This is my third article on 2015 rosés (to read the other two articles click here and here). And, although summer is gone it is not the time to stop drinking rosés. Here is what I had to say on that subject in an earlier article:
And, although summer is the time that most people think of Rosé that is a shame. I like to drink Rosé when the weather is warm and where I live that includes all seasons of the year. I also like to enjoy Rosé when I am enjoying lighter foods which are a major part of our diet at Casa Tilson. Finally, after summer is gone most merchants discount their remaining Rosé inventory and most importers do not bring in any more until the next spring when the new vintage is available. This is a great time for you to stock up because the prices are really attractive and the wines can keep well beyond one season. (Click read the entire article FOR THE LOVE OF ROSÉS – WHY, WHEN, AND HOW TO BUY THEM & DRINK THEM).
This article has notes on more 2015 rosés from countries that produce a wide variety of dry rosés each year. I have chosen to only write about selected wines that I found to be the most attractive. Leading the list, as always, are rosés from France. But, following are countries like Germany (relatively new to producing rosés, but making some really great ones), Italy, and Spain. These wines are for me consistently the best dry rosés and represent very good value in today’s wine world.
As I have long maintained, every year produces an abundance of great rosés. So the vintage is really not that important. Some vintages age better than others, but nearly all rosé is consumed within a short time after purchase (to read an article on the ability of rosés to age click here). Having said that I think that after tasting over 100 2015 rosés (most of which I also drank) I would have to say that this vintage has produced some of the best young rosés I have ever tasted, and the quality across the board is quite remarkable. And, with our current warm weather which typically lasts through Thanksgiving, we will be enjoying many more 2015 rosés in the coming months. So if you have not yet got into rosés, I would strongly recommend that now is a great time to start. And, if you love rosés, but have not yet bought enough to keep a good supply on hand well into the future, now is the time to buy some more – Cheers!
France is the world leader in the production of rosés. Here you will find many of the greatest roses as well as many great values. Increasingly they are coming from many areas, but the leading area by far is Provence.
Historically Burgundy has not been a producer of rosé wines. Marsannay is the northernmost village in Burgundy and only assumed village status in 1987. It has no grand cru or premier cru vineyards. Before 1987, grapes in this area were used to make regional wines – red, white, and rosé. The production of those wines has continued with Marsannay now the only village in Burgundy to make all 3 types of wines – Pinot Noir for the red wines and rosés and Chardonnay for the white wines. However, there are not many Marsannays imported and the production is quite small. With respect to the Marsannay Rosés, they are really special with a lot of character and they benefit from some bottle age.
2015 Domaine Regis Bouvier Marsannay Rosé
Pale pink in color this rosé has a gorgeous floral perfume with hints of cherry. It has lots of fruit and is flavorful without any sacrifice in finesse. Subtle cherry nuances are accented by floral undertones and there is a bright crispness that shines through even as the wine maintains a great balance. All in all, this is a delicious and beautifully crafted Marsannay rosé – Outstanding Plus. $23 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA
Corsica is a historic island with very old vineyards that have undergone a renaissance. In recent years the French island of Corsica has been producing some of the most refined and delicious rosés on the planet. If you have not tried them now is the time! (Note: several other 2015s were reviewed in previous articles).
2015 Clos Caranelli Corse Figari Rosé
With a very pale salmon pink color showing a faint golden hue this rosé is made with 50% Sciaccarellu, 30% Niellucciu, and 20% Grenache. It has a great floral perfume with and exotic tinge and hints of kaffir lime with just a whiff of smokiness. Finesseful and balanced with very complex flavors showing guava, melon, and citrus with floral undertones this is a really delicious rosé – Outstanding Plus. $36 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA
2015 Domaine Poli Vin de Pays de lle de Beauté Niellucciu rosé
Pale pink in color with a faint golden hue this rosé has a subtle floral perfume with a faint hint of citrus. It is very delicate with a lot of finesse and shows floral nuances with hints of citrus. Balanced and very tasty this is a lovely Corsican rosé at a very affordable price – Highly Recommended Plus. $13.95 Jeff Welburn Selections Imported by Wine Agencies Inc Van Nuys, CA
Languedoc – Roussillon
This area covers the Mediterranean coastline from the French border with Spain to Provence. With over 700,000 acres of vines it is the biggest wine producing region in the world. It accounts for over 1/3 of France’s total wine production and produces more wine that the entire United States. The area also produces lovely rosés. They are increasingly appearing here and generally they are very good values. Below are 3 outstanding examples that are Best Buys.
Côtes de Roussillon
2015 Famille Lafage Miraflors Rosé Côtes de Roussillon
Made from Grenache Gris grown on old vines and Mouvèdre this is a delicious rosé that is a great value. It has a pale salmon pink color and a lovely floral perfume with hints of peach. Finesseful and very elegant with subtle hints of peach, citrus, and melon with an underlying floral tinge the wine is beautifully balance and exudes charm in a very easy to drink style – Outstanding. $9.95 Best Buy Imported by European Cellars Charlotte, NC
2015 Gèrard Bertrand Cotes des Rosés Languedoc
Made with Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah this rosé has a pale salmon pink color with a golden hue and a lovely floral perfume with hints of peach. It is a very stylistic rosé with lots of fruit, flavor and finesse. Hints of peach are accented by floral nuances and hints of citrus and the wine is soft with a nice crispness on the finish – Outstanding. $11.49 Best Buy Imported by USA Wine West, LLC Sausalito, CA
2015 Moulin De Gassac Guilhem Rosé Pays D’Hérault
Made with 50% Syrah and 50% Carignane this is a great value in rosé. It has a pale pink color with a golden hue and has a lovely floral perfume with a touch of spice. Flavorful and balanced with lovely fruit showing hints of strawberry and cherry with a tinge of citrus this is a lovely rosé that is very easy to drink and easy on the budget – Outstanding. $9.50 Best Buy Imported by Polander Selections, Mount Kisco, NY
The Loire Valley wine region includes 87 appellations ranging from Muscadet along the Loire River near Nantes to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé near Orléans in north central France. Most of the production is centered in 8 areas with most of the production being white wine, some red wine, and a very small amount of rosé. The rosés that are most widely recognized are Sancerre (made from Pinot Noir grapes) and Chinon (made from Cabernet Franc grapes). But, there are increasingly numerous others being imported as well including terrific rosés from Bourgueil (Cabernet Franc) and Reuilly (Pinot Gris).
2015 Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Rosé La Ritournelle
This is a bright and crisp rosé made from Cabernet Franc grapes. It has a pale pink color with a faint golden hue and a lovely perfume with berry nuances and a very faint exotic quality. Balanced and flavorful with subtle floral tinged berry fruit, a distinct citrus tinge on the finish accentuates the wine’s appeal – Outstanding. $24 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA
The vineyards of Chinon surround the town on the banks of the Vienne river. Red and rosé wines are made from Cabernet Franc with the addition of up to 10% of Cabernet Sauvignon. The rosés can be enjoyed young or aged for several years.
2015 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé
This rosé is made from Cabernet Franc grapes. It has a very pale pink color with a very faint golden edge and exhibits a subtle floral perfume that opens with air to reveal a faint hint of strawberry. Very finesseful with a delicate strawberry tinged fruitness, this is a lovely stylistic rosé that is beautifully balanced and a pleasure to drink – Outstanding. $20 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA
The area of Reuilly has a long established history dating back to the 7th century. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are the principal grape varieties. For many years the white wine was know as “The poor man’s Sancerre”. Today the wine is enjoying a surge in popularity. And, unlike almost all rosés that are made from red grape varieties, there are a few Reuilly Rosés that are made from the Pinot Gris grape which is a mutation of Pinot Noir that is a white variety with a faintly reddish blue grey skin.
2015 Domaine Dyckerhoff Reuilly Petit Gris Rosé. This is a delicate rosé with a lot of finesse. The color is pale salmon pink with a faint golden hue and there is an intriguing, very faintly smoky quality accenting the floral melon tinged perfume. Balanced and refined with subtle melon tinged flavors accented by floral citrus notes, this is a rare and very special rosé with a lot of charm – Outstanding. $17.95 Imported by Michael Corso Selections, Oak Park, Ill
Sancerre, located in the eastern part of the Loire Valley, is famously known for its great white wine which, for me, is the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world and one of my very favorite white wines. Also, there are some really lovely red wines based on the Pinot Noir grape which account for about 20% of the areas production. Still seemingly floating under the radar and made in relatively small quantities, are the great Pinot Noir based rosés which year in and year out are some of my favorite rosés. Typically they are in the range of 12% alcohol and are beautifully balanced. They are delicious young and age beautifully. They are great with a wide variety of foods and have a characteristic underlying crispness that accentuates their appeal.
2015 Alain Girard & Fils Sancerre Rosé
With a very light orange color showing a golden hue this rosé has a deep perfume of cherry tinged fruit with a kiss of floral spice. On the palate it shows very pure cherry fruit nuances accented by hints of citrus and a faint floral undertone. Balanced and flavorful with a nice underlying crispness on the finish this is a delicious rosé – Outstanding Plus. $22 Imported by USA Wine Imports Inc, New York, NY
2015 Francois Cotat Sancerre Chavignon Rosé
Always one of my favorite rosés I particularly like this 2015. Pale salmon pink in color it has a great perfume with subtle cherry nuances intermingled with steely citrus undertones. The flavors are complex, but very subtle and finesseful. Tinges of cherry are accented by citrus and floral notes with a faint underlying steeliness. I love the flavors and the texture that shows a distinct underlying crispness as well. It is this balance that makes the wine so delicious now, but also gives it the structure to age beautifully for many years. This is a stunning rosé for now and for the future – Extraordinary. $29 Imported by Skurnik Wines, New York, NY
Lorraine borders Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany in Northeastern France. Here there are many styles of wine produced from dry to sweet and often with a Germanic influence given that the area has been part of France and part of Germany at different times in history.
2015 Domaine Régina Côtes De Toul Gris De Toul Rosé
This is another rosé from a relatively unknown area that deserves to be better known. It is made with 80% Gamay and 20% Pinot Noir and is bright and crisp. The color is light salmon pink and the wine has a lovely floral perfume with a tinge of citrus. On the palate there are faint hints of raspberry with floral citrus tinges and an intriguing zesty quality that gives the wine definition and adds to the appeal. This is a really lovely and unusual rosé that offers very good value – Outstanding. $12.95 Best Buy Imported by Charles Neal Selections, Richmond, CA
The area of Provence has a very long history of wine production. Some believe that early inhabitants may have used indigenous vines to produce wine before the arrival of the Greeks in 600 BC. The Romans came in 125 BC and by that time the wine produced there had a reputation of being of high quality. Since that time the region has been influenced by a wide range of people and cultures. The phylloxera epidemic reached the area at the end of the 19th century and devastated the vines. Later, the arrival of the railroad and the development of tourism on the French Riviera resulted in soaring production of rosé which was very compatible with the climate and the regional cuisine. And, so it is today. Rosé wine currently accounts for more than half of the production of wine in Provence and sales of Provence Rosé in the United States are soaring (to read my latest article click here). ADD LINK http://www.undergroundwineletter.com/2015/03/rose-wines-and-the-great-roses-of-provence/
Bandol is a wine area of less than 4000 acres centered around the Mediterranean coastal town of Bandol. This area has a unique microclimate next to the coast that is very warm and sunny and protected from the northern winds. Most of the production here is red wine which is mostly based on Mourvèdre. Bandol Rosés account for about a third of the areas production and are, for me, among the greatest rosés in the world. They are made from blends that are dominated by Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Cinsault. Delicious young they are also among the most age worthy of all rosé wines and continue to evolve over periods many years. Without question Bandol Rosés are consistently some of the best rosés made in the world.
2015 Domaine de Terrebrune Terroir des Trias Bandol Rosé
This rosé is made from 50% Mourvèdre. 25% Grenache, and 25% Cinsault. It is pale golden pink in color with lovely floral perfume showing hints of exotic spice and a very faint smokiness. A lovely wine with great concentration and balance it has flavors of peach and citrus accented by faint exotic spice nuances and a long finish with a citrus tinge – Outstanding Plus. $33 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA
2015 Domaine de la Tour du Bon Bandol Rosé
Made with 35% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 25% Mourvèdre, and 10% Clairette this rosé has a very light pink color with a golden hue. With a lovely floral perfume showing hints of spice and citrus the wine has a myriad of fruit flavors with hints of peach and apricot and and is beautifully balanced. This is a complex and flavorful, yet elegant, rosé with lots of charm – Outstanding Plus. $30 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA
2015 Château de Pibarnon Bandol Rosé
Pale pink in color with a golden hue this rosé has a deep perfume with faintly floral, herbal, and smoky nuances. It has lovely balance and is rounded and supple with flavors showing hints of apricot with faint floral, herbal, citrus nuances – Outstanding. $27 Imported by Skurnik Wines, New York, NY
2015 Château de Calavon Coteaux D’Aix-En-Provence Rosé
Pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a lovely perfume with subtle hints of peach. Very elegant and finesseful with very pure fruit showing melon and peach and a nice underlying crispness, this is a beautifully balanced rosé with a lot of charm that is very easy to drink – Outstanding. $16.95 Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. Unionville, PA
Côtes De Provence
2015 Château De Pampelonne Côtes De Provence Rosé
Made with 40% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, and 10% Tibouren this is a gorgeous rosé with a lot of finesse and great appeal. The color is a very light pink with a golden hue and the wine has a lovely floral perfume with hints of peach. Balanced and very flavorful with intriguing hints of peach and citrus intermingled with floral undertones this is a very refined and delicious rosé – Outstanding Plus. $18.95 Imported by Jeff Welburn Selections Wine Agencies, Inc, Van Nuys, CA
2015 Château Du Puget Côtes De Provence Rosé
Pale salmon pink in color with a lovely floral perfume showing a tinge of spice this rosé is rounded and balanced with lovely fruit and shows a lot of finesse. The subtle fruit flavors are accented by a very faint spiciness and there is a nice crispness on the finish – Highly Recommended. $10.99 Imported by DM Vineyard & Partners, Oakland, CA
2015 Saint-Roch Les Vignes Côtes De Provence Rosé
This rosé is made with 50% Cinsault and 50% Grenache. It is very light reddish pink in color with a golden edge and has a lovely floral perfume with hints of peach and raspberry. Very elegant yet flavorful the wine has lovely fruit with tinges of peach, raspberry and a nice citrus tinge on the finish – Outstanding. $11.95 Best Buy Imported by Jeff Welburn Selections, Wine Agencies, Inc Van Nuys, CA
2015 Domaine Les Pallières “Au Petit Bonheur” Gigondas Rosé
This wine is made from 33% Grenache, 33% Clairette, and 33% Cinsault grown on younger vines. The color is a very pale golden amber and the wine exhibits and subtle perfume with faint hints of peach. It is a lovely elegant and very stylistic rosé that shows a subtle peach flavor with floral undertones and a very faint exotic nuance and has a nice crispness on the finish – Outstanding. $22 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA
Tavel is an area of just over 2000 acres dedicated solely to making rosé wines. It is located across the Rhone river from Châteauneuf du Pape and just north of Avignon. Historically, Tavel has been a favorite wine of kings and the Popes of Avignon as well as many celebrities. Vines have been grown in the area since the 5th century BC.
The wines of Tavel are known for their fruit and come in beautiful clear glass bottles embossed with the Tavel name and emblem. Tavel wines can be consumed young but also benefit from age. They are unique and delicious and are particularly suited to enjoyment with heartier foods.
2015 Château D’Aqueria Tavel
I have been drinking Château D’Aqueria for many years and it is consistently Outstanding and a great value. It is also one of our favorite wines to have with Thanksgiving turkey! The 2015 is true to form and will grace our table this Thanksgiving. Made with Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Clairette the wine has a light red color with a faint golden hue and a lovely floral tinged perfume with berry and cherry nuances. Rounded, supple, and lush with loads of red fruit flavors, this is a rosé with depth and is very flavorful and delicious – Outstanding. $13.99 Best Buy Imported by Kobrand Corporation, New York, NY
2015 Château De Manissy Cuvée Des Lys Tavel
This is an intensely fruity Tavel. It is pale orange red in color with a golden hue and has a deep floral perfume with hints of cherry and watermelon. Lush and rounded with lots of fruit showing watermelon and raspberry with a faint citrus tinge this is a really delicious wine – Outstanding Plus. $16.95 Peter Weygandt Selections Imported by Weygandt-Metzler, Unionville, PA
2015 Domaine de la Mourdorée Tavel
Made with 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, and 20% Syrah this is a lovely Tavel with a very light red color showing an orange hue and a golden edge. It has a deep perfume with floral herbal nuances and hints of faintly spice tinged cherry fruit. On the palate the wine is lush and rounded and very flavorful with cherry fruit showing floral nuances – Outstanding. $23.95 Imported by Kysela Pere Et Fils, LTD, Winchester, VA
South West France
Irouléguy is an area in the Northern Basque country about 125 miles south of Bordeaux in South West France. Located on the southwestern border of France and Spain in the Pyrénées mountains, Cabernet Franc and Tannat are the principle grape varieties and have been grown here for centuries. Rosé from Irouléguy is a rarity here, but certainly is distinctive and seems certain to become more available over time.
2015 Domaine Arretxea Irouléguy Rosé
This is an intensely fruity and delightfully flavorful rosé made from 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Franc. It has a light red color and a deep perfume with cherry and raspberry intermingled with a floral nuance. On the palate there are kaleidoscopic red fruit flavors – raspberry, cherry, strawberry, fraise du bois, and watermelon – that are offset by a bright lemon-lime tinge. Unique, fruity, and zesty this is a delicious rosé – Outstanding. $26 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA
Vin De France
Vin de France is the name for wine that does not come from a specific area. Typically Vin de France wines are sold as a branded wine and often are varietals.
2015 Domaine De La Columbotte Notorious Pink Rosé
This rosé is made from 100% Grenache grown in the South of France. It is very pale salmon pink in color with a golden hue and has very nice perfume with hints of peach and a faintly floral and exotic nuance. Very fruity with hints of peach and floral undertones the wine is soft with a faint citrus tinge on the finish – Highly Recommended. $17 Imported by BH Group USA Imports, Manhassat, NY
In recent years the number of German rosés coming to this country has been increasing. They are still relatively small in number, but are usually very high quality. Made from Pinot Noir they are very stylistic with a stunning degree of fruit. Some show more sweetness and others less especially the “Trocken” (Dry) Rosés. Pinot Noir is proving to be a great grape for rosé as evidenced by the Sancerre Rosés and Marsannay Rosés as well as an occasional Pinot Noir rosé from California. But, the German Rosés are relatively new and increasingly available. If you love fruit driven rosés these are definitely wines to try!
2015 Schäfer-Fröhlich Nahe Blanc de Noir Trocken
This rosé has a very, very pale color with only the faintest blush of pink. But don’t let the color fool you. The wine is complex and flavorful. With a gorgeous floral perfume accented by spice tinges it is lush and rounded with a nice underlying crispness and shows intriguing flavors of lichee nut with exotic spice nuances. Surely one of the most unique rosés I have ever tasted this is amazing – Outstanding Plus. $21.95 Imported by Rudi Wiest Cellars International, Inc., Carlsbad, CA
2015 Schnaitmann Rosé Württemberg Qualâtatswein Evoé! Trocken
This is a lovely and distinctive rosé with an intriguing yin and yang quality. The color is a very pale salmon pink with a golden hue and the wine has a great floral perfume with hints of melon and raspberry. Elegant and lush yet crisp with very pure fruit showing hints of citrus with subtle hints of raspberry and melon this is a delicious rosé – Outstanding. $16.95 Imported by Rudi Wiest Cellars International, Inc., Carlsbad, CA
2015 Castello Di Ama Siena Rosato
Made by a producer known for Chianti and Super Tuscan wines this rosé has a light reddish orange color with a nice perfume showing a floral quality with hints of raspberry. It is rounded and supple with hints of raspberry and a floral citrus undertone – Highly Recommended. $15
Imported by The Sorting Table LLC, Napa, CA
2015 G.B. Burlotto Elatis Rosato
Made by the famous Nebbiolo producer G.B. Burlotto, Elatis is the name of their varietal Nebbiolo rosé. The wine has a pale red color with a pink hue and a lovely berry/cherry perfume. Very fruit driven with berries and cherries accented by a floral tinge this rosé is very pure and crisp with great early charm and appeal and has a very high drinkability quotient – Outstanding.
$17.95 Imported by The Rare Wine Company Brisbane, CA
Spanish wines offer great quality and value. That includes red, white, and rosé. Below is a great Spanish rosé value.
2015 La Granja 360 Cariñena Grancha Rosé
Very light reddish pink in color with a nice floral perfume showing hints of berry fruit this is a lovely and very affordable rosé. It has very nice berry fruit and is balanced with a citrus tinged crispness on the finish. This rosé is a good match for many domestic rosés that sell for 3-5X the price – Highly Recommended. $4.99 Best Buy Imported by Evaki Inc San Luis Obispo, CA