Wine Reviews: 2018 Rosés

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 04-28-2019

It’s Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the pink wines have started piling in. As such, this will be the one of several rosé reports this Spring/Summer, I’m sure. But this first batch has some real goodies.

I’m a big fan of Rioja producer C.V.N.E., and they make two different pinks that are seriously good for the money.

Most of the other rosés are from California, based on grapes like Pinot Noir, Grenache, Cabernet, Aglianico. Three non-saignée rosés from Sonoma’s Inman Family really wowed me. Inman started off the Endless Crush wines 15 years ago, making a single-vineyard wine from Olivet Grange Vineyard, but the winery has since expanded to include two other vineyard-designated pinks. They share bright, mineral-driven appeal and juicy fruit, but each has its own nuances and seasonings.

Lastly, there’s an exciting Pinot Noir rosé from Oregon producer Gran Moraine, whose wines have really impressed me over the years.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2018 C.V.N.E. Rioja Rosado Viña Real - Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
SRP: $13
Bright pink color. Aromas of magnolia blossoms, juicy papaya, orange, watermelon, with some spicy, herbal undertones. Creamy texture kept fresh with bright acidity. Watermelon, white peach and strawberry fruit. It’s juicy and inviting with ripe fruit but there’s a crisp, floral, mineral, spicy undertone that is really attractive. Solid depth and value, but so easy to drink. Garnacha, Tempranillo and Viura. (88 points)

2018 C.V.N.E. Rioja Rosado Cune - Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
SRP: $13
Juicy watermelon color, which follows onto the nose, with strawberries and crème, rose petals, white pepper and honeysuckle. Juicy and ripe on the palate with watermelon and strawberry fruit but there’s a brisk acidity and freshness to the wine. Notes of roses, white pepper and cinnamon add complexity. Bright, fresh, delish, so good for the price. 100% Tempranillo. (88 points)

2018 Bodegas Beronia Rioja Rosado - Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
SRP: $13
Pale copper color. Bright aromas of white cherries, strawberries, watermelon rind, with wild herbs and wildflowers. Zippy yet creamy on the palate with fresh white cherries, strawberries, red apple peel. Spicy notes of baby’s breath, honeysuckle, white pepper, some herbal tea elements. This Rioja rose has a salad and tapas-friendly appeal, and a good value. 55% Garnacha, 45% Tempranillo. (87 points)

2018 Etude Pinot Noir Rosé - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
SRP: $22
Bright pink color. Aromas of strawberries, red cherries, cinnamon candies, with lilies, honeysuckle. Juicy and ripe on the palate but it’s balanced by super refreshing acidity and a crisp, salty, nervy frame. Red apple, watermelon and cherry fruit mix nicely with sea salt, white and yellow flowers, white pepper, honeyed tea and an underlying mineral element. Vibrant and lively but quite complex and deep as well. (89 points)

2018 La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé - USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey
SRP: $25
Light pink color. Aromas pop with nettle, sliced cucumber, white tea, honeysuckle, over top of watermelon and lemon. Juicy on the palate with a creamy texture and medium acidity. Watermelon and lemon and white peach mix with nettle and spicy oregano notes. Fun, fresh, spicy stuff. (86 points)

2018 LangeTwins Aglianico Rosé River Ranch Vineyard - USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi
thumbnail (11)SRP: $20
Light pink color. Spicy aromatic burst of green herbs, rose hips and lambic beer with raspberry, white cherries, red apples. On the palate, this shows plump texture on a rich mouthfeel with medium acidity, and while there’s a bold texture and plenty of juicy cherry and watermelon fruit, there’s also lot of complex, spicy, herbal tones (rose petals, white pepper, rhubarb, nettle). A delicious rose that could pair well with all sorts of richer dishes. (89 points)

2018 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble RoséUSA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
SRP: $25
Deep copper color. So many melons on the nose (watermelon and cantaloupe), white peach, it’s floral but not too perfumed; there’s a lovely blend of roses, wildflowers and hay, like a breezy open field. Plush texture yet vibrant acid on the palate, juicy, tangy fruit (red apple, watermelon, red cherry). I get complex notes of herbs, earth, dried flower petals, and there’s a mineral undertone that’s really attractive. Delicious yet subtle, this rose really stood out. Blended from five parcels in estate vineyards in Mendocino. (91 points)

2018 Gamble Family Vineyards RoséUSA, California, Napa Valley
SRP: $20
Light copper color. The nose boasts juicy cherries and raspberries, and I get a lot of pepper, sage, mint, verbena, on top of chalk dust and white tea. Medium-bodied, creamy, there’s a lot of textural depth yet the acidity is vibrant. Crunchy apples and cherries, the fruit mixes nicely with spiced tea, white pepper, mint, I get lots of floral depth and chalky notes. Bold yet spicy, complex yet bright. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. (89 points)

2018 Castello di Amorosa Pinot Noir Rosé Cresta d’OroUSA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley
SRP: $39
Very pale salmon color. So fresh on the nose with strawberries, white cherries, candied apple, along with wildflowers and dandelion. Fresh and zippy on the palate with a light, tangy appeal and flavors of white cherries, watermelon, red apple. A chalkier, airier wine with lovely balance and nuance. Salty, floral, herbal, mineral tones add complexity. Bright and vibrant, but a lot going on here. All Pinot Noir from the Cresta d’Oro Vineyard in the Green Valley. (90 points)

2018 Anaba Grenache Rosé Landa Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
SRP: $28
Pale copper color. The nose shows bright raspberries, red apples, with spiced tea, nettle, baby’s breath. Crisp yet plump on the palate with juicy raspberries, strawberries, white cherries, on a frame of bright acidity. Crisp and salty, too, with floral and chalky notes. I lie the mix of fresh and spicy elements. This would be great with cured meats and olives. (88 points)

2018 Inman Family Pinot Noir Endless Crush Rosé Pratt Vine HillUSA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
thumbnail (9)SRP: $38
So fresh and inviting on the nose: red apples, white cherries, all sorts of fruit tree blossoms, along with sea salt and daisies. Zippy and vibrant on the palate, chalky and zesty on the palate but some nice depth and juicy fruit as well (strawberries, cherries, raspberries). Lots of floral tones in here (orange blossom, potpourri) with spiced tea elements and a chalky, mineral undertone. Impressive depth but so refreshing and easy to drink. (91 points)

2018 Inman Family Pinot Noir Endless Crush Rosé Pratt Sexton RoadUSA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
SRP: $38
The nose bursts with white cherries, strawberries, red apple, all sorts of fruit blossoms, dandelion, honeysuckle, breezy, salty air. Plush, luscious texture on the palate, but crisp, nervy acidity, with a vibrant, salty appeal. There’s a lot of floral and spicy complexity in here (honeysuckle, rose petals, white tea, ginger) and complex sea salt and mineral tones underneath. Lovely depth and richness here, with a finish like watermelon and mountain stream minerals. Beautiful Pinot Noir rosé. (92 points)

2018 Inman Family Pinot Noir Endless Crush Rosé OGV EstateUSA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
SRP: $38
So bright on the nose, with watermelon, lime, cherry, and plenty of chalk dust, sea spray, way too many floral notes to name. Zippy and crisp on the palate, bright but the depth is impressive. Juicy watermelon, guava and cherry fruit mixes well with saline, minerals, chalk, spiced tea, floral potpourri. Complex and deep yet zesty and clean, this is really delicious and lively stuff. (91 points)

2018 Smoking Loon Steelbird RoséUSA, California
SRP: $8
Light watermelon color. Aromas of strawberry, raspberry leaf, red delicious apple, with nettle and dandelion notes. Crisp and tart and light on the palate with fresh cherry, red apple fruit, with notes of crushed sweet tarts, dandelion, white pepper and honeysuckle. Juicy, fun, fresh, and with a suggested price of under $10, this brings a whole lot to the table. Barbera with 27% Syrah and 13% Grenache. (85 points)

2018 Gran Moraine Rosé of Pinot Noir - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
SRP: $28
Very pale copper color. Bright, airy, elegant nose of white pepper, rose petals, chalk dust, with white cherries, wild raspberries, and strawberry bushes. On the palate this is crisp and vibrant but there’s a lot of textural depth. Vibrant strawberries, red cherries, raspberries, with complex notes of rose petals, sea salt, white pepper, chalk dust. Bright and elegant, this has a crunchy, floral yet juicy feel that is all wrapped up nicely. (90 points)

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