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2017 ROSÉS – A REMARKABLE VINTAGE PART I

John Tilson • 7/19/18        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

 

INTRODUCTION

In May I published two articles introducing the 2017 Rosé season.

THE ROSÉ PARADE  

IS IT ROSÉ TIME?

Since then I have been very busy tasting and drinking 2017 Rosés. It has become an annual rite of passage for me over many years now. And, after decades of buying, tasting, and drinking rosés they are now rapidly  gaining in popularity almost every place in the wine drinking world. Four countries produce more than 75% of the world’s rosé. They are as follows: France (30%), Spain (20%), The United States (15%), and Italy (10%). And, since 2000, French production of rosé has increased by more than 50% while production has also surged in the the United States and Spain. However, for unexplained reasons, rosé production has been declining in Italy despite the boom in demand for rosé wines.

While it is certainly true that I have always said every year produces an abundance of wonderful rosés from all over the world, 2017 seems to be a real standout year for rosés. Many of the great rosés that I buy and drink every year seem to be even better this year. In some areas the crop size was down. This is particularly true in Provence where one report indicates that it is the smallest crop since 1945. And, in other areas of France and Italy, yields are reportedly also down. But, no matter, the real story is that the 2017 rosés are especially good. And, interestingly, this comes at a time when imported rosé sales in the US are soaring off the charts with sales last year up over 50% year over year! And, I am proud to say that The Underground has been a longtime fan of rosés.

Below are some of my tasting notes on 2017 rosés. And at the end of the article are links to other articles about rosés and why every wine lover should discover rosés. This is Part I of my 2017 rosé tasting notes and there will be many more notes to follow. And, as usual, there are many great rosé bargains. This article includes rosés priced from under $10 to just over $40. As such, these rosés represent the greatest wine values in the world. They are wines that have great appeal and are a joy to drink. And, watch for Part II. It will contain many notes on more rosés from different countries and regions plus many more notes on rosés from areas represented in this article. The format of Part II will be different with just tasting notes in abbreviated form accompanied by a few photos. Hopefully, unlike 2017 when, due to illness, I was unable to publish most of my notes, this will allow me to get all my 2017 rosé tasting notes posted this year. Last year my 2016 Rosé article had notes on some 60 different wines and I had notes on about 40 more that were never published (to read the 2016 article click here    ADD LINK http://www.undergroundwineletter.com/2017/06/2016-roses-a-great-vintage-and-many-bargains/). Now that Part I is published I will start working on 2017 Rosés Part II. I have already tasted about the same number of wines that I tasted last year. But I am still tasting new wines. So when I am finished I will probably have notes on more wines this year than I had last year.  So stay tuned! In the meantime, keep looking for your favorite 2017 rosés and be on the look out for new ones. Happy Tasting and Enjoy!

 

TASTING NOTES

CALIFORNIA

It seems that every year there are more and more California Rosés. This year is no exception. And, every year I try a few new ones and am often disappointed. Many California rosés just do not have much to them in terms of definition and flavor. And, they are often priced at the same level as some of the best rosés in the world. This despite the fact that I find many of them much less interesting than imported rosés some of which sell for a single digit price! As a result, I do not write up a lot of California rosés because I cannot recommend them. Remember that I only write about wines that I like and drink! But, there are some consistently really good California rosés that I have enjoyed in the past. They include rosés from Tablas Creek Vineyard, Bonny Doon Vineyard, and Bedrock Wine Company  (reviewed below). And, this year I found quite a few California rosés that I had not tasted before that are really nice which are also reviewed here. One is an unusual and limited production Mondeuse Rosé from Clendenen Family Vineyards. This is the first vintage of this wine that I have tasted and it is delicious. And, there are other delicious and outstanding 2017 California Rosés that I tasted this year for the first time including Marietta OVR and Onesta. So, at this point, I am quite encouraged since I found so many new really good California rosés this year. As for the future? Vamos a Ver! But, next year I will try many more and hopefully find more California rosés that I can recommend as well as rosés from other parts of the U.S. as well.

2017 Bedrock Wine Company Ode to Lulu California Old Vine Rosé Wine
This is consistently one of the very best rosés made in California. The Bedrock Wine Company owner and winemaker, Morgan Twain-Peterson, makes the wine to pay homage to Lulu Peyraud of Domaine Tempier fame. And, Domaine Tempier is, year in and year out, one of the very best rosés in the world. The fruit for the Ode to Lulu rosé is sourced from California old vine Mediterranean grape varieties on old vines planted between 1888 and 1922. The 2017 is comprised of 75% Mourvèdre and 25% Grenache. The color is pale reddish pink and the wine has a lovely floral/herbal perfume with red fruit nuances. Very elegant, yet lush and rounded with lots of floral tinged red fruit flavors also showing a subtle tinge of apricot and peach with a citrus tinge on the finish, this is a really delicious rosé – Outstanding Plus.     $21.99

2017 Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris de Cigare
Owner winemaker Randall Grahm is making some wonderful balanced and food friendly wines that are very attractively priced (to read my article on Bonny Doon click here). Also, Bonny Doon, Ridge, and a group of  6 Lodi wineries known as The Lodi Native (to read about them click here  and to visit their website and learn even more click here ) are the only California wineries listing ingredients on the label (to read my articles about ingredient labeling on California wines and why it is important click here).
The Vin Gris de Cigare is always a blend of Rhone varietals. This 2017 is 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne , 5% Carignane, and 5% Cinsault. It has a pale salmon pink color with a golden edge and a floral perfume with tinges of berry fruits. Very finesse with lovely very pure floral tinged fruit the wine is well structured and flavorful with a faint citrus undertone. This is a lovely beautifully balanced rosé – Outstanding.     $18

2017 Chalone Vineyard Chalone Appellation Rosé of Pinot Noir
Pale red in color with a faint golden edge this rosé has a lovely berry tinged perfume with a floral tinge. On the palate, it has very nice delicate fruit flavors with hints of berries and cherries and a nice underlying citrus tinge – Highly Recommended Plus.       $23

2017 Clendenen Family Vineyards Mondeuse Rosé “Bien Nacido Estate Plantings” Santa Maria Valley
Jim Clendenen of  Au Bon Climat makes some really delicious wines with an emphasis on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But, first and foremost, Jim really loves wine and loves to make many different kinds of wines. Small lots of unique wines are made under the Clendenen Family Vineyards label. This rosé is a prime example (to read more about Jim and Au Bon Climat click here).
Mondeuse is a black grape variety mostly grown in the Alps region of France with some small plantings in other areas such as California. The California Mondeuse has been described as being like a spicy Syrah. This unique rosé is delicious! Pale pink in color with a golden edge the wine has a lovely floral perfume with a faint tinge of spice. On the palate, it has subtle nuances of berry and cherry fruit with hints of floral spice. Rounded, supple, and flavorful it is also expressive with a nice underlying citrus tinge – Outstanding.     $18

2017  Marietta Cellars OVR “Old Vine Rosé” California
I have been very impressed with this winery for many years. Marietta Cellars consistently produces really nice wines at very affordable prices. Here is what I had to say in an earlier article: In a world of many over-hyped, over extracted, and over-priced California red wines, there are a few exceptions that stand out like beacons on a foggy night. One is Marietta Cellars. The history of Marietta Cellars goes back nearly 40 years. It is a true American success story that merits the attention of every red wine drinker who wants to drink really good honest wines at honest prices. Now in the hands of the second generation, Marietta Cellars was founded by Chris Bilbro in 1978. Chris was inspired by his aunt Marietta hence the origin of the name. This family link carries through the history of Marietta Cellars right up to today.(To read more about Marietta Cellars and their wines click here).
This is the first time I have tasted Marietta Cellars Rosé and it is a revelation. It is simply an outstanding rosé at a great price. Don’t miss this one. The wine is made with Syrah, Grenache Noir, and Grenache Gris made from grapes grown on vines that include some of the oldest examples of these varietals in California. The color is very light pink with a golden hue and the wine has a subtle floral perfume with a faint exotic tinge. Very elegant and beautifully balanced with subtle red fruit flavors showing a floral nuance and a citrus tinge on the finish this is really delicious – Outstanding.       $12.99     Best Buy

2017  Onesta Rosé of Cinsaut Bechthold Vineyard Lodi, CA
Cinsault or Cinsaut is a red wine grape that is a major component in many French rosés. The grape first was planted in California in the 1860s, but the acreage planted is still very small. This is my first tasting of this wine and it is a delicious under the radar rosé! Pale orange pink in color with a golden hue it has a lovely floral perfume with a kiss of spice. Very pure and vibrant with hints of strawberry fruit and underlying floral and citrus tinge the wine is balanced, zesty, and really tasty –  Outstanding.     $16.99

The 2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Rosés were released earlier this year. These notes appeared previously in my article on the Tablas Creek Vineyard spring releases (to read that article click here). Year after year Tablas Creek Vineyard Rosés rank with the best rosés in the world. Don’t miss them.

2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé Paso Robles
This is a consistently great rosé in the style of the great rosés from Provence. The 2017 production was 3770 cases as compare with 3000 cases in 2016. Grenache represents 64% of the blend with Mourvèdre 29%, Syrah 5%, and Counoise 2%. The grapes come from eight top Rhône vineyards located in seven Paso Robles appellations. With a very pale amber gold color showing a golden hue the wine has a lovely perfume of peach, honeysuckle, and strawberry with a tinge of apricot. Bright and crisp with subtle nuances of peach, melon, strawberry, and a touch of citrus this is a beautifully rendered and very pure rosé that is irresistibly delicious – Outstanding Plus.   $25

2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Dianthus Adelaida District Paso Robles
This rosé is named for a type of flower with a pink color that is known as “pinks.” The 2017 Dianthus Rosé is made from 47% Mourvèdre, 39% Grenache, and 12% Counoise taken from the oldest section of vines propagated from cuttings from Château de Beaucastel. The 2017 production was 1500 cases up from the 900 cases produced in 2016. Always packed with fruit, this 2017 Dianthus seems even more lush, elegant, and complex this year. Very light reddish pink in color with a faint golden hue and golden edge the wine has a gorgeous floral perfume with a kiss of spice and underlying hints of raspberry, strawberry, and watermelon. Very elegant and loaded with fruit including plum, raspberry, strawberry, and cranberry with a floral citrus tinged finish, this is an absolutely stunning rosé. Last year I said that the 2016 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé represented the pinnacle in domestic rosé. Now I can make it twin peaks by making the same statement about this 2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Dianthus Rosé.  Don’t miss it!   Extraordinary.     $30

 FRANCE

France is the world leader in the production of rosés and exports about 25% of its rosé production with about half of that going to the United States.  In France you will find many of the greatest rosés as well as many great values. France and the United States consume about 50% of rosé in the world. And, even though France produces the most rosé of any country in the world, it also is a net importer of rosé primarily from Italy and Spain. Some 30% of French wine consumption is rosé which is about 10 times the United States current consumption. In the United States we are seeing French rosés from more and more areas. However, the leading area for rosés is Provence. Provence not only leads the world in the production of rosés, but also produces more great rosés than anywhere else in the world. And, more and more of them are coming to the United States. The prices here are generally in a range of $15 to $30 with a few of the best ones in the $40 range. Yet from many areas in France some lovely rosés can also be found at single digit prices. In short, there is an abundance of French Rosés which represent some of the best wine values in the world.

 

Beaujolais

In recent years we are seeing more rosés from Beaujolais and as you would expect the wines are defined by fruit, delicacy and finesse.

 

2017 Château Thivin Beaujolais Villages Rosé
This rosé is made from Gamay Noir a jus blanc grown on vines that are 5o years old. Very light pink in color with a golden hue the wine has a lovely floral tinged strawberry perfume. On the palate it is very fruity with strawberry and raspberry nuances and is beautifully balanced. Very elegant and finesseful, yet showing lots of fruit and flavor this is a really lovely easy to drink rosé with a lot of charm – Outstanding.       $20      Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant   Berkeley, CA

 

2017 Domaine Les Gryphées Beaujolais Rosé
Les Gryphées means sea shells and sea shells are prevalent in the soil where the grapes for this wine are grown. This is another really charming Beaujolais rosé. It is very light pink in color with a golden edge and has a lovely floral tinged raspberry perfume. Very elegantly rendered, the wine has lovely subtle fruit with hints of raspberry and strawberry with a floral nuance and a nice underlying crispness – Outstanding.      $14        Best Buy       Imported By North Berkeley Wine Berkeley, CA

  

Bordeaux

I have not found many Bordeaux rosés. But, they can be good values as represented by the notes on the wines below.

2017 Château Lamothe Miette Bordeaux Rosé
This Bordeaux Rosé is made with Cabernet Franc. It is pale reddish pink in color with a lovely floral tinged perfume. It has subtle red fruit flavors with a floral tinge and is balanced with nice underlying crispness. Very easy to drink this is a really lovely rosé at a very affordable price – Highly Recommended Plus.       $13.99      Imported by Shiverick Imports  Los Angeles, CA

 

 

2017 Les Portes De Bordeaux Rosé
This wine is a Bordeaux grape blend. It is also an incredible value. Pale pink in color with a subtle floral perfume and hints of berry fruit, it is very fresh and clean with berry fruit that is delicate and vibrant. Charming and very easy to drink the price of this wine is simply amazing – Highly Recommended.      $5.99      Imported by Latitude Wines Inc. Danville, CA

Burgundy

Historically Burgundy has not produced very many rosé wines. Marsannay is the northern most village in Burgundy and only assumed village status is 1987. In Marsannay several producers do make really good Rosé. Marsannay Rosés are structured and flavorful and capable of aging for a very long time (to read an article on old Marsannay Rosés click here). However, outside of Marsannay, I have come across only two rosés from Burgundy. The best is the lovely 2017 rosé from the great White Burgundy producer Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey which is reviewed below.

2017 Regis Bouvier Marsannay Rosé
Pale orange in color with a golden hue and golden edge this rosé has a gorgeous floral perfume with a hint of raspberry and a tinge of orange zest. Bright, crisp and finesseful with lovely underlying floral tinged raspberry fruit, the wine is structured, balanced, and very flavorful. It is a pleasure to drink now, but will age gracefully for many years into the future – Outstanding Plus.        $26        Imported By Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA

 

2017 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Rosé de Pinot Noir Hautes Cotes de Beaune
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey is one of the great young White Burgundy producers. This is the second year that he has made this wine. The fruit comes from 56-year-old Pinot Noir vines grown in the Hautes Cotes de Beaune in the village of Cormot-le-G-rand near Saint-Aubin. This is a really lovely rosé.
Light pink in color with a faint golden hue and golden edge the wine has a lovely perfume with a faint tinge of cherry fruit and a faint floral nuance. With lovely citrus tinged subtle berry fruit the wine is crisp yet balanced and is flavorful while still retaining a lot of finesse. This is a beautifully crafted rosé that is very easy to drink – Outstanding.       $31.50       Imported by Skurnik Wines   New York, NY

 

Corsica
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. Year in and year out they are some of my very favorite rosés. If you have not tried them now is the time!

2017 Clos Alivu Patrimonio Rosé
This wine is made from 100% Niellucciu grapes grown on 50-year-old vines. It has a pale salmon pink color with a faint golden edge and has a gorgeous faintly exotic perfume with hints of rose petals. This is a rosé with lots of finesse and lovely very pure fruit with floral undertones. It has a nice crispness on the finish which accentuates its appeal and is delicious and very easy to drink – Outstanding.          $22          Imported by Jeff Welburn Selection for Wine Agencies, Inc.  Los Angeles, CA

2017 Domaine de Marquiliani  Haut Corse Rosé Gris de Marquiliani
The Amalric family purchased this domaine in the 1950s and replanted the vineyards. This was some 20 years after the 200-year-old domaine was destroyed by fire and abandoned. Importer Kermit Lynch says drinking the Domaine De Marquiliani rosés is like “drinking a cloud.” That’s quite an image and it gives you some idea of the delicacy of these wines. They are simply amazing.
This rosé is made with 90% Sciaccarellu and 10% Syrah. It has the palest color imaginable with only a blush of pink and a gorgeous floral perfume with a faint exotic tinge. Delicate yet flavorful with subtle hints of melon intermingled with a very faint suggestion of fresh herbs the wine is impeccably balanced and very distinctive – Outstanding Plus.        $28        Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant    Berkeley, CA

2017 Domaine de Marquiliani Haut Corse Rosé Gris de Pauline
This rosé is made with 50% Syrah, 40% Sciaccarellu, and 10% Vermentino grown on vines that are over 50 years old. It has a very pale color with a very faint yellow hue and has a gorgeous perfume with an exotic tinge. Very finesseful with gorgeous balance the wine is very pure and exhibits subtle hints of melon with a faint exotic citrus nuance. This is a very distinctive and delicious rosé – Outstanding Plus.        $28        Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant    Berkeley, CA

2017 Yves Leccia Domaine D’ E Croce Patrimonio Rosé
This rosé is made with 80% Niellucciu and 20% Grenache  grapes harvested from vines averaging over 20 years of age. It has a light reddish pink color with a golden edge and a subtle floral perfume. Delicate and finesseful with very pure fruit showing a tinge of raspberry with an underlying floral note the wine is beautifully balanced with a faint underlying citrus tinge on the finish – Outstanding Plus.        $29        Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant    Berkeley, 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 than the entire United States. The area also produces lovely rosés. They are increasingly appearing here and generally they are very good values.

Corbières
Corbières is the largest appellation in the Languedoc-Roussillon covering some 33,000 acres and producing almost 50% of the region’s wine production. Red wine accounts for about 95% of the wine production of Corbières with Carignan being the most common grape variety. About 3 ½ % of production is rosé and 2% white making up the balance.

 

2017 Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières Gris de Gris
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, what are you waiting for?
The 2017 is once again really delicious! With a very pale golden pink color it has a gorgeous floral perfume with an exotic tinge and faint hints of citrus. On the palate the wine has lovely complex fruit with melon and strawberry nuances and floral and citrus undertones. Very elegant and showing lots of finesse yet with lots of flavor this is really irresistible and not to be missed – Outstanding Plus.    $16     Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant  Berkeley, CA

Côtes Catalanes
The Côtes Catalanes is in the Roussillon region of Southern France about 30 miles north of Spain. This area was ceded to France in the mid 17th century and is still known as “French Caledonia” today. It is particularly known for Grenache and Syrah.

2017 Penya Côtes Catalanes Rosé
Penya is the name of the wine cooperative in the village of Cases de Pene. This wine is made from 96% Grenache Noir and 4% Syrah. It has a pale pink color with a golden hue and a gorgeous floral perfume with faint hints of melon and cherry with a kiss of spice. Bright and crisp yet balanced with lots of finesse the wine has subtle fruit flavors of melon and cherry with a faint floral undertone and tinge of citrus on the finish. This is a delicious rosé and a great buy  –Outstanding.     $13     Best Buy    Imported by Hand Picked Selections   Warrentown, PA

Languedoc
The Languedoc is a general term for certain areas within the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.

2017 Gèrard Bertrand Côte de Roses Languedoc Rosé
This wine is made with Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault and comes in a gorgeous glass bottle with a glass stopper. It is also a lovely rosé with a very pale salmon pink color and a nice floral perfume. The fruit is delicate and subtle with faint berry nuances accented by a floral undertone and the wine is balanced and finesseful – Highly Recommended.        $11.99       Imported by USA Wine West LLC   Sausalito, CA

Minervois
Minervois is one of the oldest wine producing areas in the Languedoc. The wine history here dates back to pre-Roman times. Minervois takes its name from Minerve, a village near the Mediterranean coast in the Southern French foothills.  The village is named after the Greek goddess Minerva and there are cave paintings here dating back more than 30,000 years. Minervois achieved AOC status in 1985 and covers some 11,000 acres.

2017 Château Du Donjon Minervois Rosé
This property has been in the Panis family for 500 years! This wine is made from 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 30% Cinsault. Very pale pink in color with golden hue it has a lovely floral perfume with hints of melon and a tinge of strawberry. On the palate there is lovely floral tinged fruit with subtle hints of melon, papaya, and strawberry. This is a very elegant and finesseful rosé that is beautifully balanced with lots of appeal – Outstanding Plus.      $16      Imported by Hand Picked Selections   Warrentown, PA

Pays d’Oc
The Pays d’Oc territory stretches along the Mediterranean Sea through four departments in the Languedoc-Roussillon.

2017 Villa Des Anges Old Vines Rosé Pays d’Oc
Villa des Anges is in Capestang and situated on the ruins of and ancient Roman villa. The wine is made from 100% old vines Cinsault. This 2017 rosé is again stunning and a great buy. Very pale salmon pink in color with a golden hue it has a gorgeous peach and strawberry tinged perfume with a faint exotic nuance. Loaded with fruit showing hints of  melon, peach, and strawberry the wine is flavorful and beautifully balanced yet maintains great finesse and a nice crispness on the finish – Outstanding Plus.        $13       Best Buy         Imported by Hand Picked Selections  Warrentown, PA


2017 Le Cirque Pays d’Oc Rosé
This wine is named after an amphitheatre-shaped bowl of vines. It is made by the Les Vigerons de Tautavel Vingrau (VTV) cooperative in the village of Tautavel from grapes grown on vines averaging 15 to 20 years in age. It is composed of 60% Cinsault and 40% Grenache Noir. Pale pink in color with a golden hue and a golden edge this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with hints of strawberry and citrus. It has lovely very pure fruit with hints of stawberry and is finesseful and elegant with a citrus tinge on the finish – Outstanding.        $15        Imported by Hand Picked Selections   Warrentown, PA

2017 Domaine de Malavielle Pays d’Oc Charmille Rosé
This estate has been in Mireille Bertran’s family for 6 generations. It is an estate with a long history that has dinosaur footprints and Gallo-Roman architectural remains. The wine is made from 50% Syrah, 25% Cinsault, 15% Mouvèdre, and 10% Grenache.
With a pale pink color and golden edge this rosé has a faintly floral perfume. On the palate it is rounded and supple with hints of raspberry showing a floral nuance and a nice underlying crispness. Beautifully balanced this is a really lovely rosé with lots of charm – Outstanding.      $17     Imported by Hand Picked Selections   Warrentown, PA

Pic Saint Loup
Pic Saint Loup is a commune of the Côteaux du Languedoc located just inland from Montpellier. In a very dry region, this commune has a particular microclimate with cool nights influenced by the mountain Pic Saint Loup. Pic Saint Loup is considered to be one of the best wine growing districts in the Languedoc.

2017 Château de Lancyre Le Rosé Pic Saint Loup
This Château was originally built in the 1500’s on the ruins of a 12th century fort. Records of winemaking here date back to 1550!
The wine is made with 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Cinsault. With a pale pink color and golden edge this rosé has a lovely perfume with hints of strawberry and a faint floral nuance. On the palate it is soft and rounded with lovely fruit and a lot of finesse and a nice underlying crispness adds to the appeal. In a word it is delicious – Outstanding Plus.       $19        Imported by Hand Picked Selections   Warrentown, PA.


Sable de Camargue
The Sable de Camargue is a very unique wine area. It is a coastal plain with sandy soils extending between water, reedbeds, dunes, and pine forests.  The sands do not contain clay or silt which makes the vines immune to phylloxera.

2017 Vignobles Jean Jean Domaine Le Pive Sable de Camargue Gris (Rosé)
Domaine Le Pive is located in the wilderness of the Camargue national park. This rosé is made with 30% Grenache Gris, 30% Grenache Noir, 30% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc organic grapes. It has a pale salmon color with a golden edge and a lovely perfume with floral, strawberry and melon nuances. With lovely fruit showing citrus tinged strawberry and melon the wine is very elegant and balanced and very easy to drink – Outstanding.       $17       Imported by Hand Picked Selections     Warrentown, PA.

 

2017 Vignobles Jean Jean Domaine Le Pive Vie de Boheme Sable de Camargue Rosé
This wine is made with 100% Grenache Gris organic grapes selected from the vineyards best parcels. It is very pale salmon pink in color with a golden hue and golden edge. With a gorgeous floral and peach perfume the wine is superbly finesseful and elegant with delicious floral tinged fruit showing peach and citrus and an underlying exotic tinge. Superbly balanced, complex, and delicious this is a stunning rosé – Extraordinary.     $28    Imported by Hand Picked Selections    Warrentown, PA.

2017 Domaine Figueirasse Gris de Gris Vin de Sables Sable de Camargue
This rosé has a pale pink color with a golden hue and golden edge and a nice perfume with hints of strawberry and a floral nuance. Delicate and fruity with hints of strawberry and an underlying citrus tinge the wine is finesseful and very easy to drink and is a very good value  – Highly Recommended Plus.      $12     Imported by North Berkeley Wine   Berkeley, CA

Loire Valley
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 rosés from Bourgueil (Cabernet Franc) and Reuilly (Pinot Gris).

 

Bourgueil
Bourgueil incorporates 7 communes on 3,459 acres of the gently sloping right bank of the Loire river near Chinon. It is somewhat unusual in the sense that it is dedicated solely to reds and rosés made from the Cabernet Franc grape.

2017 Domaine Audebert et Fils Bourgueil Rosé
This rosé has a pale reddish pink color with an unusual perfume of herbs and licorice which dissipates with air to reveal berry fruit. On the palate the wine is delicately fruity with raspberry tinges and a nice underlying crispness. Overall, the wine has a certain appeal and finesse and if you are adventuresome it is worth trying – Highly Recommended.          $18.50       Jeff Welburn Selection      Wine Agencies, Inc      Van Nuys, CA

 

Chinon
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.

2017 Charles Joguet Chinon Rosé
This rosé has been imported by Kermit Lynch since the 1970s and was one of the early really good rosés on the market. Over the years, I have had many really delicious bottles of this wine and it ages very well. This 2017 is typical. It has a pale salmon pink color with a faint reddish tinge and a golden hue and a lovely floral tinged cherry perfume. Crisp and bright there is cherry tinged fruit intermingled with floral notes and hints of citrus. This rosé is a lovely accompaniment to flavorful summertime foods. It is especially delightful with a nice chill accompanied by something off the grill – Outstanding.         $22         Imported By Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant        Berkeley,  CA

Provence

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 where it is ideally suited to the climate and the food. Provence produces more great Rosés that any other area in the world and most of it is consumed in France. In recent years sales of Provence Rosé in the United States have been growing rapidly. The reason is very simple. Provence Rosés are some of the best rosés in the world. And, amazingly the prices here are generally in a range of $15 to $30 with a few of the best ones in the $40 range.

Bandol
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 very flavorful. 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 many years. Without question Bandol Rosés are consistently some of the best rosés in the world. And, the 2017s are really gorgeous! In fact, as a group they may be the best I have ever tasted.  And, the Domaine Tempier, while always great, is really extra special this year!

2017 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rosé
This estate has been owned by the Comte Henri de Saint-Victor and family for the last 40 years. It is situated at the top of La Colline du Télégraphe in the northernmost part of Bandol in an amphitheater of vines near the Mediterranean Sea. This area receives some 300 days of sunshine per year and the vines here are over 40 years old. This rosé is made from 65% Mourvèdre and 35% Cinsault.
Very light orange in color with a golden hue and golden edge the wine has a gorgeous perfume showing subtle hints of apricot and mango with faint floral and herbal tinges. It is flavorful, rounded, and even quite lush yet with backbone. Apricot tinged flavors show herbal spice nuances and a citrus tinge. All in all, this is an absolutely delicious rosé with complexity, depth of flavor, and great balance with a nice underlying crispness – Extraordinary.      $30        Imported by Michael Skurnik Wines    New York, NY

2017 Domaine Du Gros’ Nore’ Bandol Rosé
This estate consists of some 36 acres of vines over 35 years old. The vineyards are located only a few hundred yards from those of Domaine Tempier. The wine is made from 40% Mourvèdre, 40% Cinsault, and 20% Grenache. For many years Alain Pascal and his father sold their fruit to Domaine Ott and Chateau de Pibarnon. After his father’s death, Alain named the estate for his father, Honoré Gros Noré, which means Big Honoré with the name Honoré shortened to Noré. Honoré was a giant of a man and Pascal is cut from the same mold. The first wines were made here beginning with the 1997 vintage. Having said that, the Domaine has already established itself as one of the best and most consistent producers of Bandol Rosé.
Light salmon pink in color with a golden hue and golden edge this rosé has a great complex perfume interlaced with floral, herbal, and spice nuances and hints of melon and strawberry. With great fruit and flavor the wine has intensity and impeccable balance. Floral, herbal, and spice tinges add complexity and there is a nice crispness on the finish. This is a really stunning rosé that drinks beautifully now, but will age for many years into the future – Extraordinary.    $35     Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant  Berkeley, CA

 

2017 Domaine Tempier Bandol 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. They won their first gold medal in 1885 so they have a long track record of excellence. And, year in and year out for as long as I can remember this rosé is superb. It combines complexity with finesse and flavor in a way that defines the very best rosés. And, it ages very well and after a few years develops even more complexity. This is a wine I buy every year and during the year I often drink old ones. They drink beautifully young or old.
Made with 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, and 20% Cinsault grapes grown on vines that average over 20 years of age, this rosé has a very pale orange color with a golden hue and gold edge and a stunning floral perfume accented by hints of apricot. With great intensity and flavor on the palate the wine is impeccably balanced and has lots of very pure apricot tinged fruit intermingled with floral, herbal, and citrus nuances. It is full and lush, but also very well defined with lots of finesse. In short, this is an absolutely great rosé to drink now or to lay away for memorable drinking for many years to come – Extraordinary Plus.      $40       Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant  Berkeley, CA

2017 Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rosé
This rosé is made from grapes grown on 13-year-old vines. It consists of 50% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, and 25% Cinsault. Very pale pink in color this rosé has a lovely perfume with subtle hints of strawberry and citrus with a faint floral nuance. It is flavorful and lush yet with elegance and finesse. With very pure fruit showing faint hints of apricot and strawberry the wine is balanced and delicious with a nice underlying crispness – Outstanding Plus.      $34        Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant  Berkeley, CA

2017 Domaine de la Tour du Bon Bandol Rosé
This domaine is located in the northwest portion of the appellation. The vines here average nearly 40 years of age. The blend of grapes can vary from year to year, but typically consists of 35% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 25% Mourvèdre, and 10% Clairette. With a very pale orange color showing a golden hue and golden edge this rosé has a gorgeous floral perfume with faint hints of peach and a tinge of spice. Beautifully balanced and flavorful with lovely fruit showing hints of peach and strawberry the wine also has a nice crispness and is very stylistic and finesseful.  This is a really lovely Bandol Rosé – Outstanding Plus.       $32         Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant  Berkeley, CA

 

Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
The Coteaux d’Aix en Provence is the second largest appellation in Provence covering nearly 10,000 acres. About 85% of the wine production is rosé.

 

2017 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé
This commanderie was founded by the Templar knights in the 13th century and has a long vinticultural  history. The wine is made with 30% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cinsault, 5% Rolle, 2% Carignan, and 2% Counoise. The vines average age is over 30 years. Year in and year out this is one of my very favorite rosés and this 2017 is another winner. The wine has a very pale salmon pink color with a faint golden hue and a lovely perfume of peach and strawberry with a floral spice nuance. As usual it is very flavorful and impeccably balanced. Subtle nuances of strawberry and citrus are intermingled with a floral nuance and there is a nice underlying crispness. In short, this is just plain delicious – Outstanding Plus.       $20          Imported by Handpicked Selections  Warrentown, PA

 

2017 Commanderie de la Bargemone Cuvée Marina Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé
Cuvée Marina is the name used for Bargemone’s prestige bottlings. I don’t ever recall tasting this wine. And, now that I have, I will guarantee you that I will not forget it. It is intense with great flavor as well as finesse. The wine is made with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 10% Counoise. It has a very pale salmon pink color with a golden hue and golden edge and a great perfume with hints of strawberry and a very faintly exotic floral nuance with faint tinges of spice and honey. On the palate the wine has great flavor with complex nuances of strawberry and mango intermingled with floral spice and is beautifully balanced with impressive richness. This is an absolutely stunning rosé – Extraordinary.       $35        Imported by Handpicked Selections  Warrentown, PA

2017 Moonlight and Rosés Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé
This is a delicious rosé that is also a great buy. It has a very faint salmon pink color with a golden hue and golden edge. The floral perfume is lovely with faint hints of peach an citrus and it is finesseful yet flavorful. Subtle hints of peach are intermingled with floral citrus notes and the wine is balanced with a nice crispness on the finish – Outstanding.                $8.99                 Best Buy     Imported By Mr. Can   San Francisco, CA   

Côtes de Provence
The Côtes de Provence is the largest appellation in the Provence wine region. It covers roughly 50,000 acres with 85% of the production going into rosé. The grapes used for rosé are Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, and Tibouren. There are many Côtes de Provence Rosés available here although many more are available in France. Without question this area is responsible for more great rosés than anywhere else in the world. In recent years sales of Provence Rosés in the US have been soaring. Two major brands have been created – Miraval and Whispering Angel – that are in wide spread distribution and have become two of the most popular French Rosés on the market. Also, Costco, under its Kirkland Signature Brand, now has a bargain priced Côtes de Provence Rosé.  But, there are also many other new Côtes de Provence rosés available now, with more coming in each year. So be adventuresome and try some new ones every year. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and well rewarded as I am every year.

2017 Château du Rouet Cuvée Réservée Tradition Côtes de Provence Rosé
This is a really lovely rosé that is very versatile and represents good value. It is pale salmon pink in color with a gorgeous floral perfume. On the palate it has lovely very pure peach tinged fruit with floral undertones and a citrus tinge. It is very flavorful and delicious and at the same time shows great finesse – Outstanding Plus.       $16.50        Imported by Vigneron Imports  Oakland, CA


2017 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. Absolutely delicious, this is yet another delicious Clos Beylesse.  The wine is very pale pink in color with a golden hue and has a lovely perfume with hints of peach intermingled with tinges of citrus and strawberry. Delicate with lots of finesse, yet flavorful with tinges of melon and peach it exudes charm. Impeccably balanced with a nice crispness on the finish this rosé is indeed special – Outstanding Plus.      $24.99      Imported by Wine Emporium    Brooklyn, NY    

2017 Domaine Ott Château De Selle Côtes de Provence Rosé Cru Classé
This is a great rosé from Domaines Ott which has a history dating back over 100 years. Today Domaines Ott is owned by Champagne Louis Roederer. Château De Selle is a historic site with some 360 acres of land about ½ of which is cultivated and is a designated Cru Classé Côtes de Provence. There are 14 wineries classified Cru Classé in the Côtes de Provence. This ranking was done in 1955. And, this area is one of only two areas in France where the classification is by wine estate. The other is Bordeaux where the classification was done a hundred years before in 1855.  All other classifications in France are by vineyard area, including Burgundy and Champagne. Unfortunately, most of the production of these Côtes de Provence Cru Classé wineries is consumed in France. However, a number of years ago we paid a visit to Provence and visited several wineries. It was a great time and we had many terrific wines. (Click to read my article THREE CRU CLASSÉ LADIES OF THE COTES DE PROVENCE).
This Cru Classé Rosé is exquisite. It has a very pale pink color with a golden hue and a gorgeous floral perfume with hints of peach and a tinge of citrus. With lots of flavor and vey pure fruit showing suggestions of peach with floral citrus undertones the wine is beautifully balanced and very expressive. It is a very special wine to savor and enjoy with a wide variety of foods –Extraordinary.       $45        Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines      Oakland, CA

2017 J.L. Quinson Côtes de Provence Rosé
If you are looking for a real deal in a lovely Côtes de Provence Rosé here it is. Pale salmon pink in color the wine has a lovely floral perfume with faint hints of peach. It is delicate and finesseful with faint hints of peach showing a floral undertone. Rounded and balanced with a tinge of citrus on the finish this rosé is a terrific buy – Highly Recommended Plus.      $7.99      BEST BUY     Imported by Advantage International Distributors Inc. Miami, FL

 

Rhone Valley
The Rhone Valley wine history dates back to around 600 BC in the Northern Rhone where the two most important grape varieties are Syrah and Viognier. In the 13th century vineyards in the Southern Rhone were cultivated and the red grape varieties include Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Cinsault.

Collines Rhodaniennes
The Collines Rhodaniennes is an area that corresponds to the Northern Rhone Valley.

2017 Cave de Tain “Première Note” Rosé de Syrah IGP Collines Rhodaniennes
This rosé is made from 100% Syrah. It is pale pink in color with a reddish hue and has a gorgeous perfume with hints of  cherry and berry fruit with floral spice undertones. The wine is brimming with a myriad of red fruits suggesting cherry, raspberry, and watermelon with a very faint exotic spice tinge. Lush and rounded the wine is beautifully balanced and retains a lot of finesse. All in all, this is a really gorgeous fruit driven rosé that is a very good value – Outstanding Plus.        $16        Imported By Hand Picked Selections  Warrentown, PA 

  

Tavel
Tavel is an area of just over 2000 acres dedicated solely to the production of rosé wine. It is across the river from Chateauneuf 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 other celebrities. Vines have been grown in the area since the 5th century.
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 are delicious young, but also can benefit from bottle age. They are unique and and very flavorful and are particularly suited to enjoyment with heartier foods. Along with red wines, I serve a Tavel every year with our Thanksgiving dinner (to read an article about the many wines that we served one year around the Thanksgiving holidays click here).

2017 Domaine des Carteresses Tavel
This Tavel is made with 50% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 13% Clairette, 12% Picpoul, and 10% Syrah. It is light red in color with a very faint pink hue and golden edge and a lovely perfume of raspberry, cherry, and strawberry. This myriad of red fruits carries through on the palate and is accented by a floral citrus note. Very flavorful with lovely balance this Tavel is finesseful and delicious – Outstanding Plus.             $11.99         Best Buy        Imported by Planet Wine    Richmond, CA

2017 Domaine Lafond Roc d’Epine Tavel
Family owned since 1780, in 1970 this domaine was named Roc d’Épine after the name of the owner’s favorite race horse. The wine is made with Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and other Rhone varietals.
It is light red in color with a faint golden edge and has a gorgeous perfume of cherry and watermelon with a floral undertone. On the palate there is great intensity and  an abundance of red fruits with watermelon, cherry, and strawberry flavors offset by a tinge of citrus. Rich and full with impeccable balance this is an absolutely stunning rosé – Extraordinary.      $16      Best Buy       Imported by Wines of France    Mountainside, NJ

Vin de France
Vin de France is the name used for the most basic quality tier of wines and also for wines that do not meet the appellation laws because the vineyards are outside of stated production areas or because the grape varities or vinification techniques do not conform to appellation laws.

2017 Pink Pégau Rosé Vin de France
This is a really great Vin de France wine. It is made from  grapes grown on vines averaging 35 to 60 years of age in Sorgues just south of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The wine is made from 80% Cinsault, 10% Grenache Rouge, and 10% Carignan. With a light pink color showing a reddish hue this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with hints of watermelon. It brimming with fruit and shows a complex myriad of red fruit flavors including raspberry and watermelon. Balanced and very flavorful while still maintaining a nice finesse this is a lushious fruit driven rosé that is delicious and easy to drink – Outstanding Plus.        $21         Imported by Handpicked Selections   Warrentown, PA

Savoie

The wines of Savoie are produced in an area located in the foothills of the Alps. The area is known for its white wines although there are some lighter red wines made here primarily from Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Mondeuse as well as some rosés.

2017 Les Rocailles Savoie Rosé
Made with 50% Gamay and 50% Pinot Noir from vines averaging 20-25 years of age this is a lovely beautifully balanced rosé. It is very pale salmon pink in color and has a lovely floral perfume with faint cherry and peach nuances. With lovely fruit and a faint citrus tinge the wine is flavorful and finessseful with a lot of charm – Outstanding.     $18       Imported by Hand Picked Selections     Warrentown, PA.

SPAIN

Spain is the second largest producer of rosés in the world. And, in recent years more and more Spanish rosés have appeared In the U.S. market. The reason is very clear. Most are really good and many of them are great bargains. So be adventuresome. If you have not yet tried Spanish rosés now is the time.  This is a good place to start as these are two that I particularly like. But, don’t hesitate to try others as well. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

 2017 Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina Rubentis Rosé
Just five minutes down the coast from San Sebastian, Ameztoi’s vineyards overlook the Atlantic Ocean. The Ameztoi family has been making wine here for seven generations, utilizing the indigenous Hondarribi Zuri and Hondarribi Beltza grapes.
Every year this rosé gets my award for having the most difficult to pronounce name and the most unusual grape varieties. That doesn’t change. And the style of the wine is unique – light, slightly spritzy, low in alcohol (10.5% this year), and very consistent from year to year in style.
This 2017 is very pale pink in color with a faint golden edge. It has a lovely floral perfume with hints of raspberry, cherry, and watermelon. Very light, elegant, and finesseful with a slight spritz, the wine has subtle floral notes that accent the raspberry and watermelon tinged fruit flavors. On the palate it is bright, crisp, and very refreshing with the delicious fruit offset by a faint tinge of citrus. And, as is the case year after year, this is a unique and extremely attractive rosé that is at its best served ice cold – Outstanding Plus.       $23       Imported by De Maison Selections, Inc.  Chapel Hill, NC

2017 Arrumaco Garnacha Rosé
I first tasted this wine from a BIB (bag in box) in the 2014 vintage (to read about the box and how good the wine is inside the box click here). I then wrote an article on the history and technology of BIB wine (to read that article click here). The bottom line on BIB is that if you want a wine at a very inexpensive price to keep in the refrigerator and drink over a period of weeks BIB is for you. That is with one caveat – make sure that the BIB wine is good! There are many BIB wines out there that are not so good. This Arrumaco Garnacha Rosé is exactly the same wine in both BIB and bottle. This 2017 is the best yet. And at the price $10 per 750ml bottle or $31 per 3L BIB (the equivalent of under $8 per 750ml bottle), it is simply a great buy!
Made from 100% Grenache grapes grown in Valencia, the wine is pale pink in color with a reddish tinge and a golden edge it has a lovely perfume with hints of rose petals and cherries. It has lots of cherry tinged fruit accented by a nice underlying crispness. This is a tasty, fruity, and finesseful rosé that will complement a wide variety of foods. If you are looking for a bargain priced everyday rosé, this wine is for you – Outstanding.     $10 or $31 per 3L BIB     BEST BUY     Imported by Hand Picked Selections  Warrenton, VA

 

Rosé Articles

Articles On Why Every Wine Lover Should Be Drinking Rosés

FOR THE LOVE OF ROSÉ

ROSÉ – IT’S TIME HAS COME

ROSÉ IS THE PERFECT ANTI-WINE

WHO SAYS FRENCH ROSÉS DON’T AGE?

WHEN TO TASTE, DRINK & ENJOY YOUNG WINES & WHAT ABOUT ROSÉ?

 

 

 

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