THE 2015 ROSÉS ARE SIMPLY DELICIOUS
As the spring season marches along the 2015 rosés are leading the wine parade. From a very small beginning not that many years ago, rosés have soared in popularity. Over these years The Underground has been a leader in the rosé wine parade. And, just as it does every year, the parade will continue for the next several months through the summer and into the fall. Then the music stops. The inflow of wines will stop and all across the wine distribution channel everyone will be looking to clear out inventory to wait for the 2016s to begin to arrive early next year. This never changes. But, all through the calendar year there are opportunities for consumers. This is especially true since the popularity of rosé continues to increase each year with more and more different wines available here in increasing quantity. In addition to many articles featuring tasting notes on rosés each year, here are articles I have written to address the subject of rosés:
And here are the articles on 2014 rosés:
So how about the 2015 rosés? Well like I said at the beginning they are simply delicious. And, they seem particularly finesseful and flavorful this year. The complexity and finesse of the best wines is simply incredible. Below are notes on the first group of rosés that I have tried. And, just as in previous years, more notes and articles will follow. But, my advice to you is don’t wait. Start buying the wines now and try them for yourself. Buy the rosés you have liked in the past and buy new ones. Buy the wines mentioned in this article and then buy others as well. Here a good wine merchant with a good selection of rosés can also be of great help. Also, look for rosés imported by companies who have historically imported many really great rosés. These would include the following:
- Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA
- Hand Picked Selections, Warrenton, VA
- Robert Kacher Selections, New York, NY
- Weygandt-Metzler, Unionville, PA
- Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, N.Y.
- Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchant, New York, NY
And, try the rosés with all different kinds of food. If you do not already know, you will soon discover that they are very versatile and go well with a wide variety of foods. Very shortly I will publish a short list of some of our favorite foods to accompany rosés. Let the games begin!
2015 Rosé Tasting Notes
2015 Schlosskellerei Gobelsberg Cistercien Rosé
This is once again a delicious and delicate rosé that is a very good value. It is very light orange pink in color and has a lovely floral perfume with hints of orange zest and strawberry accented by a tinge of mint. Elegant with a nice crispness, the subtle flavors show hints of strawberry, apricot, and citrus with a kiss of mint – Outstanding. $14.50 Best Buy A Terry Theise Estate Selection Imported by Skurnik Wines, New York, NY
2015 Toad Hollow Vineyards Eye of the Toad Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir Sonoma County
With an amusing name, this rosé is consistently very fine year in and year out and it is a very good value. This 2015 is typical. With an abundance of fruit the wine has a light reddish color with a pink hue and a lovely floral perfume with faint hints of raspberry. It fruit driven and bright and crisp with subtle hints of raspberry accented by a floral citrus tinge and a faint tinge of spiciness – Highly Recommended. $13.49
2015 Caves D’Esclans (Sasha Lichine) Whispering Angel Côtes de Provence Rosé
This is a negociant wine made from grapes grown in the region of La Motte in Provence and consisting of primarily Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino), and Cinsault. It is consistently a lovely wine that is widely available and comes in a very attractive embossed clear glass bottle. Very light pink in color with a faint golden hue the wine has a lovely floral perfume with faint hints of peach and strawberry. It is delicate and subtle with floral tinged flavors showing faint hints of melon, peach and strawberry with an underlying citrus tinge – Highly Recommended Plus. $17.99 Imported by Shaw-Ross International, Miramar, FL
2015 Château de Lascaux Languedoc Rosé
The vineyards at this property have been in the same family for 13 generations. The rosé is made from 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 30% Cinsault. It has a very light pink color with a golden hue and a floral perfume with a tinge of raspberry and citrus with a stony nuance. Flavorful with very nice citrus tinged berry fruit the wine also has a hint of flintiness and a nice underlying crispness – Highly Recommended. $17 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA
2015 Château de Lancyre Pic Saint Loup Rosé
This property has an amazing history. The Château here was originally built in the 1500s on the ruins of 12th century fort. The records of winemaking go back to 1550. In 1970 it was purchased by the Durand and Valentin families. This property is now viewed as one of the leading estates of Pic Saint Loup which is considered by many to be the top wine district in the Languedoc.
This rosé is stunning and brimming with fruit. It has a very light reddish pink color and a gorgeous perfume hinting of watermelon and cherry with floral nuances. Rounded and lush with a myriad of fruit flavors suggesting watermelon, cherry, and raspberry the wine is very fruit forward and really delicious. It is very easy to drink – one glass leads to another. And, that is a very good thing – Outstanding. $18 Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrentown,VA
2015 Château du Donjon Rosé Minervois
Minervois is one of the oldest areas of wine production in the Languedoc. The Panis family has owned Château du Donjon for 500 years! The Cinsault vines here average 55 years of age, the Grenache 35 years, and the Syrah over 20 years. The wine is comprised of 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 30% Cinsault. It is very pale pink in color with a faint golden hue and has a gorgeous floral perfume with very faint hints of cherry. Very bright and crisp this rosé is refined with very pure fruit suggesting cherry and raspberry with a faint underlying citrus tinge. It is very stylistic and flavorful, yet has great balance and a lot of finesse – Outstanding. $15 Best Buy Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrentown,VA
2015 Château de Rouët Cuvée de Réservée Tradition Rosé Côtes de Provence
Situated in the heart of Provence at the foot of the red rock mountains, part of the Esterel mountain range, the Savatier family has owned this property since the 18th century. The vineyards were destroyed by fire and were replanted in the 1920s. The Cuvée Reservée Tradition Rosé is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. It is consistently a gorgeous rosé that offers great appeal and value. With a very light pink color the wine has a stunning floral perfume with hints of peach and apricot. Lush and rounded yet with elegance and finesse, it has hints of peach and apricot with floral spice undertones and a lovely underlying spiciness accented by a subtle citrus tinge – Outstanding. $14.49 Best Buy Imported by Vigneron Imports, Oakland, CA
2015 Claude et Florence Thomas Labaille Sancerre Rosé L’Authentique
Claude and Florence Thomas-Labaille produce Sancerre in the old style with minimal intervention in the wine making and careful care of the vineyards. Their holdings are among the best in Chavignol, with a large proportion of old vines in the very steep vineyards. And their Sancerres are consistently some of the best produced (to read more about their wines, other Sancerres, and food suggestions to go with Sancerre click here ).
They also make this consistently wonderful Sancerre Rosé which I am told is made from Pinot Noir press wine. This 2015 is again gorgeous. It has a very light reddish pink color with a golden hue and a great perfume with hints of cherry and a floral citrus nuance. With great purity and flavor the wine is elegant and rounded with floral cherry tinged flavors accented by a tinge of citrus. Balanced and flavorful this is a really delicious Sancerre Rosé – Outstanding Plus. $21 Louis/Dressner Selections Imported by LDM Wines, Inc., New York, NY
2015 Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
This property was originally founded by the Templar Knights in the 13th century. Made from 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cinsault grown on 160 acres of sustainable vineyards, this is a consistently superb rosé that is a pleasure to drink. With a very pale salmon pink color the wine has a great perfume with faint hints of peach, melon, and apricot with citrus and raspberry nuances. It is beautifully balanced and is flavorful with elegance and finesse. And, on the palate, there are a myriad of fruit flavors and subtle nuances of citrus with a very faint underlying spiciness. This is a really gorgeous rosé and not to be missed – Outstanding Plus. $19 Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrentown,VA
Domaine de l’Abbaye Clos Beylesse Rosé Côtes de Provence
Year in and year out this is one of the most delicious rosés imaginable. And, it comes in the really gorgeous blue bottle! Here is a history of the wine taken from my article written several years ago:
Today this property is owned by Franc Petit who acquired it some 45 years ago. Prior to that time it was owned by a Provencal family. The property originally belonged to the Cistercian monastery which was founded in 1098 at Citeaux in Burgundy. They expanded to Le Thoronet in Provence in the mid 12th century and built a monastery. They made wine and olive oil and produced their own food. This was intact until the late 18th century when the property was declared bankrupt and the property sold. The physical property was one of the first to be declared a historical monument and today is owned by the French government. The surrounding properties are privately owned.
The Domaine de l’Abbaye consists of over 80 acres. About 1/3 is vineyards and most of the remaining land is planted to olives. A small, historic vineyard called the Clos Beylesse consists of just under 20 acres. When Franc Petit acquired the property he began replanting the vineyards and orchards. Now in his 70s, he continues to do all the work with the assistance of a few helpers. Some 25 years ago he determined that the best grapes were coming from the Clos Beylesse which he had replanted. He therefore decided to make a wine exclusively from that plot. He chose the distinctive and beautiful cobalt blue bottle because of the proximity of the vineyard to the sea. And, although there are small amounts of two other rosés made from estate grown grapes, today most of the production comes from the Clos Beylesse which amounts to approximately 3500 cases a year. The grapes used consist of mostly Syrah and Grenache with some Cinsault….
This is rosé that I love and buy every year. It is always one of the most elegant and charming of all rosés. With a pale salmon pink color showing a golden edge the wine shows a great floral tinged perfume with hints of peach and a subtle nuance of lemon lime. Very elegant and finesseful it is subtle hints of peach, strawberry, and melon with a faint hint of lime with contributes to the crispness. Absolutely delicious, this is yet another terrific Clos Beylesse – Outstanding Plus. $25 Imported by Wine Emporium, Brooklyn, NY
2015 Domaine De Fontsainte Gris De Gris Corbières
The first vineyards at this domaine were planted by the Romans and the same family has owned the domaine since the 17th century. This rosé is a blend of 50% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache Noir, 20% Carignan, 5% Cinsault, 5% Mourvèdre. Gris de Gris is rosé made from red grapes with a greyish colored skin such as Grenache Gris and Cinsault. Year in and year out this is a delicious rosé and it ages very well. It is consistently outstanding and is a great value. It is also a wine that I buy every year. And, if you have not yet tried this rosé, now is a good time to start. The wine has a very light pale pink color with a faint orange hue and a golden edge. It has a deep perfume with hints of rose petals with faint peach nuances accented by a very faint touch of spice and fresh herbs. It is delicate yet flavorful with hints of peach tinged with a faint herbal spice. Beautifully balanced, this rosé has great appeal and is a pleasure to drink – Outstanding. $14.95 Best Buy Imported By Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA
2015 Domaine De La Fouquette Cuvée Rosée D’Aurore Côtes de Provence
This wine is made with 65% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 5% Rolle. It has a pale golden pink color with deep perfume showing a myriad of fresh herbs intermingled with floral and citrus nuances. With a lot of finesse and balance the wine shows great fruit with hints of white peach, apricot, and fresh herbs balanced by a lovely citrus tinge. This is a gorgeous rosé with complexity and a lot of charm – Outstanding. $17.29 Jeff Welburn Selections Imported by Wine Agencies Inc., Van Nuys, CA
2015 Domaine Le Pive Gris (Rosé) Sable de Carmargue
This wine is made from 30% Grenache Gris, 30% Grenache Noir, 30% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc grown on vines averaging 25 years old. Pale pink in color with a faint golden hue this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with hints of peach and guava. It is very elegant and finesseful with great balance and shows lovely fruit with suggestions of peach and a very faint floral quality – Outstanding. $16 Best Buy Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrentown,VA
2015 Domaine Le Pive Vie de Boheme (Rosé) Sable de Carmargue
This rosé is made from 100% Grenache Gris harvested from the best estate vineyard parcels. It is a really gorgeous wine that is silky with a lovely underlying crispness. Very pale pink in color with a faint golden hue the wine has a gorgeous floral perfume that is faintly exotic with hints of mango and pineapple. With complex fruit flavors suggesting kiwi with hints of peach and mango this rosé is simply stunning – Outstanding Plus. $30 Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrentown,VA
2015 Domaine Saint André de Figuière Premier de Figuière Rosé Côtes de Provence
Made from grapes grown on old vines this rosé is made with 50% Mouvèdre, 25% Cinsault, and 25% Grenache. It has a pale pink color with a faint golden hue and gorgeous perfume with hints of white peach and very subtle strawberry and citrus nuances with a floral spice undertone. Very pure with great balance and flavor the wine has a delicate citrus tinge with suggestions of white peach and strawberry accented by floral spice nuances. This a really delicious rosé that is not to be missed – Outstanding Plus. $21 Imported by AP Wine Imports, New York, NY
2015 Le Cirque Côtes Catalans Rosé
This wine is made by the Les Vignerins de Tautavel Vingrau (VTV) cooperative in the village of Tautavel. It is named for the large amphitheater-shaped bowl of vineyards extending north towards Vingrau. It is made with 40% Grenache Noir, 40% Mouvèdre, and 20% Syrah grown on old vines averaging over 50 years of age. With a very light reddish pink color the wine has a subtle perfume hinting of raspberry and strawberry with floral citrus accents and a faint spiciness. On the palate it has lovely delicate fruit flavors of raspberry with a touch of citrus and a bright crispness. This is a lovely rosé with a lot of charm – Highly Recommended Plus. $14 Imported by Hand Picked Selections Warrentown,VA
2015 Les Rocailles Rosé de Savoie
This rosé is made with 100% Gamay. It is light reddish orange pink in color with a golden hue and has a great perfume with a myriad of red fruits suggesting cherry, raspberry, and strawberry. The same flavors carry through on the palate with a faint underlying tinge of citrus and a very faint spiciness. This is an absolutely delicious rosé with great style, definition, balance and flavor – Outstanding. $17 Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrentown,VA
2015 Mas De Gourgonnier Rosé Les Baux de Provence
This rosé is very seductive and a very good value. It is made from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Mouvèdre, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has a very light pink color with a golden hue and a lovely floral perfume with hints of cherry and citrus. With lovely fruit showing subtle hints of strawberry and cherry with nuances of white peach and citrus the wine is balanced, flavorful, and delicious – Outstanding. $14.50 Best Buy Imported by Skurnik Wines, New York, NY
2015 Penya Rosé Côtes Catalans
This rosé is made from 96% Grenache Noir and 4% Syrah grown in the Roussillon region of Southern France. It is just 30 mile north of Spain in an area ceded to France in the mid-17th century and still know today as “French Catalonia”. Cases de Pena is the name of a tiny village in the area. The name “Penya” is the Catalan spelling of the ancient Château and also the name of the village cooperative that makes the wine. The wine is lovely and a very good value. With a light pink color and a faint golden hue it has a very nice floral perfume with very faint hints of raspberry and citrus and just a kiss of spice. On the palate there is lots of raspberry tinged fruit with floral nuances and a nice underlying crispness – Highly Recommended Plus. $12 Best Buy Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrentown,VA
2015 Pink Pegau Vin de France
This wine is made from 70% Cinsault, 20% Grenache, and 10% Clairette grown on vines averaging 30 to 60 years of age located in an area about 4 miles from Châteauneuf du Pape.
It is very light reddish salmon pink with a faint golden edge and has a very nice floral perfume with tinges of cherry, raspberry, and watermelon. Nicely balanced with hints of cherry and watermelon with floral nuances this rosé is flavorful and very appealing – Highly Recommended Plus. $21 Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrentown,VA
2015 Saint Roch Les Vignes Rosé Côtes de Provence
Made with 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault this wine has a pale pink color with a golden hue and a subtle perfume with floral nuances. It is balanced and flavorful with nice fruit showing faint hints of peach and an underlying faint citrus crispness – Recommended Plus. $12.99 Jeff Welburn Selections Imported by Wine Agencies, Inc., Van Nuys, CA
2015 Villa des Anges Old Vines Rosé Pays d’Oc
Situated on the ruins of an old Roman villa this domaine has about 173 acres of vines to 7 different red and white varietals. This rosé is made from 100% Cinsault. It is a lovely balanced wine that represents very good value. Very light pink in color with a golden hue the wine the wine has a lovely floral perfume with hints of peach and citrus. It has a lot of elegance and peach tinged flavors accented by hints of citrus which is evident in a nice crispness on the finish – Highly Recommended Plus. $12 Best Buy Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrentown,VA
2015 Castello di Radda Rosato Toscana
This wine is made from Sangiovese grapes grown on young vines is the Chianti Classico district. It has a lot of charm and early appeal with a bright crispness and is a very good value. The wine is light pink in color with a faint golden hue and has a lovely floral perfume with a very faint hint of raspberry. Very fruity and crisp with subtle nuances of raspberry and cherry this is a charming rosé that is especially satisfying served ice cold – Highly Recommended Plus. $12 Best Buy Imported by Wooden Ships Wines, Inc., Bohemia, NY
2015 Arrumaco Garnacha Rosé Vino de España
The BiB rosé is back! Last year I wrote an article on this wine in a box (to read the article which describes the wine click here and to read the article that describes the history and technology of the container click here ).
This 2015 is especially good. It is very inexpensive and very practical to have in the refrigerator (where it will keep for weeks) any time you want a nice glass of chilled rosé!
Made from 100% Garnacha grown in Valencia the wine has a light reddish pink color and a lovely floral tinged perfume with subtle hints of cherry and a very faint spice nuance. On the palate, it has lovely berry fruit with a very faint floral undertone. Very elegant and balanced with a lot of charm, this is a rosé that is very enjoyable and easy to drink. In fact, it is amazing how fast you can go through a couple of glasses. But, never fear the bag is here! And, there’s always more – Highly Recommended. $29 per 3L (just over $7 per bottle equivalent) Best Buy Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrenton,VA