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As summer approaches and we need to cool down, rosé ticks off all the boxes. Chilled properly, it can be invigorating and even restorative, but since it’s made with red grapes it may offer fuller body and richer texture than many whites. Far from being just an easy-drinking summer libation, rosé has entered the luxury category, with some bottles being aged in wood barrels for additional flavor and structure.
While rosé wines have long been considered “cheap and cheery” at best or at worst inferior in quality to well-made white and red wines, these nine rosé wines will change even the harshest critic’s opinion. Many of them make excellent gastronomic matches, especially with sushi, grilled fish, veal chops, or Iberian pork.
Domaines Ott 2022 Château de Selle Rosé Côtes de Provence France
Marcel Ott founded Domaines Ott in 1912; today it consists of three different wineries that are owned and managed by Champagne Louis Roederer. Château de Selle is a 345-acre estate situated in the Côtes de Provence appellation with vines planted on sunny hillsides. The soils are predominantly stone with abundant limestone. This wine is pale pink in color with aromas of white flowers, vanilla, and citrus pith. It is fresh on entry with strong saline minerality and flavors of grapefruit peel and lemon zest. The finish is crisp and clean.
Robert Sinskey 2022 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir Los Carneros California
Made from organically farmed Pinot Noir grapes that are harvested and then whole-cluster pressed. The free run juice is fermented with no further contact with skins, stems, or seeds producing a wine that is very pale pink to almost gray in color, hence the name vin gris. It has aromas of rose petals, dried lavender, and tangerine peel. It offers flavors of white peach, nectarine, and lemon zest before the crisp clean finish.
Gerard Bertrand 2020 Clos du Temple Languedoc Cabrières
Cabrières, located in the Languedoc region of southern France, is considered by many to be the birthplace of rosé wines. Louis XIV was known to serve twine from here at royal dinners. The Clos du Temple vineyard is 29 acres divided into eleven distinct plots, with vines that are tended using biodynamic principles, including a horse drawn plow rather than motorized tractor. The wine is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Viognier and has aromas of rose petals, lavender, orange zest, and white flowers. It is soft at first sip, with flavors of citrus blossom, lemon curd, and wet river rocks. It has excellent mouthfeel and heft on the palate with a rounded juicy finish.
VieVité 2021 Extraordinaire Côtes de Provence
VieVité is produced by Domaine Sainte-Marie located just 12 miles from Saint Tropez. The winery has received organic certification from HVE Haute Valeur Environnementale and is known for water management and respect for biodiversity. A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Rolle, VieVité is pale pink in the glass. It has aromas of strawberry, citrus blossom, and tangerine peel. It is spicy on entry with flavors of freshly ground black pepper, dried sage, red raspberry, and white flowers and it’s very round in the mouth with great body and a silky finish.
Chateau Minuty 2020 Rose et Or Côtes de Provence France
Originally built under the order of Napoleon III, Château Minuty was purchased by Gabriel Farnet in 1936. He began replanting the entire estate and in 1955 it was recognized as a classified growth estate in the Côtes de Provence. This acclaimed wine is made using Grenache, Cinsault, and Rolle grown on soils comprised of clay, sand, and schist. It is pale pink in color with aromas of honeydew melon, Bartlett pear, and peach with flavors of nectarine, citrus flowers, and cantaloupe melon. It has a crisp and clean finish with a touch of savory herbs at the very end.
Le Coste 2021 Rosato Lazio Italy
This natural wine is darker in color than most rosé wines due to the fact it is made from Aleatico grapes grown in the Lazio region of Italy. It is allowed to sit on the skins and macerate before going to the press. Le Coste was started in 2004 by Clementine Bouveron and Gian Marco Antonuzi who farm 16 acres near the village of Gradoli in Lazio. They grow grapes on volcanic soils rich in iron and minerals. This deeply hued rosé wine has aromas of strawberries and red raspberries with a touch of smoke from the volcanic soils. In the mouth it has generous mouthfeel and flavors of red plum, peach, and guava with a pleasant note of iodine in the finish.
Chêne Bleu 2022 Rosé Vaucluse France
This beautiful property at the foothills of Mont Ventoux was once a medieval glass blowing workshop named La Verriére. It was acquired by Xavier and Nicole Rolet in 1993 and together they began restoring the estate and started producing Chêne Bleu rosé. This pale pink colored wine is allowed skin contact at pressing for 90 minutes and then undergoes cold fermentation in 75 percent stainless steel and 25 percent French oak barrels for five weeks. It has aromas of red raspberry and lime zest with flavors of white flowers, pink grapefruit peel, and red plum. The finish is rounded with a refreshing burst of acidity in the post palate.
Le Clos Peyrassol 2022 Rosé Côtes de Provence France
This pale pink rosé is made from 40 percent Cinsault, 30 percent Grenache, and 30 percent Tibouren. It is aged for 6 months on its lees in stoneware vats to preserve the fresh fruit flavors. It has enticing aromas of red raspberry, dried sage, Anjou pear, strawberry, and red raspberry. It is rounded on the palate with flavors of strawberries and cream, white peach, red plum, citrus blossom, and dried Mediterranean herbs. It has nice heft on the palate with a bright splash of acidity in the back of the throat on the close.
Château d’Esclans 2020 Rosé Côtes de Provence France
Sacha Lichine, son of renowned wine writer Alexis Lichine, purchased Chateau d’Esclans in 2006 with the vision to create world famous rosé wines. The Chateau is also home to the well-known wine produced under the Whispering Angel label. This higher end wine is pale pink in the glass with aromas of pineapple, anise, and candied ginger. It has flavors of tropical fruits, especially guava, mango, apricot, and caramelized pineapple with pronounced minerality and salinity on the finish.