Congratulations! You’ve survived winter without drinking the pink. But now with the sun shining and temps rising, it's time to celebrate your sacrifice by opening a bottle—or four. We searched the world, from the south of France and New Zealand hills to the foggy Mendocino coast, to come up with the best bottles of the season. These are 11 rosés to keep you sipping all summer long.
This new limited-edition bottling—and with only 393 cases produced, we mean limited—uses the top pinot noir stock from two cool-climate vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The grapes were harvested by hand and initially fermented in stainless steel before about 40 percent of the juice was put into French oak barrels to ferment a bit more. Then all the juice gets dumped into stainless steel for another four months. The result? Beautiful freshness in the form of strawberry, watermelon, peach and quince, with a good balance of acid, minerality and just enough tartness to awaken your palate.
Acclaimed winemaker Dave Phinney returns with the second release of his French rosé, this time focusing on 100 percent grenache from a winery in southern France. In this release, you can almost taste the sea salt air from the Mediterranean mingling with delicate floral notes, flavors of citrus and stone fruit. It’s a dryer rosé that hails from 50-year-old vines and is full of minerality with a bit of a steely bite on the back end.
Everything about this wine is gorgeous, from the elegant label to the pale pink wine inside, which is crisp and dry with a generous amount of fruit on the nose (peach, watermelon, strawberry.) It is a perfect sipper for a hot summer night or a day at the beach but also pairs well with barbecued chicken, grilled vegetables or simply a nice cheese and charcuterie board. Feel-good factor: LMR uses an integrated organic farming system and produces wine sustainably without any chemicals or pesticides.
Talk about elegance in a bottle! This super light-pink-hued wine made from grenache and cinsault begs you to open it and keep filling those glasses. Its nose explodes with wildflowers that lead to hints of peach and orange peel. It's crisp with just the right amount of fruit and body to pair well with everything from grilled fish to salads.
When it comes to sourcing a good rosé, not many people think of Virginia. But that's changing with the help of wineries like Stinson Vineyards. We love its Tannat, a medium bodied red, so when we heard about its rosé comprising 100 percent mourvèdre, we had to try it. And we're glad we did. Its dark pink color was a bit tart upon opening but quickly smoothed out to reveal a dryer wine with a fuller mouthfeel with balanced fruit and acid that shows a hint of orange peel, cranberry and raspberry.
To be honest, we were skeptical of a rosé that contains 70 percent cabernet sauvignon. But the tempranillo that makes up the other 30 percent of this bottle made us a believer. The salmon-colored wine with a bit of an orange edge isn't overflowing with fruit but is on the lighter side of medium-bodied with citrus, strawberry, some spice and a bit of acid. It goes great with a variety of appetizers and dips, as well as olives and fish.
How fun would it be to start a winery with your significant other? That's what Peter Hunken and Amy Christine, who is also a Master of Wine, did when they founded Black Sheep Finds, a boutique winery based in Lompoc, Calif. The now-married couple sources grapes from surrounding vineyards, in this case it's a 100 percent syrah from Sebastiano vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills. The rosé is very refreshing on the nose while being rich and robust in the mouth. Look for hints of cherry and raspberry balanced by a tight acidity.
Like most wines coming out of Portugal's Vinho Verde region, this one, made from 50 percent each of Portuguese varietals espadeiro and touriga nacional, is bright, youthful, effervescent and one heck of a value. It's a lower-alcohol wine (11.5 percent) with raspberry and strawberry on the palate that pairs nicely with greens, fish, grilled vegetables or white meats.
To stay as fresh as possible, this wine, made from 100 percent canaiolo, is bottled shortly after the sugars have fermented. Its pink-to-orange color leads to a light floral nose with a hint of berry. The medium-bodied rosato has plenty of tart cherry, which plays nicely with pecorino cheese and prosciutto as it mellows out the saltiness of both the cheese and meat.
The Natura rosé, made from a blend of syrah, cabernet sauvignon and merlot, should in theory be a full-bodied, deeper-colored wine. Yet it's surprisingly crisp and dry with a paler-pink color and a slight orange hue. There’s a bright bouquet of strawberry and cherry on the nose, plus orange peel, white pepper and wildflower notes in the glass. Drink this alone as an apéritif or pair it with soft cheeses or sushi.
If you're a fan of Kim Crawford's sauvignon blanc, one of the biggest sellers out of New Zealand, you’re going to love this wine. Made from 100 percent merlot, it has similar herbaceous characteristics of the sauv blanc, with a bit of prickly pear mixing with watermelon and strawberry. Crisp and on the dry side, it carries some lushness from the merlot. Pair it with various cheeses and even fried chicken at a backyard barbecue.
Mixing your cocktail