His Rosé in 2017 is 100% […]
March 16, 2018
Eugenia Rose

EUGENIA Rose of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2017

Peach skin/orange color that looks more Provence Rosé color than California Pinot Noir. Bright, aromatic nose of pink rose petals, plums, and mandarin oranges. Taste continues on with these fruits along with white pepper, talc and cherry blossom. I really like how this Rose has pleasing crisp acidity and a back rend round, mouth-coating texture. Great price for what you get…too bad there’s only 100 cases made. Eugenia is one of the wines made by Ernest Vineyards. They are quite new – 2014 is their first vintage. The Rosé was part of my first tasting of the Ernest Vineyard wines. […]
March 14, 2018
Jacky Blot Rose Triple Zero

JACKY BLOT Petillant-Naturel Rosé “Triple Zero”

An ever-so-subtle smell of flavor of red currant and sun-dried cherry clings to grapefruit, lime and crushed rock in this perky, super-refreshing “Pet-Nat” (single fermentation wine that finishes in bottle). A delicious, very dry sparkler that balances, just so, its fruit, high acidity and lees-aged character. A delicious, unique wine that is a steal for under $30! All Gamay. called Triple Zero because it is Zero Chaptalization, Zero Liqueur at bottling, Zero dosage. Ferment and aged 2 years on its lees in neutral barrel before bottling to finish fermentation. Taille Aux Loups is the property of Mountlouis producer Jacky Blot […]
February 20, 2018
Pascal Ponson Champagne

PASCAL PONSON Champagne, Brut Rosé

Textbook Rosé Champagne smell and taste of strawberry, wild cherry and cranberry lead the way. Orange scone, red apple and faint yellow rose petal follow behind. Great fruitiness, partly explained by the 10 G/L dosage, which falls squarely in the Brut range as it lifts the fruity flavors up. This is a sure-fire hit for everyone except those who like their Champagne SUPER-dry. The Ponsons are a fifth-generation Grower Champagne family/producer (they own and farm their grapes).  The blend on their Rosé is 69% Pinot Meunier then Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 15% red wine is added to the cuvee before […]
February 14, 2018
Lucy Rose 17

LUCY Rose of Pinot Noir 2017

A more broad-shouldered, concentrated Rose by most definitions, the Lucy Rose of Pinot Noir smells and tastes of red rose petals, red plums and cherries, Indian spice, peach pit and cranberry. It’s all saignee (bled off juice thereby concentrating the resulting Pinot Noir) from “Pisoni Vineyard.” I like how its slight bitterness and concentration will match it with marinated and grilled or fire-cooked white meats. About Lucy Wines Lucy is the 2nd label of Pisoni Vineyard. Owner/Winemaker Jeff Pisoni makes delicious, good value wines for the Lucy label. The Rose is particularly cool because one dollar is donated to breast […]