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Rosé Wine Top Picks

A Dozen Rosés for Summer Sipping


Rosé wines are perhaps the most versatile, food-friendly wines around. They have had an image problem to overcome, thanks in part to the run of "White Zin," as many consumers mistake Rosé wines to be overly sweet and in the category of "starter wine." However, Rosé wine sales are on the rise as savvy Wine Lovers have discovered that many of these pink wines fall into the definitively "dry" category, not sugary sweet, and the vast majority of Rosé wines offer a very good wine value for the money. Rosé wine hues come from the short contact time that the grape juice has with the grape skin. Serve chilled.

1. V. Sattui Gamay Rouge 2012 (CA) $19

V. Sattui
Loaded with sweet fresh floral scents and red, candied fruit aromas on the nose, the 2011 V. Sattui Gamay Rouge offers plenty of variety to please the nose, palate and plate. The flavor profile reveals sweet strawberry, Bing cherry and bright acidity all wrapped up in a balanced, semi-sweet finish.

2. Mulderbosch Rose 2012 (South Africa) $12

This Cabernet Sauvignon-inspired dry rosé from South Africa is a delicious blend of rose oil and ripe red fruit on the nose. The palate profile steers decidedly towards strawberry and raspberry with a touch of white pepper spice mid-palate. The result is a bright pink wine with a tantalizing combination of fruit and acidity, which allows for unlimited food pairing combinations!

3. Tablas Creek Tablas Estate Rose 2012 (CA) $28

Tablas Creek
This California rosé brings a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Counoise grapes to the mix. Expect dark pink tones with some seriously amped up aromatics - florals, strawberry, watermelon and warm spices. The palate explodes with ripe cherry and strawberry, bright acidity and a decent dose of minerality on the finish.

4. Mumm Napa Brut Rose (CA) $20

Mumm Napa
Fresh. Rich. Elegant. Mumm Napa is one of those steady, eddie producers that delivers delicious, consistent, sparkling wine year in and year out at fair price points. Take the Mumm Napa Brut Rose - you'll find buckets of bubbles, juicy red fruit and plenty of pep on the palate. Expect loads of strawberry and ripe raspberry to make an early introduction, followed by the engaging encore of yeast-driven notes and sparkling layers of vanilla spice. With solid structure, fresh fruit, a steady stream of bubbles and the ability to partner with an impressive collection of ethnic cuisines.

5. Montes Cherub Rose of Syrah 2010 (Chile) $16

Photo Courtesy of Montes Vineyards
The Montes Cherub is always a visually stunning wine. The color is a magnificent hot pink. This well-received rosé from Chile is crafted solely from Syrah grapes, producing a classy, ultra dry rosé with plenty of concentrated red berry fruit and a touch of citrus on the edge. Simply delicious vintage in and vintage out!

6. Hecht and Bannier Rose 2011 (FR) $12

Hecht and Bannier
From southern France, specifically the Languedoc region, this racy Hecht and Bannier rosé comes from a heady combination of Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache. Expect fresh, full-flavored fruit - sweet strawberry, mouthwatering watermelon, pineapple all wrapped up in well-maintained acidity. This is a fun wine from the get go - amazing color, engaging aromatics, solid pricing and a delight to drink all summer long!

7. Beni di Batasiolo Moscato Rose Dolce (Italy) $16

A sweet, sparkling wine treat bringing well-perfumed aromatics and bursting with fresh strawberry and raspberry fruit. The Batasiolo Moscato Rose promises to be the perfect summer sipper for those looking to find a light-bodied, slightly sparkling, easy on the alcohol and heavy on the fruit wine find. This particular rosé wine would partner up well with the fresh flavors of strawberry pie, peach cobbler, nutty desserts, or summer salads that are a little lighter on the acidity. Remember to serve well chilled to keep the bubbles and flavors at their peak.

8. Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec 2012 (Argentina) $12

Susana Balbo
This particular bright pink rosé is derived from 100% Malbec, and brings with it a serious fresh factor, full of ripe, juicy red fruit. The palate is pliable and the fruit is forward with plenty of raspberry and tart blackberry in the mix, yet the acidity keeps the fruit in line and makes for a very versatile wine overall.

9. Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosé 2010 (Spain) $12

Bodegas Muga Rioja
From one of Spain's Rioja powerhouses, this always-say-summer rosé brings true pink color tones to the glass. The aromas carry a mix of fruit notes from citrus to berry and extend towards tropical. The palate offers an unexpected complexity, with vibrant red berry fruit, a splash of lemon-lime citrus and an integrated white pepper spice. This is a lovely rosé wine find for spring and summer sipping.

10. Jaboulet Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone Rosé 2012 (FR) $12

Dominated by the Grenache grape, this fresh, dry French rosé has plenty of power and balance. The color is a medium pink rose and the aromas are largely floral. On the palate expect red cherry, some raspberry nuances and a steely, mineral component with a bit of body to round things out. This is a charming blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah. A well-reputed rosé from the Cotes du Rhone that will pair well tastes of summer.

11. Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Rosé "Perle d'Aurore" (FR) $14

Louis Bouillot
This Cremant Rosé is a gorgeous sparkling wine from Burgundy, made with Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir grapes. The Louis Boillot Cremant de Bourgogné Rose is one of the most reasonably priced French sparklers around, weighing in at under $15 a pop. Buckle up for some serious strawberry and fresh raspberry themes, followed up by an understated elegance balanced by sturdy structure, plenty of bubbles and super food-friendly character. The Perle d'Aurore is a fantastic budget-friendly sparkling wine find, consider pairing it with smoked salmon, milk chocolate covered strawberries or raspberry tart.

12. Francis Ford Coppola Sofia Rose 2011 (CA) $16

Francis Ford Coppola
Loads of strawberry pie and the well-perfumed scents of Provence dance on the nose. Elegance, ambiance, and packaged with some serious bottle appeal, the 2011 Sofia Rose from Coppola promises to bring the fresh factors of Provence-inspired rose to the glass. Expect strawberries and spice and everything nice, with a decidedly dry, and food-friendly finish from the Syrah and Grenache grapes sourced from Monterey County.
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