Dry rosé wines are produced around the world in many wine regions using countless varieties of red grapes. Rosé wines have been the fastest growing category of wine consumption in the last few years. What is not to like? Savoring the flavors and aromas of red grapes in a chilled glass on a beautiful patio is my idea of a great happy hour! I’ve asked some of my favorite “Masters” to weigh-in on their choice for the best rosé wine made in the prettiest vineyard settings around the world. Here are their choices for the best rosé wine.
Master Sommelier, Catherine Fallis loves the Babich rosé for the dry, subtle and crisp notes of lime, strawberry, peach skin and white roses. This rosé is made with Pinot Noir grapes. The vineyards are located at the top of the South Island in New Zealand. Marlborough’s vineyards are recognized as New Zealand’s largest wine growing region. The Babich winery/cellar door tasting room is located in the Henderson Valley just west of Auckland. Picnic here or enjoy a cheese platter with your wine in this stunning setting. Says Catherine, one of the first women Master Somm’s in the US, “I love this winery and this rosé.”
Says Doug Frost, one of America’s few duel Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine, says, “my favorite rosé comes from Lopez de Heredia: their rosés are complex, even profound. And Maria-Jose’s family winery is a paragon of 19th century Spanish architectural glory.” This winery is located in La Rioja, Spain. The rosé is made in a traditional Spanish style with Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Viura grapes.
Liz Thach, Master of Wine and professor of Management at Sonoma State University says, “One of my favorite rosés is made in a beautiful winery, Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rosé from Provence, France. My husband and I visited here several years ago when we were celebrating a wedding anniversary in the town of Bandol along the Mediterranean.
Domaine Tempier, established in 1834, is located about 10 minutes north of the town in the hills. The vineyards are nestled around the beautiful old peach colored French farmhouse adorned with pale blue shutters. We were greeted there with warm hospitality. We toured through the vineyards and cellars, and then had a fabulous tasting of their famous rosé, as well as their celebrated red wines. It is a very special memory of tasting a salmon-pink wine in a peach colored Domaine.”
Greece’s celebrated Master of Wine, Konstantinos Lazarakis, loves the La Tour Melas Idyll Rosé from La Tour Melas located in Achinos, Greece. The winemaker, Panos Zouboulis, who studied in Bordeaux, makes the rosé with Grenache Noir, Agiorgitiko (a red grape native to Greece), and Syrah.
Located near the Aegean Sea, the vineyards enjoy evening breezes which cool the vines making for an ideal microclimate. The vignerons use biodynamic principles of agriculture and handpick their crop. The Rosé wine is a light salmon color, and has aromas of grapefruit, pepper, and peach which pairs well with summer dishes.
Celia Welch, the celebrated winemaker of cult Napa Cabernets like Scarecrow, Corra, and Keever picks Lorenza winery.
Says Celia Welch, “My favorite Rosé is Lorenza by Melinda Kearney and her daughter Michelle Ouelette. It is absolutely delicious, and Mindy is a gem of a person. I keep a case in the wine storage unit and a bottle in my refrigerator at all times. Lorenza Winery’s rosé is made with Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre and Cinsault grapes featuring aromas of flower petals and lemons and flavors or white peach, bright citrus and jicama.
Dr. Terry Lease, Master of Wine candidate and professor (and former Associate Dean) at Florida International University who also oversaw academic programs at the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University loves the rosé wines of Sonoma County, California. Says Terry, “Sonoma County has many beautiful and interesting wineries, and so many of them produce an enjoyable rosé, it is difficult to go wrong. Still, here are some of my favorites (not necessarily in order):
“Martin Ray Vineyards and Winery is in beautiful setting, and they produce an easy to drink yet refined rosé of Pinot Noir. With some advanced planning, you may enjoy lunch or a cheese (or cheese and charcuterie pairing) at the winery,” says Dr. Lease.
Find this wine: Martin Ray Rosé of Pinot Noir $16.99
“Quivira Vineyards is a great winery in Dry Creek Valley. They have been forward thinkers with respect to stewardship of the land and other natural resources for a long time. All of their wines are great, and they have a Grenache-based, Provençal-style rosé that is wonderful,” says Terry Lease. The wine is made from 68% Grenache, 15% Syrah 10% Mourvedre, 4% Petite Sirah, 3% Counoise and has been awarded 91 points at Wine Enthusiast.
This rosé features strawberry aromas and flavors of white peach, nectarine, orange rind.
“If you want your rosé sparkling and don’t mind sneaking over the county line into Napa County a little bit, Domaine Carneros has a magnificent châteaux and terrace patios with beautiful views.” says Dr. Lease.
Find this wine: Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Cuvee de la Pompadour $39.99
Wine Enthusiast 90 Points
Select your choice for the best rosé wine and welcome the spring and summer in style. Better yet, travel to one of these picturesque wineries, savor the scenery, and toast a well-made wine.
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