Must-Read Rosé Report

By / Wine + Drinks / July 1st, 2015 / 3

Rosé wines continue to shed their bad rap (or at least most of the misconceptions surrounding them have been shed). Pretty much gone is the notion that these wines are “candy wine” – sweet starters for the young ‘uns migrating from coolers to the more sophisticated stuff.

Here’s a roundup of a few that have passed my palate over the past little while. All are bone dry to just barely sweet. And all were of uniformly high quality, some representing extraordinary bang for the buck.

California

Roederer Brut Rosé n/v
Jonesing for some rosé Champagne but on a (probably craft) beer budget? Roederer’s Sonoma operation comes to the rescue with this classy number. A lovely, mouthwatering nose of cherry jam, fresh-baked bread and Provençal herbs leads into flavours of mineral-laced strawberry shortcake wrapped around fine, silky bubbles.

Canada

Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé 2014 ($25.00)
A deeply coloured Niagara rosé with a vibrant and intense aroma profile infused with strawberry cake icing, berry gumdrop, rhubarb pie with some sweet cedar/sandalwood thrown in. In the mouth, it’s loaded with chewy cherry compote and strawberry Twizzler flavours enhanced by long, dry, cherry-laced endnotes.

Rosewood Estates Trois Femmes Rosé Dry 2014 ($16.00)
Sweet/sour cherry, caramel, watermelon, rhubarb and red apple fragrances lead to a lively palate of mild earth and spice, cherry/apple fruit and ripe melon. A blend of Pinot Noir and Merlot. The name pays homage to the women behind the Rosewood name.

See Ya Later Ranch Nelly Rosé 2014 ($14.00)
A cherry-red Okanagan rosé sporting a ripe, forward, puréed black raspberry nose, with hints of candied cherry. Lots of ripe, jammy red fruit flavours with just a bare hint of sweetness. Long, balanced finish.

Jackson Triggs Grand Reserve Rosé 2015 ($15.00)
Pale ruby colour and a fragrant nose with some spring flowers dancing around the berry fruit distinguish this JT Okanagan sample. Quite ripe in the mouth with the wild berry fruit intermingling with dashes of vanilla and clove. Long and dry on the finish.

Nk’mip Wimemaker’s Rosé 2014 ($15.50)
This southern Okanagan winery is Canada’s first aboriginal owned and operated winery. This blend of Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah shows fresh ripe melon and fresh berries on the nose with a crisp, dry, fairly full style. Wild berry, grapefruit and melon flavours persist.

Chile

Bodegas Volcanes Summit Reserve Rosé 2014 ($10.00)
A Central Valley rosé that offers up a nose suggesting rose petal, wild berry and a suggestion of cotton candy. Crisp and lively, with bright cherry/pink grapefruit flavours. Well priced.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé 2014 ($10.00)
Cono Sur winery consistently pulls off minor miracles when in comes to value for money. This “French” coloured Pinot rosé is no exception. Sweet plum, raspberry and clover blossom aromas segue to ripe, forward flavours of bramble, black cherry and a touch of dried herbs.

Cono Sur Sparkling Rosé n/v ($14.00)
If you’re the type who thinks the only thing better than a fresh rosé is a fresh rosé with bubbles, this great value sparkler has got your name on it. Aromatic, with hints of grapefruit, vanilla, rose water and raspberry jam. Balanced and creamy with loads of floral/berry fruit and a crisp, balanced finish.

Santa Alicia Tierra Sur Sparkling Rosé 2014 ($18.00)
Another great sparkling rosé buy from Chile offers up the usual assortment of aromas including ripe, red berry, a touch of toasty/bready notes and a kiss of herbs that replay on the palate. Light and ethereal, with a refined mousse and nice overall balance. A superb garden party aperitif.

France

La Vielle Ferme Rosé 2014 ($8.00)
From the Côtes Du Ventoux region. Salmon pink colour. Candy apple, herbs and fresh strawberry aromas. Light, crisp and fresh with subtle berry and wild herb notes. Good value.

Mas Des Brassades “Cuvée Tradition” Rosé 2014 ($16.00)
Coppery pink in colour, this Costières de Nîmes rosé sports aromas of earthy black cherry, rhubarb, cucumber, cut grass and raspberry. Mid-weight, with flavours of apple skin, dried herbs and cranberry. Zesty finish, if slightly hot.

Remy Pannier Rosé D’Anjou 2014 ($13.00)
This perennial and much loved pinky comes in at an easy-to-gulp 10.5 per cent ABV. Light pink in colour and very fresh on the nose with bright cherry/strawberry accents. Off dry but very well balanced, with refreshing, zesty wild berry on the palate.

Ogier Ventoux Rosé 2013 ($13.00)
Mineral and citrus fruit combine with hints of lavender and savory notes. Medium bodied, is shows a touch of earthiness combined with bing cherry and a dash of spice. Good overall balance.

Italy

Masi Rosa dei Masi ($15.00)
Fermented from the Refosco grape variety, a portion of which have been put through the “appassimento” drying technique traditionally used in the making of Amarone. Pale copper/salmon with aromas leaning toward cherry, raspberry and lilac with a dry, delicately mineral profile buttressed by nuances of stone fruit and wild cherry.

New Zealand

Kim Crawford Pansey! Rosé 2014 ($18.00)
A unique blend of Malbec and Merlot sourced from vineyards in the Hawk’s Bay region. Aromatically, it displays tropical fruit, raspberry, yellow plum, fruit cup and some very subtle earthy/musk notes. Lots of ripe, forward fruit in the mouth with suggestions of melon, plum preserve and quince paste.

Spain

Torres Sangre De Toro Rosé 2014 ($14.00)
Vibrant – almost neon – pink. Cranapple, strawberry jam and banana nose. Maraschino cherry, fruit punch, strawberry and rosehip in the mouth. Medium-full bodied and lots of fun.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tod Stewart is the contributing editor at Quench. He's an award-winning Toronto-based wine/spirits/food/travel/lifestyle writer with over 35 years industry experience. He has contributed to newspapers, periodicals, and trade publications and has acted as a consultant to the hospitality industry. No matter what the subject matter, he aims to write an entertaining read. His book, 'Where The Spirits Moved Me' is now available on Amazon and Apple.

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