Reflections on Rosé
I have been drinking Rosé for many years. It is one of my favorite wines. It’s not the biggest or the best. But I don’t believe when it comes to wine that this is a valid correlation anyway. Why it is one of my favorite wines has to do with several things. First, is sheer drinking pleasure. We live in a Mediterranean climate zone. The weather is generally warm and mild year-round. A nice cold Rosé and simple food makes a perfect match on most days. Second, Rosé is very versatile and pairs beautifully with almost all foods. One of the reasons is that Rosés from Mediterranean areas are made to drink with regional food and they come in many styles. The lighter pink Rosés are perfect wines to start a meal with appetizers or with fish or with lighter food. The Rosés that are darker in color fare very nicely with richer foods. All are relatively low in alcohol and easy to drink.
I have never had a Rosé that required bottle age to be enjoyed. When I first started drinking Rosés, I followed the general advice to drink the wines young. Then, quite by accident, one day I found I had some that had gotten lost in the cellar and were several years old. As I opened these wines I was very pleasantly surprised that most were still delicious. I have rarely had a Rosé that was too old despite having some many years later. In fact, certain Rosés can actually benefit from some age in the bottle (more on this in a later article). In this category I would put Bandols and Sancerres and Pinot Noir-based Rosés from the Loire Valley.
Another great thing about Rosés is that you can buy them every year. They are amazingly consistent from vintage to vintage. They may be a bit rounded or fruitier one year and a bit more crisp the next, but they always retain the enduring appeal of drinkability and versatility.
Think Pink, It’s Time to Drink
Summer is here and the Rosés are arriving. The 09s are especially fruity and rounded this year. The wines reviewed here range in price from $8-$34. They are quite affordable and are especially nice with the lighter foods of summer – think grilled foods, fish, salads, etc. In fact, for me, along with Champagne, they are the most versatile of all wines to match with food.
My taste in Rosé tends to favor those of France, Italy and Spain. It is in these countries where a wide variety of Rosés are made in different areas that are especially suited to the local cuisine. Domestic Rosé is more problematic. Starting with the infamous “White Zinfandel,” Rosé has a reputation among many consumers as an inexpensive sweet wine. That may be true for White Zinfandel, but for Rosés, it is only about half right. Inexpensive generally, yes. But, sweet, no. Rosés are usually dry and crisp with lots of fruit which is why they match so well with food. Also, they are not heavy or alcoholic which makes them very easy to drink.
The domestic Rosés generally tend to be richer and often with more alcohol. Over the years, I’ve even had some that are even aged in wood for extra richness. But with Rosé, richness is not better. In fact, it is often just the opposite.
So here are our first notes on a wide variety of 2009 Rosés. Give them a try. Later, as more arrive, we expect to have more notes on 09 Rosés. But, in the meantime, go ahead. Be adventuresome. Try different styles of Rosés. Try them with different foods. Experiment. Be the first in your neighborhood to do a Rosé tasting/dinner. Invite your friends. You’ll be in for a real treat!!!
Chateau Fantin J. M. Chatelier 2009 Rosé (70% Merlot, 15 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc)
A refuge for monks in the 16th century, the estate, overlooking the Dordogne River, has been in the Houbaer family since 1890. The current owner is Jean Michel Chatelier.
Light red color, pink tinge. Lovely perfume, touch of spice and berry fruit. Very fruity and round. Berry fruit, slightly peppery with a crisp finish. Lovely, distinctive Rosé — Highly Recommended. Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, NY. $12.00 Best Buy
Domaine Jean Fournier 2009 Marsannay Rosé
This estate dates to the reign of Louis XIII. Currently, it is 16 hectares and has an average vine age of 60 years. The wines are made following traditional Burgundian methods.
Light salmon pink color. Subdued nose, berry tinge. Nice, crisp fruit. Vibrant berry fruit with a crisp finish. This is a lovely Rosé — Highly Recommended. Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, NY. $17.00
The Languedoc-Roussillon, which spans the Mediterranean coastline from the French border with Spain to the region of Provence, is the biggest wine-producing region in the world and accounts for over one-third of France’s total wine production. It comprises several appellations, with most of the wine marketed as Vin de Pays, including Corbieres, Coteaux du Languedoc, Pic Saint Loup, Saint Chinian, Roussillon, Minervois, and Faugeres. The area is the sunniest region in France and receives very little rainfall.
Bergerie de l’Hortus Coteaux du Languedoc 2009 Rosé de Saignée Pic Saint Loup
The Pic St. Loup, a leading Languedoc wine region, is soon to be an AOC. Rosé de Saignée is made from bleeding off a maximum of 10% of juice from red vats after crushing to increase the skins to juice ratio. In 1979, Jean and Marie Therese Orliac planted grapes at the foot of two dramatic cliffs, Pic St Loup and Montagne de ‘Hortus. They also built a distinctive winery out of wood. They have 55 ha of vines, with 43 red and 12 white over two sites. The grapes in the Rosé de Saignée are Syrah, Grenache and Carignan.
Light pink color. Lovely perfume, cherry, berry fruit, faintly floral nuance. Very nice fruit. Crisp berry/cherry flavors, with a touch of spice. Balanced, with a crisp finish. This is lovely and delicious — Highly Recommended. Beaune Imports, Berkeley, CA. $12.99 Best Buy
Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2009 Rosé
Jean Benoit and Isabelle Cavalier have 85 hectares growing Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault on garrigue soil in Pic Saint Loup, the most northerly vineyard in the Coteaux du Languedoc, 20 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast. This Rose is 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Cinsault and 10% Mourvedre.
Pale orange-pink color, with a golden edge. This wine has a nice floral perfume with citrus and herbal tones. It has lovely fruit hinting of peach with a faint spice and citrus and herbal nuances. It is round, balanced and crisp on the finish. This is a delicious Rosé — Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $16.00
Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue Tradition 2009 Rosé Coteaux du Languedoc (Cinsault and Grenache)
This wine is light pink in color, with a nice perfume, showing floral and spice nuances. It is a lovely Rosé that is soft, round, balanced, and finesseful, hinting of strawberry, with faint citrus tinges on the finish. — Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $14
Domaine de Blanes Le Clot Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes 2009 Rosé
Marie-Pierre Bories owns and operates this 15 hectare family vineyard estate split between schist hillsides and garrigue plateaus.
Light pink in color, this wine has a lovely perfume, showing berry fruit, with a touch of citrus. It has lots of fruit, with a crisp citrus tinge. This is a lovely, fruity Rosé — Highly Recommended. Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, NY. $13
Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Gris de Gris 2009 Rosé (70% Grenache Gris and Noir, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Carignan, 10% Cinsault)
The domaine is located in the heart of Corbieres’ celebrated “Golden Crescent,” known for its beautiful terroir. It was established in 1971 by Uves Laboucarie and has been run by his son since 1995.
Light pink color. Lovely floral, citrus and raspberry perfume. Similar flavors. Soft and supple. Very nice balance. Round and tasty. This is consistently a lovely Rosé —Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $14.00
Domaine du Poujol Coteaux du Languedoc 2009 Rosé
This family-owned winery located northwest of Montpelier, produces both Coteaux du Languedoc and Vin de Pays wines. The Rosé is a blend of Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache and Syrah.
Light reddish pink color. Lovely floral perfume, hinting of cherry fruit. Lovely fruit, with floral nuances. Flavorful, rounded and balanced, with hints of berry fruit and citrus, crisp finish. This is a lovely Rosé — Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $15.00
Domaine Gaujal de Saint Bon Vin de Pays des Cotes de Thau 2009 Rosé (85% Cinsault, 15% Syrah)
This small, estate-bottled operation is run by the mother/daughter team of Simone and Virginie Gaujal. It is located in Picpoul de Pinet, a relatively small sub-appellation within the Coteaux du Languedoc, close to the Mediterranean Sea.
The wine has a light pink color, with a lovely perfume that is faintly floral, with berry nuances. The lovely fruit is supple and tasty, with a touch of citrus and the wine has a nice, crisp finish. Lovely — Highly Recommended. Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, NY. $9.50 Best Buy
Domaine Saint-Eugenie Corbieres 2009 Rosé (Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah)
The area where this domaine is located has an 800-year history of viticulture.
This wine is pale pink in color, with a lovely perfume, showing floral tones, hinting of peach. It is elegant, lovely, finesseful, and round, yet crisp on the finish with floral and peach notes. A very tasty Rosé — Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D.C. $9.98 Best Buy
Mas Champart Saint-Chinian 2009 Rosé
This 61 hectare vineyard in the Saint Chinian region is owned by Matthieu and Isabelle Champart.
The wine is light salmon pink in color, with a gorgeous perfume, showing floral and strawberry notes. It has lovely fruit, tinged with strawberry, and a touch of spice. Balanced, and very finesseful, but with strawberry-tinged fruit that stays on the palate, with a long crisp finish. This is a stunning Rosé — Outstanding. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $14.00 Best Buy
Domaine de Saint-Antoine Vin de Pays d’Oc 2009 Rosé
Light pink in color, with a golden edge, the wine shows a floral perfume, with a touch of spice. It has lovely fruit, showing a hint of berry and peach, followed by faintly floral notes and spicy undertones. This is very tasty — Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D. C. $10.59 Best Buy
The Loire Valley is France’s third largest wine-producing region. It lines one of the longest rivers in Europe. The appellations include Chinon, Touraine, Anjou, Sancerre, Vouvray, Saumur, Muscadet and Coteaux du Layon.
Bernard Baudry Chinon 2009 Rosé (Cabernet Franc)
Bernard Baudry set up his own winery on a small, 2 hectare estate initially but since 1982 has extended his domain to 30 hectares. He vinifies each parcel of vines separately. Bernard now works side by side with his son, Matthieu.
Light salmon pink color, with a golden edge, this wine has a nice perfume, with floral and berry tinges. It has lovely fruit, is crisp, with a faint hint of cherry, and a citrus tinge. This is a very nice Rosé, with elegance and finesse — Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $17
Charles Joguet Chinon 2009 Rosé
The domaine was founded in 1957 by Charles Joguet in the prestigious appellation of Chinon in the heart of the Loire Valley. The Rosé is made from a Saignée of red wines.
Light red color, with a pink tinge, the wine has a gorgeous floral perfume hinting of cherry fruit. There is great intensity of fruit with cherry and strawberry nuances and a faint citrus undertone. Balanced, with a crisp finish, this is an absolutely delicious Rosé — Outstanding. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $20
Domaine de L’Aujardiere Pinot Noir 2009 Rosé Vin de Pays du Val de Loire
Eric Chevalier is the owner/winemaker of this small, 28 hectare, family estate in the western Loire Valley.
Light reddish salmon in color, the wine has a subdued nose, with a faintly floral perfume, and berry nuances. It is soft, round, and fruity, with a faint tinge of spice. This is a lovely Rosé — Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $12.95
Domaine des Corbillieres Touraine Pinot Noir 2009 Rosé
Year in and year out, this is a gorgeous Rosé that ages beautifully. This one is the best I have tasted from this domaine. The wine is 100% Pinot Noir made from 40+ year old vines. Fabel Barbou purchased this estate in 1923 which is situated on the outskirts of the village of Oisly in the heart of Sologne. Veronique and Dominique Barbou now run the 23-hectare domaine.
Light reddish pink color, with a golden hue, the wine has a gorgeous floral and cherry perfume. Charming and elegant, it has nice cherry fruit, with a touch of spice and faint floral tones. It is soft and round but with a nice crispness on the finish. This Rosé is stunning with great finesse, style and flavors. Don’t miss this one — Outstanding. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D.C. $14.99 Best Buy
The region of Provence stretches from the Alps in the north and east to the Mediterranean in the south. Best known for Rosé wines, it has several appellations, including Cotes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Bandol, Les Baux-de-Provence, Coteaux Varois, and Ste-Victoire.
Bieler Pere et Fils Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence 2009 Rosé Sabine (50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon)
For years, the Bieler family made great Rosés under the Chateau Routas label in Provence and Bieler Pere et Fils continues that tradition. Bieler Pere et Fils is homage to Charles Bieler’s father who introduced him and his sister Mira into the wine business in the mid-90s. This wine is named after Charles’ daughter Sabine. The Coteaux d’Aix en Provence appellation is in the hills surrounding the town of Aix and is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah versus the more Grenache and Cinsault dominated Rosés of Cotes de Provence.
Pale salmon-pink in color, the wine has a lovely perfume hinting of strawberries and peach. It is elegant, soft, round and finesseful, with hints of strawberry and faint floral and herbal nuances. A lovely Rosé – Highly Recommended. Bieler Pere et Fils, Sausalito, CA. $9.99 Best Buy
Chateau Coussin La Croix du Prieur Cotes de Provence 2009 Rosé
During the middle ages, La Croix du Prieur was a parcel of vines cultivated by the monks of Saint Victor Abbey in Marseille. Today it belongs to the Sumeire family, the owners of Chateau Coussin. It is made from Grenache and Cinsault at Chateau Coussin.
Pale salmon pink color. Lovely perfume. Floral, hint of orange and a faint spiciness. A gorgeous wine, that is elegant, rounded, fruity and flavorful, with a touch of citrus, and faintly floral, with a lovely, crisp finish. Delicious and finesseful, yet with flavor and complexity — a great combination! Outstanding. T. Edward Wines, Ltd., New York, NY. $14.50 Best Buy
Chateau Coussin Cotes de Provence Sainte Victoire 2009 Rosé
This wine is made from estate-grown old vines of Carignan, Cinsault and Grenache.
It is pale salmon pink in color, with a gorgeous perfume, hinting of mineral, citrus, herbs and a faint hint of peach. It is light, elegant and finesseful, but with complexity, hinting of mineral, peach, citrus and faint spice and floral nuances, ending in a crisp finish. This is a delicious Rosé — Outstanding. T. Edward Wines, Ltd., New York, NY. $18
Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol 2009 Rosé
Henri de St. Victor and family planted this vineyard in 1975 on steep, terraced slopes on the northern edge of the appellation. A Rhone blend of Mourvedre and Cinsault, the wine is capable of aging for many years.
Pale salmon pink in color, with a golden hue and edge, the wine has a lovely perfume with floral nuances, hinting of peach and a faint spiciness. It is elegant, rounded, and finesseful, with lovely fruit, hinting of peach, with faint spice and citrus nuances and a lovely, crisp finish. Delicious Rosé — Outstanding. Michael Skurnik, Syosset, NY. $25.00
Chateau du Rouet Cotes de Provence Esterelle 2009 Rosé (50% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 10% Tibourenc)
Chateau du Rouet is located in the heart of Provence in the commune of Le Muy on the slopes of the Esterel Mountains. They make two different wine. This Esterelle is mostly Carignan.
It is pale salmon-pink in color, with a lovely perfume, hinting of pear and floral nuances. With a lovely fruity flavor, hinting of pear and citrus, the wine is balanced, with a long finish. This is a tasty Rosé – Highly Recommended. Vigneron Imports, Oakland, CA $11.99
Chateau du Rouet Cotes de Provence Cuvee Reservée Tradition 2009 Rosé (60% Grenache, 40% Syrah)
This Cuvee Reservee Tradition is mostly Grenache.
It is pale salmon-pink color, with a lovely perfume, that is faintly floral and has a touch of citrus. With lovely fruit, the wine is round, supple, elegant and finesseful, with a nice, crisp finish. This is a delicious Rosé — Highly Recommended. Vigneron Imports, Oakland, CA, and Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosett, NY. $13.99
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol 2009 Rosé
Located on the outskirts of the town of St. Cyr Sur Mer which lies on the Mediterranean Ocean between Toulon and Marseilles, the Portalis family has owned this property since before the French Revolution. The wine is a Rhone blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvedre.
It is pale orange in color, with a golden hue and has a lovely apricot-tinged perfume with herbal and citrus undertones. Flavorful, with floral and citrus notes, hinting of apricot and exotic fruit, this Rosé is balanced and supple, but with good backbone. This is really delicious – Outstanding. Neal Rosenthal, New York, NY. $24.00
Clos Beylesse Cotes de Provence 2009 Rosé (60% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 20% Cinsault)
In a distinctive blue Riesling-shaped bottle, this is Vin Blue Rosé, the most delicate Rosé imaginable!
Very pale salmon color, with a subtle perfume, the wine is very light, but delicious and finesseful. A whisper of a wine that is lacy and refined, it is the absolute opposite of “the biggest is better.” In fact, this is the lightest of all the Rosés tasted. Forget about comparative tasting with this wine. It is the “lightest,” so if you need “big” this will not work for you. But as an appetizer with light appetizer dishes, or lightly seasoned fish dishes on a warm evening, with a very cold chill, this is delicious — Highly Recommended. Wine Emporium, Brooklyn, NY. $24.00
Domaine de la Tour du Bon Bandol 2009 Rosé (40% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 10% Clairette)
Very light salmon pink color, with a faint golden hue and golden edge, the wine has a great perfume hinting of peach with floral nuances. It is luscious, with great fruit, showing peach and floral nuances, with a touch of citrus on the finish. This is delicious, with early appeal — Outstanding. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA $27
Domaine de Saint Ser Sainte Victoire Cotes de Provence 2009 Rosé (Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle)
This 33 hectare estate has prime hillside vineyards on Sainte Victoire Mountain.
The wine is pale salmon pink in color, with a nice floral perfume, showing a touch of spice. It has lovely fruit, with floral and citrus nuances. It is soft, round and supple yet crisp on the finsh. This is a lovely Rosé — Highly Recommended. Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, NY. $15
Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol 2009 Rosé
Nestled on the back slopes overlooking Bandol, this organically-farmed domaine has 30 hectares of vineyards. Georges Delille bought the property in 1963 and spent years in replanting and building until he produced his first vintage in 1980. Son Reynald now runs the winery.
The wine is light salmon pink in color, with a golden hue and edge. It has a lovely perfume, with hints of peach and floral, citrus and mineral nuances. On the palate, there is lovely peach-tinged fruit, with with an underlying citrus note. This Rosé is balanced and finesseful, yet flavorful with good backbone. A gorgeous wine — Outstanding. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $27.00
Domaine du Gros Nore Bandol 2009 Rosé
Alain Pascal owns 16 hectares of vines in Bandol, with 30-year old vines. The first official vintage was in 1997. The Rosé is a blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Cinsault.
With a pale salmon-pink color, and golden edge, this wine has a lovely perfume with faint floral and herbal notes. It is balanced, with lovely flavor, that is faintly floral, showing a touch of spice and herbs. Finesseful and flavorful, yet with good backbone, this is a delicious Rosé – Outstanding. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $29
Domaines Ott Chateau de Selle Cotes de Provence 2009 Rosé
One of the largest producers in Provence, founded in 1896, Domaines Ott owns estates in Cotes de Provence as well as Bandol. The Chateau de Selle has a high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Light salmon-pink in color, with a faint golden hue, this wine has a lovely perfume with floral nuances, hinting of peach and citrus. It is lovely, round, supple and flavorful, with floral nuances and a touch of citrus. This is consistently a lovely and elegant Rosé — Outstanding. Maisons, Marques & Domaines, USA, Oakland, CA. $34
Domaine Saint Andre de Figuiere Magali Cuvée Signature Cotes de Provence 2009 Rosé (25% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Pale pink color, lovely floral perfume hinting of pear. Lovely fruit, supple, floral nuances, very faint touch of spice and herbs, clean finish. A tasty Rosé – Highly Recommended. Paul M. Young Fine Wines, Los Angeles, CA. $14.99
Domaine Saint Andre de Figuiere Confidentielle Cotes de Provence 2009 Rosé (40% Mourvedre, 30% Cinsault, 30% Grenache)
Pale pink color, with a faint gold hue. Lovely faintly floral perfume with a touch of spice and herbal tones. Crisp, finesseful and elegant, the flavor is faintly floral with hints of spice and citrus. It is soft, with a nice crisp finish. Delicious Rosé – Highly Recommended. Paul M. Young Fine Wines, Los Angeles, CA. $33.99
Domaine Saint Andre de Figuiere Le Saint Andre Vin de Pays du Var 2009 Rosé (25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault)
Pale copper pink color. Very nice perfume, lovely floral nuances with a touch of spice. Flavorful, round, floral tone, crisp finish. A lovely wine — Highly Recommended. Paul M. Young Fine Wines, Los Angeles, CA. $10.99 Best Buy
Domaine Saint Andre de Figuiere Vieilles Vignes Cotes de Provence 2009 Rosé (50% Mourvedre, 25% Cinsault, 15% Grenache)
Pale pink color, faint gold hue. Lovely perfume and flavor, faintly spicy. Lovely fruit, touch of melon, delicate, round, faint hint of spice. A lovely Rosé – Highly Recommended. Paul M. Young Fine Wines, Los Angeles, CA. $19.99
Domaine Tempier Bandol 2009 Rosé
This property, which lies between Marseilles and Toulon on the hillside of a natural amphitheatre and runs down to the shore of the Mediterranean, has been owned by the Tempier family since 1834. One of the leading estates of Bandol, their wine won their first gold medal in 1885. It is now owned by Francois and Jean Marie Peyraud. This is consistently one of the very best Bandol Rosés with a well-deserved reputation.
Light salmon pink color, this Rosé has a lovely perfume, that is very faintly smoky, with a tinge of minerals and herbs. The wine is flavorful, with great balance and backbone. Complex flavors show tinges of herbs, with faint peach and citrus nuances, followed by a long crisp finish. Delicious now, but the flavors should benefit from some bottle age as they come together – Outstanding. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA $34
Pomponette Coteaux d’Aix en Provence 2009 Rosé (60% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Verminto, 15% Cinsault, 5% Mourvedre)
Pale pink color. Perfumed nose of citrus, with floral nuances. Lovely fruit. Elegant and rounded, tinge of strawberry, with floral and citrus nuances. A lovely Rosé — Highly Recommended. Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, NY. $15
Triennes Vin de Pays du Var Nans-les-Pins 2009 Rosé (Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, Merlot)
Pale pink color, faint golden hue and edge. Lovely perfume with floral tones and a faint touch of spice. Lovely fruit, round, supple, elegant and finesseful. This is a very appealing Rosé —Highly Recommended. Chambers & Chambers, San Francisco, CA. $12.99
The southern Rhône has several Rosé wine-producing regions, including Tavel, Costieres de Nimes and Cotes du Ventoux. Rosés from these areas are among the fruitiest of all French Rosés.
Chateau de Campuget Costieres de Nimes Tradition de Campuget 2009 Rosé (Grenache Noir 30%, Syrah 70%)
This is a lovely, fruity Rosé with a light pink color. The nose exhibits berry fruit and also shows berry fruit on the palate, with a nice, crisp, clean finish. Lovely – Highly Recommended. Dreyfus, Ashby & Co, New York, NY. $9.99 Best Buy
Chateau de Trinquevedel Tavel 2009 Rosé
Tavel, located in the Southern Rhône, southwest of Avignon, is the only appellation in France to permit only Rosé wines. The wines are bottled in distinctive clear glass bottles with the Tavel logo embossed into the glass. They are rich, fruity Rosés made predominantly from Grenache grown on great stony terroir. This wine is made by 4th generation Guillaume Demoulin from 32 hectares of vineyards. He makes two cuvées, this one is a blend of Grenache Noir and Blanc, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Syrah, Bourboulenc and Clairette. It is stunning.
Light red color, with a faint golden hue, the wine has a gorgeous perfume of strawberry and cherry. It has lots of fruit, and is round and delicious, with hints of rose petal and a touch of citrus. It has depth but with finesse, and a long crisp finish. This is a delicious Rosé – Outstanding. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $17.50
Chateau d’Or et de Gueules Only Girls Costiere de Nimes 2009 Rosé (100% Syrah)
Diane de Puymorin makes this tank-fermented Rosé which has the names of her five daughters on the label. Only girls? Oh well, leaving gender aside, this Rosé is very appealing.
It has a light pink color, with a lovely perfume of a touch of peach and citrus and floral nuances. This is a lovely Rosé, with finesse and hints of peach and citrus with floral nuances and a crisp finish — Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D.C. $10.99 Best Buy
Chateau Grande Cassagne Costieres de Nimes 2009 Rosé (60% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre)
Darde et Fils, 5th generation of the Darde family made the wine. The vineyard, with 40+ year old vines, is on the western edge of the Rhône Valley near the village of St. Gilles.
Medium reddish-pink color, the wine shows a great perfume of berries, with floral nuances. It has lots of fruit, with hints of berries and cherries. It is flavorful and fruity, with a crisp, clean finish. This is always one of the fruitiest Rosés, and this one is true to form. Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D.C. $8.98 Best Buy
Chateau Mas Neuf Costieres de Nimes Rhône Paradox 2009 Rosé (55% Cinsault, 10% Grenache Noir, 25% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah)
Light pink color, lovely perfume, hinting of cherry fruit. Lush, elegant style, hinting of cherry fruit, with a faint hint of spice. This is a finesseful Rosé, with a nice crisp finish – Highly Recommended. Imported by Paul Young Fine Wines, Los Angeles, CA $10.99 Best Buy
Domaine Lafond Roc – Epine Tavel 2009 Rosé (50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne, 20% Viognier)
Jean Pierre Lafond and his son, Pascal own and manage this domaine.
The wine is light red in color, with a gorgeous perfume of floral and strawberry notes. It has lots of fruit, and is rounded and supple and is very tasty – Highly Recommended. Michael Skurnik, Syosset, NY. $16.00
Domaine de Fondreche L’Instant Cotes du Ventoux 2009 Rosé (30% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 40% Cinsault)
Situated on the foothills of Mt. Ventoux in the village of Mozan, the 35 hectares of vineyards owned by Sebastien Vincenti are cropped to produce nearly half the yields of his neighbors. The wine is very pale pink in color, with a gorgeous perfume, showing a touch of spice, with a floral nuance. It is light, elegant, racy and very crisp, with spice and floral nuances. Wow, the wine is so crisp but with an intriguing spicy, floral flavor, in a very finesseful style — Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington. D.C. $13.99
Domaine de la Petite Cassagne Costieres de Nimes 2009 Rosé
Located 4 km from the village of St. Gilles on the slopes of Costieres de Nimes, the soils are characterized by cailloux deposited by the Rhône River centuries ago. Diane de Puymorin is the owner since 1998, using only organic farming methods. The wine is a Rhone blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. This wine is light orange in color, with a golden tinge and the nose is subdued. On the palate, it is soft, supple and round, hinting of strawberry jam, with a spicy nuance on the finish. This vintage lacks the intense, fresh fruitiness usually found in this wine. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D.C. $11.99
Mas Carlot Costieres de Nimes Cuvée Tradition 2009 Rosé (60% Grenache, 40% Syrah)
Light reddish-pink color. Lovely perfume with floral and berry notes. Fruity and flavorful, with cherry fruit on the palate. Round, crisp finish. A delicious Rosé – Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D. C. $9.98 Best Buy
The Southwest region extends from Dordogne in the north to the Lot Valley in the south and the western Pyrenees.
Chateau Le Roc Fronton La Saignée 2009 Rosé
The Cotes du Frontonais is an appellation north of Toulon in Southwestern France. The dominant grape is the indigenous Negrette. The wine is 60% Negrette, 30% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Frederic Ribes is the producer.
Pale reddish pink color. Nice perfume, showing berry fruit. Lovely, berry fruit, with herbal nuances. A very nice Rosé – Recommended. Charles Neal Selections, Richmond, CA. $8.99
Pannonhalmi Apatsagi Pinceszet Pannonhalmi 2009 Rosé (Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir)
At the time of building their church and monastery on the Sacred hill of Pannonia, the Benedictine monks also revived the viticulture of the region developed by the Romans. Winemaking began in the Pannonhalma-Sokoroalja region when the Benedictine monks founded the monastery of Pannonhalma in 996. Taken over by the Communist state following World War II, it was not until 2000 when the Abbey repurchased their confiscated vineyards and began replanting the vines. Their 37 hectare area is one of the smallest of Hungary’s 22 wine regions.
OK, it’s from Hungary and I bet you can’t pronounce it, but it has a great history and is tasty and a Best Buy.
Light pink in color. Lovely fruit with a touch of citrus and berries. Crisp berry fruit, with a touch of spice and cassis. Tasty and lovely with delicious fruit, this is a really nice Rosé – Highly Recommended. Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY. $9.50. Best Buy
Bardolino Chiaretto Corte Gardini 2009 Rosé (Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara)
This estate is on the southside of Lake Garda.
Light pink color. Perfumed, faintly floral nose. Very nice fruit, with floral nuances, and a crisp finish. This is very nice — Recommended. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $13.00.
Cantina del Taburno Aglianico del Taburna Albarosa 2009 Rosato
This winery, a cooperative, is one of the most promising estates in the Campania region of Southern Italy.
With a light red color, this wine has a perfumed nose showing berry fruit with a floral nuance. It is soft and fruity, with strawberry and floral nuances and a citrus-tinged finish — Highly Recommended. Marc de Grazia Selections, Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY. $11.75
Castello di Argiano Sesti Brunello di Montalcino 2009 Rosé (Sangiovese)
Light reddish color, with a faint golden hue and a golden edge. Subdued nose, hinting of berry/cherry fruit. Balanced, but quite rich and fruity. Lovely, soft, and round, with a touch of cherry and a nice finish — Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA. $19.95
Fattoria Ambra Carmignano 2009 Rosé Saignée (Sangiovese, Canaioli, Cabernet Sauvignon)
The Carmignano region northwest of Florence was the first Italian region to officially allow Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Giuseppe Rigoli is the owner/winemaker of this 18 hectare estate.
Light red color. Deep perfume of cherry fruit. Very fruity with tart cherry tones and very faint hints of spice, this is a gorgeous fruity Rosé — Highly Recommended. Marc de Grazia Selections, Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY. $11.75. Best Buy
Colle Stefano Rosa di Elena 2009 Rosato Marche (80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Fabio Marchionni recently took over managing his family’s vineyards.
Pale orange color, golden hue and golden edge. Lovely perfume. Floral, hinting of peach. Very nice fruit, soft, round and supple, with hints of peach and citrus. A lovely Rosé — Highly Recommended. Oliver McCrum Wines, American Canyon, CA. $13.99
Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Rosé South Africa Coastal Region
This wine producing area of Stellenbosch dates to 1692. Larry Jacobs bought the estate in 1989, working with winemaker, Mike Dubrovic. He sold the estate in 1996 but Dubrovic stayed on for a time and now, Richard Kershaw is the winemaker.
Light reddish pink color. Perfumed, faintly peppery nose. Berry fruit and green pepper on the palate. Cape Classics, New York, NY. $7.99
Ameztui Rubentis 2009 Rosé Getariako Txakolina
This winery in the Basque region of Spain produces red, white and rosé wines. There are three sub-regions producing slightly effervescent wines. The Getariako is the most effervescent. The Rubentis Rosé is an old vines blend of indigenous grapes, Hondarrabi Beltza and Hondarrabi Zuri.
Whew! What a name! The wine is slightly sparkling.
Light pink color. Subdued nose of citrus-tinged fruit. It is fruity, fizzy and crisp. Light, but very clean and refreshing — Recommended. De Maison Selection, Chapel Hill, NC. $18.99
Cune Rioja 2009 Rosado Tempranillo Spain
Light red color, with a pink hue. Nice perfume hinting of cherry and berry. Lovely fruit, crisp and tasty. A nice fruity Rosé – Recommended. Pasternak Imports, Harrison, NY. $9.99
Copain Tous Ensemble Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2009 Rosé
The grapes are sourced from a variety of Anderson Valley vineyards (seven single vineyards). Predominantly Pinot Noir, there is a hint of Syrah. The wine is made using the Saignee method, where the color is bled off of the skins.
Light reddish orange color. Lovely perfume. Herbal, citrus and cherry nuances. Fruity, round and clean, with herbal and citrus nuances, and a crisp finish – Recommended. Copain Wines, Healdsburg, CA. $14.99
Etude Pinot Noir Carneros 2009 Rosé
Tony Soter, one of California’s most influential winemaker/consultants, makes 5,000 cases under his own label of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Recently, using the French technique of Saignée, he has been producing a fruity Rosé of Pinot Noir.
Light red color. Nice perfume, faintly floral. Lush fruit, round and supple, hinting of berry and cherry fruit. Nice finish. This is lovely, fruity California Rosé – Recommended. $15.99
Odisea Wine Company Cochon Grenache Gros 2009 Rosé Gibson Ranch Mendocino
Light reddish pink color, with a golden hue. The nose hints of spice and herbal notes, with a faint smoky nuance. The fruity, herbal, spicy flavors are quite rich, with a herbal-tinged finish. $15.98
Charles & Charles Syrah 2009 Rosé Talcott Vineyard Columbia Valley Washington (100% Syrah)
Light reddish pink color. Subdued nose. Berry fruit on the palate. Simple, clean and crisp. $8.99