The 2018 Rosés keep rolling in and it is clear that carefully selected there are many stunning wines. I have written 2 earlier articles on 2018 rosés and I would urge you to read them for more suggestions and background (to read my first 2018 rosé article click here and to read part 2 click here ). This article features a few rosés from California, Spain and Italy, but the focus is French Rosés. The simple reason is that not only does France produce the largest amount of rosé of any country in the world, it also produces the most great rosés including many rosés that are also the best values. In short, there are lovely rosés from Spain, Italy, Germany, California, and the US as well as other places, but be careful of just any rosé. This year I have had really poor rosés from New Zealand and South Africa. However, it is hard to find a bad or even mediocre rosé from France that comes from an area known for historically producing great rosés (such as Provence). So for the most great rosés, the most consistent really good rosés, and the most rosé values, France is the winner hands down. Without question, when in doubt, your best bet is a rosé from France. And, as I have often mentioned, be careful of California rosés with cute names (such as a color, food, flavor, or pet name) and also those that have no producer listed. These tend to be blatantly commercial and designed to attract novices who chose wines by “cute” names. Every one of these that I have tasted have been poor or mediocre at best. And this year there seem to be more than ever of these kinds of rosés on the market. So do not fall into this trap. P.T. Barnum said it best “There’s a sucker born every minute”. Caveat emptor !
Below ranked in order of preference are notes on 2018 French Rosés followed by a few notes on California and Italian rosés and note on a Spanish Rosé that is a really great bargain. Part 4 will follow later with notes on more French Rosés as well as notes on a few other rosés from other areas including many stunning German Rosés. Now is Rosé time and prime Rosé time will be here until after Thanksgiving and then return early next year. Buy and enjoy the 2018s while they are still available. Next spring/summer we will start to see the 2019s.
2018 Clos Beylesse Côtes De Provence Rosé
In the beautiful blue bottle, the Clos Beylesse is always one of the most delicious rosés from the Côtes De Provence and this 2018 is again stunning. It has a very pale pink color with a golden hue and a gorgeous floral perfume with hints of white peach and melon. Very elegant yet with lots of flavor there are again subtle hints of white peach and melon with a faint floral nuance and a nice citrus undertone. Stylistic and beautifully balanced this is a terrific rosé – Extraordinary. $24.99 Imported by Wine Emporium Brooklyn, NY
2018 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé
Consistently one of the most flavorful and very best rosés this 2018 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé is yet again a real winner. Pale golden orange in color with a golden hue and golden edge it has a deep floral perfume with subtle hints of fresh herbs, apricot, and citrus with just a tinge of exotic spice. This is a very elegant and harmonious Domaine Tempier Rosé that exudes charm and is irresistibly delicious. And should you have a few bottles left in the cellar a few years from now not to worry. Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé keeps beautifully and retains its fruit and complexity. I recently enjoyed a 2009 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé and it was delicious and showing no sign of fatigue. I would expect the same from this 2018 – Extraordinary. $38 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA
2018 Yves Leccia Domaine d’Ecroce PatrimonioRosé
This is a very distinctive and delicious rosé. It is pale orange in color with a golden hue and golden edge and has a gorgeous perfume with floral tinges and hints of strawberry and citrus. Flavorful yet with great elegance and finesse there are hints of strawberry with subtle floral nuances and a faint exotic tinge this is a stunning rosé – Extraordinary. $31 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA
2018 Yves Leccia Ile De Beauté YL Rosé
With subtle differences from the 2018 Yves Leccia Domaine d’Ecroce rosé, this wine is likewise a very distinctive and delicious rosé. It is blended with Sciaccarellu instead of Grenache. Pale pink in color with a golden hue and golden edge the wine has a gorgeous floral tinged perfume with hints of strawberry. On the palate it shows hints of strawberry with faint floral undertones tinged with spice and citrus. Very flavorful, yet elegant and lush with a nice underlying crispness this is a terrific rosé – Extraordinary. $28 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA
2018 Cave De Tain Première Note Rosé de Syrah Collines Rhodeniennnes
Very light salmon pink in color this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with a tinge of strawberry. With gorgeous strawberry floral tinged flavors accented by floral citrus nuances and just a tinge of spice it is rounded and beautifully balanced with a nice crispness on the finish – Outstanding Plus. $17 Imported by Hand Picked Selections Warrentown, VA
2018 Charles Joguet Chinon Rosé
This 2018 represents the 40th year that Kermit Lynch has imported this rosé. That is quite an achievement. And, for all those years the wine has been consistently delicious. Very pale orange pink in color with a golden hue this 2018 vintage rosé has a gorgeous floral perfume with hints of strawberry and cherry. And, on the palate, it has lovely lip-smacking fruit rendered in a very flavorful yet elegant and finesseful style. This is the lightest colored rosé from this producer that I can remember tasting. And it is also one of the best – Outstanding Plus. $19.99 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA
2018 Château D’ Aqueria Tavel
Tavel is the only area dedicated solely to the production of rosé. And what Tavels have in common is lots of fruit rendered in a rich, balanced, and flavorful style.
For many years this has been one of my favorite rosés to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. It is always very pure, lush and flavorful. This 2018 is true to form and, if anything, even perhaps a bit more on the lush side. And, need I say that it also is a great bargain?
The wine is light red in color and has a gorgeous perfume of cherry and berry fruit with a faint floral undertone. On the palate it is brimming with the same cherry and berry fruit with a faint floral tinge. Very pure with delicious fruit this is again a beautiful wine from this venerable Tavel. And, yes this will be one of the wines on our Thanksgiving table again this year – Outstanding Plus. $13.99 Best Buy Imported by Kobrand Corporation Purchase, NY
2018 Château Lancyre Le Rosé Pic Saint Loup Coteaux due Languedoc Rosé
This rosé is made with 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Cinsault. It is pale orange pink in color with a faint golden hue and has a lovely strawberry tinged perfume with a hint of citrus. Elegant and beautifully balanced with floral undertones and hints of strawberry and raspberry it has a nice underlying crispness and is very flavorful – Outstanding Plus. $20 Imported by Hand Picked Selections Warrentown, VA
2018 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, what are you waiting for?
Very pale pink in color with a golden hue this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with hints of melon. On the palate the wine has lovely fruit with a floral undertone and is very elegant and flavorful with beautiful balance showing a tinge of crispness on the finish. So once again this 2018 is stunning and a bargain – Outstanding Plus. $13.99 Best Buy Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA
2018 Domaines Ott Château De Selle Côtes de Provence Rosé
Very pale golden yellow color with a faint pink hue this well known and very popular rosé has a deep floral perfume with a tinge of peach. On the palate it has lovely fruit showing subtle hints or peach and melon with floral citrus nuances. Beautifully balanced and flavorful this is a really lovely rosé – Outstanding Plus. $45 Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines USA Inc. Oakland, CA
2018 Les Rocailles Savoie Rosé
Pale salmon pink in color with a faint golden hue this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with a faint exotic nuance and a kiss of spice. On the palate it has a melange of subtle fruit flavors including melon, white peach, and strawberry. With lots of finesse and a faint citrus undertone this is a lovely rosé with great style and elegance – Outstanding Plus. $18 Imported by Hand Picked Selections Warrentown, VA
2018 Villa Des Anges Old Vines Rosé Pays D’Oc
Year in and year out this is a delicious rosé that is a great value. Made with Cinsault it shows a faint salmon pink color with a golden edge and a gorgeous perfume with floral and fresh herb nuances. The flavors are well defined and show subtle hints of peach and strawberry with floral and citrus tinges. Elegant and flavorful with beautiful balance accented by a nice underlying crispness this is a delicious rosé at a bargain price – Outstanding Plus. $13 Best Buy Imported by Hand Picked Selections Warrentown, VA
2018 Commanderie De La Bargemone Coteaux D’Aix En Provence Rosé
With a different bottle and label in 2018 this is again a lovely wine defined by finesse. It is very pale pink in color with a faint salmon hue and golden edge and has a delicate perfume with exotic floral nuances. With great elegance and finesse the wine shows very subtle citrus tinged fruit and underlying citrus tinges – Outstanding. $21 Imported by Hand Picked Selections Warrentown, VA
2018 Penya Côtes Catalans Rosé
Made with Grenache Noir and Syrah this is a consistently really nice rosé at a very attractive price. It is very pale amber gold in color with a lovely floral spice perfume showing hints of melon. Elegant yet flavorful with suble citrus tinged melon fruit the wine is beautifully balanced and very easy to drink – Outstanding. $13 Best Buy Imported by Hand Picked Selections Warrentown, VA
Highly Recommended Plus
2018 De Mont Rosé Coteaux Varois en Provence
Very pale salmon pink in color with a golden hue this rosé has a suble floral perfume with hints of strawberry. Elegant and finesseful with delicate strawberry tinges showing a floral undertone it is very attractive with a nice crispness on the finish and represents good value – Highly Recommended Plus. $8.99 Imported by WX Imports Novato, CA
2018 Moonlight & Roses Rosé Coteaux D’Aix En Provence
Very pale golden pink in color this rosé has a lovely perfume showing floral nuances and is delicate and finesseful with subtle fruit flavors accented by a nice crispeness on the finish. It is balanced and very appealing at a reasonable price. And, yes, the name Moonlight and Roses is very enticing – Highly Recommended Plus. $9.99 Bottled For Provence Selection and Imported by Mr. Can San Francisco, CA
2018 J.L Quinson Rosé Côtes De Provence
This is a very nice rosé at an attractive price and it should be readily available. This bottle was number 1,809,089! It is pale salmon pink in color with a faint golden edge and has a lovely floral perfume with a kiss of spice. It is elegant and finesseful with faint hints of peach slowing a floral undertone and a nice citrus tinged finish – Highly Recommended. $7.99 Imported by Advantage International Distributors Miami, Fl
2018 St. Sagnol Rosé Coteaux Varois En Provence
Very pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a subtle floral perfume. It is light and elegant with delicate floral tinged flavors. Balanced and very easy to drink the wine is also easy on the the pocketbook – Highly Recommended. $6.99 Imported by Plume Ridge Claremont, CA
As I said in the introduction, California can make some very fine rosés. But, there are also ones that are not very interesting like some of those made a by-products from red wine and, worse yet, the insipid and purely commercial ones that have catchy names. Don’t be fooled by labels. It’s what in the bottle that counts. So like the the 2018 Tablas Creek Rosés that are always terrific (to read about those click here ) reviewed below is a note on one of the best and most consistent of all California Rosés (other California Rosé producers who rank with some of the best and consistent California Rosés include Bonny Doon Vineyard, Clendenen Family Vineyards, Marietta, and Onesta ) as well as a California Pinot Noir Rosé that I have never tasted before that is very fruity and attractive as well as being a very good value.
2018 Bedrock Wine Company Ode to Lulu California Old Vine Rosé
This is a relatively new winery (the first vintage was 2007) formed by Morgan Twain-Peterson, son of Joel Peterson, the founder of Ravenswood. It is named for the historic Bedrock Vineyard which was first planted in 1854. Today the 153 acre Bedrock Vineyard, with its 33 acres of old vines, is owned by Joel Peterson. Grapes for Bedrock Wine company wines are sourced from some of California’s oldest vineyards. This Ode to Lulu California Old Vine Rosé is consistently one of the very best rosés made in California. 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. This 2018 is really terrific and looks to be the best Ode to Lulu California Old Vine Rosé made to date.
Made from vines planted in 1888 and 1922 the wine has a very pale orange pink color with a golden hue and a gorgeous floral/herbal perfume with faint raspberry and apricot tinges. Beautifully balanced with great charm and flavor the wine shows floral nuances with hints of red berries and a touch of apricot with a faint exotic tinge followed by a nice underlying crispness. This is a truly wonderful rosé by any standard with great charm and complexity and is a real tribute to the great rosés of Domaine Tempier – Extraordinary. $21.99
2018 Martin Ray Vineyards and Winery Rosé of Pinot Noir Sonoma County
I don’t recall having ever tasted a Martin Ray Rosé. The winery has a long and storied history (to read that story and tasting notes on some of the old Martin Ray wines as well as a note on the “new” Martin Ray winery click here ).
This is a real bargain in an intensely fruit driven rosé. It has a lovely floral perfume with hints of strawberry and cherry. Soft, supple, rounded and fruity with very pure strawberry and cherry fruit accented by a floral and citrus undertone this a delicious rosé with great early appeal – Outstanding. $12.99 Best Buy
In Italy Rosés are known as Rosatos. And even though Italy is one of the largest producers of pink wine in the world the wines are not very well known in the US. But there are certainly some very nice Italian Rosés. Two Outstanding ones are reviewed below.
2018 Rocca Di Montegrossi Rosato Toscana
Made from 100% Sangiovese this rosé has a very light color. It is pale pink with a golden hue and has a lovely floral perfume with a red berry tinge. On the palate it has lovely berry fruit flavors and is beautifully balanced and elegant with a nice underlying crispness – Outstanding. $17.99 Imported by North Berkeley Imports Berkeley, CA
2018 Murga Etna Rosato
From Sicily this is lovely fruit driven rosé. It is pale pink in color with a golden orange hue and a golden edge and has a lovely strawberry tinged perfume with a faint citrus nuance. Crisp with strawberry tinged flavors showing floral citrus undertones the wine is elegant yet flavorful and delicious – Outstanding. $15 Imported by North Berkeley Imports Berkeley, CA
I rarely see a Portuegese Rosé, but below is a note on an outstanding 2018 that is also very good value.
2018 Lago Cerqueira Vinho Verde Rosé
Pale pink in color with a lovely floral citrus tinged perfume with just a kiss of spice the wine has delicate and very pure fruit yet it is also flavorful and very bright with a nice crispness and is very tasty and delicious – Outstanding. $9.95 Best Buy Imported by International Vines, Inc Santa Rosa, CA
Spain makes some really lovely Rosés that are very attractively priced. I do not see a lot of them in the marketplace, but when you see them they are worth buying. Below is a note on Arrumaco Rosé which is consistently really good and is a great bargain to boot. Beisdes the 750 ml bottle it is also available in a 3 liter box which is perfect for keeping in the refrigerator and enjoying whenever you are in the mood for Rosé (to read about this wine in a box packaging click here ).
2018 Arrumaco Vino de España Garnacha Rosé
The importer, Hand Picked Selections began importing this wine in the 2014 vintage. It is consistently really good and one of the greatest rosé values out there especially in the 3 liter box. This 2018 is a continuation of the trend.
Th wine has a light pink color with a golden hue and golden edge and a gorgeous perfume showing red fruits including cherry, raspberry, and watermelon with an underlying floral tinge. The red fruit is also much in evidence on the palate with a floral citrus tinge and a nice underlying crispness on the finish. This wine is a stunning value ! $9 $22.95 3 liter box Best Buy Imported by Hand Picked Selections Warrentown, PA
I will soon post notes on a few more 2018 French Rosés plus notes on many terrific 2018 German Rosés. Stay tuned !