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Great Rosés From Around the World


It’s something like a phenomenon. How to explain the sizzling popularity of Rosé in our nation? From Tacoma to Wichita to Hoboken, Rosé is on everyone’s lips.

How did we get here? Are we just becoming more European in our everyday behaviors when it revolves around food and socializing? There’s plenty of statistics to support that theory. Or is it an affectation—an attempt for Americans everywhere to feel like they are more worldly and sophisticated? There’s probably some of that too. Or maybe a lot of people have simply discovered they love the taste of Rosé, and that it’s so drinkable and enjoyable especially in spring and summer weather—that would be the most obvious answer. But, how come it never happened until now? So, maybe it’s all Brangelina’s fault. When they first introduced their 2012 Miraval Rosé to the public, sales of Rosé skyrocketed and has never looked back. 

There’s plenty of reasons to go around, and they are the reasons you can throw a dart in any direction these days, and chances are that dart will land on a winery that makes a Rosé. There’s a lot of them out there. And, because economics is the driver behind many a winery to make a Rosé, it can be difficult to figure out what makes a great Rosé versus one just out to make money. 

Here are some of the best Rosés we’ve encountered over the past several months. We looked around the world, and found many—28 to be precise—that dared to be a great wine for the price and not just acceptably pleasant or profitable. Acquire all of them, and swim in this stuff until you’re pink with bliss.  



Umathum “Rosa”

Austria – Burgenland | $17
Grapes: Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch, St. Laurent

Take a walk on the wild side. A hip reddish tone, this is the alternative rosé. Striking in its bright, forward fruit balance—dark raspberries, cherries, red grapefruit. As flamboyant and cutting edge as it gets.   search  winery

91 pts



Copain “Tous Ensemble”

California – Anderson Valley, Mendocino | $18
Grapes: Pinot Noir

Subtle, cool, soft and gentle—let this one take its time to do its magic on the palate and don’t look for instant gratification. Watermelon, citrus and strawberry come and go with ease and comfort. A high level of nuance makes this special.   search  winery

91 pts



California – Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo | $24
Grapes: Pinot Noir

Pleasing and casual for the slow life. An easy mouthfeel awash in bright, young strawberry, citrus zest, rose water, wet stones and minerals. From one of the best under-the-radar winemaking regions in Cali.   winery

90 pts


Campovida “Rosé di Grenache”

California – Mendocino | $34
Grapes: Grenache

Flat-out delicious and fruit-driven with great acidity and focus. Young strawberry, melon, pomegranate and pink grapefruit flavors make this incredibly enjoyable and so easy to go down. Rosé is not typically a winery’s signature wine, but this single-vineyard one really qualifies.   winery

92 pts



California – Napa | $25
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise

As close to a cult rosé as it gets, because this one sells out FAST. As it should—this is extraordinarily well-made, single-vineyard wine by a true Napa artisan. Delicious and exotic, seamless, complete. A great expression of terroir—something you can rarely say about an American rosé.   search  winery

92 pts


Clos Solène “La Rose”

California – Paso Robles | $38
Grapes: Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah

One of the great American rosés. Made 50% in the Saignée method, highly antithetical to how it’s done in Provence, and 50% whole cluster. Translucent salmon color, it’s incredibly refined and classy, bright, focused and lean, ending on graceful pink grapefruit acidity. Seriously, seriously structured and possessing poignant tannins. Elegance defined.   search  winery

93 pts


Shale Oak

California – Paso Robles | $24
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah

Soft and creamy, though dry, the excellent mouthfeel gets you through the day. Notes of strawberry cream soda and red grapefruit are uplifting and comforting, and minerality refreshing for that lazy afternoon you’ve been waiting for all week. An estate rosé with handcrafted character.   search  winery

90 pts



California – Russian River Valley, Sonoma | $21
Grapes: Syrah

From the great David Ramey comes a rosé that stands out for the vibrant fruit quality of its Russian River Syrah. Sumptuous and enlivening while dry, lean and focused with scintillating acidity, the orange-ish pink glow of the wine expresses both sophistication and unbridled joy.   search  winery

91 pts


Beckman “Purisma Mountain Vineyard”

California – Santa Barbara | $20
Grapes: Grenache

Rich, bold and fuller body than usual along with an atypical element of spice. The Santa Barbara winery is a Rhone grape variety specialist, and the purity of the estate grown fruit shines through. Distinctive, with appealing accents of watermelon, raspberry and rose.   search  winery

90 pts


Eric Kent

California – Sonoma Coast | $22
Grapes: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache

The thickness of the vibrant cherry-red color of the wine will have you asking what kind of wine it is. Intense fruit richness here—light red fruit notes from the Pinot, such as strawberry, watermelon and raspberry, and deep red from the Rhone grapes in the blend, such as dark cherry and pomegranate. Add solid structure and an unusual amount of complexity, and you have a complete rosé.   search  winery

91 pts



Chateau Pradeaux

France – Bandol, Provence | $28
Grapes: Mourvedre, Cinsault

There’s deep history at this estate, a standard-bearer for the extraordinary style of rosé made in the Bandol. Round and full and ruby red, with unmistakeable structure and complexity, the wine runs the gamut—herbaceousness, tannins, sweetness, balance. Noble rosé, and a wonderful starting point to discover the singular charms of Bandol.   search  winery

91 pts


Chateau Vannières

France – Bandol, Provence | $27
Grapes: Mourvedre, Cinsault, Grenache

Classic and ageless. To drink now, or to wait for 30 years, which the structure, richness and body of the wine allows for. Rose petals, orange oil, young cherry, cantaloupe and some nuttiness is all fundamental Bandol.   search

90 pts


Domaine Tempier

France – Bandol, Provence | $39
Grapes: Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault

The supreme in opulence, elegance and class. Starts with a striking and quaint nose of sweet white peach, Provencal herbs and white flowers, giving way to deeper notes of red berries on the palate. Low yielding estate fruit and 20-year-old vines combine for a rosé of unctuousness and great expressiveness. Possesses the cult of personality—unforgettable wine..   search  winery

93 pts


Domaine du Bagnol

France – Cassis, Provence | $24
Grapes: Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault

If a pink wine could be described as flirtatious, this would be it. Bright minerality, gripping tannins, and very forward, fleshy, attractive fruit of ripe watermelon, strawberry and raspberry make a rosé that’s delightful to be around. Let’s get it on.   search  winery

91 pts


Domaine du Fonsainte “Gris de Gris”

France – Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon | $14
Grapes: Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir and more

Excellent value for something off the beaten path. Strong limestone minerality, effusive energy and focused persistence—putting the red currant, red cherry and bright strawberry flavor at the center of it all.   search  winery

89 pts


Chateau de Pampelonne

France – Côtes de Provence | $19
Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Tibouren

Classy, sophisticated, appealing and approachable. Greets you with a nice, bright nose of flowers, red grapefruit and strawberry—the rare Tibouren in the blend entreats the olfactory senses—and then proceeds to show you its hospitality with soft, round mouthfeel, good structure and attractive weightiness of body.   search

90 pts


Domaines Ott “Chateau de Selle”

France – Côtes de Provence | $47
Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon

Part of the Louis Roederer portfolio, the Champagne giant that brings us Cristal, Ott is the ultimate in prestige. Very pale, almost yellow, there’s a touch of austerity like in great Champagne along with beautiful structure, great length and intriguing complexity to make a convincing case for one of the world’s great rosés. So pretty, and makes one long to spend summer on the French Riviera.   search

93 pts


Domaine Sainte Lucie MiP* “*Made in Provence”

France – Côtes de Provence | $18
Grapes: Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache

Cutesy branding on the bottle belies the possibility this might be one of the best overall values on the market for Côtes de Provence rosé. Fun and easygoing, there’s nothing to get so serious about here, which is the damn point to rosé in the first place. Rosewater sweetness, peach and white flowers say have a good time.   search  winery

90 pts


Domaine de la Fouquette “Cuvée Rosée d’Aurore”

France – Côtes de Provence | $15
Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle

Refreshingly and mouthwateringly crisp with sharp acidity of pink and white grapefruit, this is definitely one for entertainment on the summer patio. So likeable and so easy to pair with finger foods and small plates, there’s enough flexibility here to go classy or casual. A distinctive value.   search  winery

89 pts


Saint Roch les Vignes

France – Côtes de Provence | $12
Grapes: Cinsault, Grenache

Crazy good bargain. The wine is made at a cooperative in Cuers, Provence, shared by over 100 growers. Socialist economics brings a rosé of easy drinking and pleasant elegance. It’s light and bright with watermelon and strawberry flavor while possessing a surprising level of fleshy complexity. To borrow from Bon Jovi, this gives love (of cheap rosé) a bad name.   search

89 pts


Lafage “Miraflors”

France – Côtes du Roussillon | $15
Grapes: Mourvedre, Grenache Gris

The color of designer pink perfume and fashionably bottled in sexy, curvy glass. From old vines comes a super-elegant contemporary rosé that knows how to leave you wanting more. The aromas and flavors of young cherry, orange blossom and rose petal are never forward—rather, shy and coquettish.   search  winery

90 pts



France – Loire | $18
Grapes: Pinot Gris

Sharp acidity, tartness and crispness of white grapefruit, very bright, very refreshingly mineral and very tasty. A note of lychee softens it all up, and tight backbone keeps it together. Just the thing for a hot summer day. So clean on the palate and delectable.   search  winery

90 pts




Germany – Ahr | $25
Grapes: Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir)

Prominence of rich, succulent black and purple fruit on the nose and palate, and further complexity of fruit stem and earth, make for a highly unusual purplish-pink wine that is utterly distinctive and singular in personality. The jet-black slate soils of the winery’s Ahr vineyards bring a stony, earthy minerality to a rosé of substantial weight and depth. A personal favorite.   search  winery

91 pts


Freiherr von Gleichenstein “Spatburgunder Rosé Trocken”

Germany – Baden | $15
Grapes: Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir)

With force and clarity, this serves as a good introduction to the dry, mineral- and soil-driven textures particular to German rosé. The strawberry note of the Pinot Noir is forward, as is the added note of raspberry, and they glide along a very lean spine for a scintillating pink wine at a very reasonable price.   search  winery

89 pts


Schäfer-Fröhlich “Blanc de Noir”

Germany – Nahe | $22
Grapes: Pinot Noir

Home to some of the greatest dry and mineral-driven German Rieslings, the Nahe brings similar qualities to this rosé. More translucent yellow in color than it is pink, a light Riesling-style sweetness in the wine collides with a strident precision of structure and salty, volcanic-rock minerality. Along with the absence of tannins, a result of careful pressing in the winemaking, you end up with a very modern version of rosé fascinating for its contradictory elements—austere and lively.   search  winery

91 pts


Schnaitmann “Evoé!”

Germany – Wurttemberg | $17
Grapes: Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) and 5 other grapes

Notes of herbs, wet stones, minerals, green apple, pomegranate and citrus delivered with laser focus in a rosé of highly polished mouthfeel. Artisanal in character and terroir-driven, a level of eclecticism achieved along with price-friendliness to please the most hardened somm.   search  winery

90 pts




Spain – Rioja | $12
Grapes: Garnacha, Viura, Tempranillo

Sets a standard for value-priced Spanish Rosado. Very attractive, an intriguing mix of exotic grapes, and so likeable and drinkable—it’s hard to see anyone refusing a rosé so tasty, fresh and driven by glossy fruit flavors of young cherry, strawberry and citrus. Like a liquid pastry, quaint and delightful.   search  winery

89 pts


Pedro Martinez Alesanco

Spain – Rioja | $10
Grapes: Garnacha, Viura

WHOA. A mind-blowing steal. Absolutely insane quality for the price. This small, family winery is located nearby Spanish giant Muga and obviously stole some of its mojo. There’s a lot of heart in this ten-dollar Rosado, and speaks volumes with its expressive fruit character—deliciously creamy strawberry, blood orange, young red currant and pomegranate. Excellent structure and some complexity too. A can’t-fail crowd pleaser.   search  winery

90 pts 


July 31, 2016