Summer may be on the way out, but rosé season never really ends. Lucky for lovers of the pink, many retailers mark down rosés after the summer peak, making good deals even better. I recently tasted through a mixed bag of rosés and found some wines that could be enjoyed during any time of the year.
All wines were received as samples and tasted blind.
2012 Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosé
France, Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence
Pale grapefruit skin color. Smells zesty and oceanic, with grapefruit rind, wild cherry, sea shells, lemon zest. Very light and fresh, showing lots of acid. The fruit flavors taste a bit light, like lemon rind and grapefruit rind mixed with mineral water. It’s refreshing, just not all that complex or thought-provoking. Serve well chilled at a party, though, and I bet everyone will be happy. 67% Syrah and 33% Mourvèdre. (85 points IJB)
2012 Casa do Valle Vinho Verde
Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
Slight spritz in the glass with an incredibly vibrant ruby color, somewhere between a Provence rose and a California pinot noir. Smells of roses and sweet McIntosh apple. The palate is bright and tangy, with strawberry, red apple and sweet watermelon flavors. The acid and spritz make this so easy to drink. Notes of white pepper and hazelnut add some unexpected complexity. Seems like a really versatile wine. Made from the red grapes Vinhao and Rabo-de-Ovelha. What a bargain. (87 points IJB)
2012 Stinson Vineyards Mourvedre Rosé
United States, Virginia, Central Region, Monticello
Ruby red grapefruit juice color with a little bit of spritz. Smells like fresh bananas, watermelon, strawberry greens and a hint of salt. Tart on the palate, with fresh acid to balance out the rich watermelon and banana fruit. Hint of pepper as well. Crisp and fun, and one of the better Virginia rosés I’ve tasted in recent memory. (86 points IJB)
2012 Gary Farrell Rosé of Pinot Noir
United States, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
A copper-salmon color. Smells of watermelon, white cherries and a mix of red and white flowers. On the palate, this rosé is medium-bodied with tangy acid and a good amount of creaminess. The cherry and red apple fruit is bright and crisp, and it’s all backed up by saline and mineral tones. The finish is long and full of lemon zest and minerals. Delicious and complex, it all comes down to the quality of the fruit in this wine. (90 points IJB)
N.V. Peju Province Winery “Tess” Red & White Blend
United States, California, Napa Valley
Okay, so I’m not sure this officially qualifies as a “rosé” but oh well. It’s a medium ruby color, almost like a young pinot noir. Aromas of cherry, cranberry, cola and rhubarb. Very tangy and fresh on the palate, with lots of juicy cherries, McIntosh apples along with herbal notes. Very faint tannins and medium acid, it reminds me of a lighter-styled Pinot Noir. Turns out this is a Napa kitchen sink blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc aged for 10 months in neutral French oak. It has the color and red fruit of a red wine but the freshness of a rosé. Best served slightly chilled. (85 points IJB)
Wines Scoring <85 points
2012 Château de Sours Rosé
France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Rosé
A kind of salmon and rosewater color. It smells like a mix of wildflowers, the yellow ones, the purple ones, the honeysuckle, with some grapefruit as well. Light and crisp on the palate, with a flavor profile of melons, lemons and roses. The citrus finish has just a hint of pepper. Simple, but nice. 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc.
2012 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Syrah Rosé “Corallina”
United States, California, Napa Valley
Medium salmon color. This rosé shows aromas of melon rind, some cheese and some bell pepper. Brisk on the palate with crisp acid and snappy white cherry fruit. There’s this cucumber flavor that strikes me as odd, but it’s still a fun wine.