If you’re a modern day wine lover, you have undoubtedly heard the phrase for the hottest category in sipping through summer, Rosé All Day, and every iteration of it, like “Yes Way, Rosé” “Hey, Hey Rosé” “Froze Rosé” and such. Produced from an array of red grape varieties including classic Pinot Noir and Syrah to Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Negroamaro, Xinomavro, and Tempranillo, the extensive collection of Rose options will keep you refreshed all season long especially this Saturday as we celebrate National Rosé Day!
Vineyards of Provence
Provençal Rosé wines are some of the most celebrated in the world thanks to the thousands of visitors sunning and sipping throughout the French Riviera every summer. With a whisper of pink color and aromas that transport you to glamorous seaside towns where salty winds off the Mediterranean meld with wild thyme, sage, and lavender, the wines are light, fresh and delicate. Over the past few years, many of these wines have found an exportation path, allowing Americans to have a Provençal adventure in every glass.
Rosé wines of Provence are either very light in style, ideal for sipping poolside on its own, or slightly heartier and very gastronomic, ideal for pairing throughout a Mediterranean inspired meal. On the subtle end, Domaines Ott, Fleur de Mer, Bieler Pere & Fils, and Mas de Cadenet shine as high-quality, consistently delicious examples.
Acclaimed chef turned winery owner, Joachim Splichal, and winemaker Bruno Tringali, Domaine de Cala reveals the passion for place Splichal has for France, though named for the place he found culinary acclaim (CA refers to California, LA refers to Los Angeles). The Provence born chef traveled throughout the world, creating his culinary empire, always with the hope to return home and make wine. His classic Domaine de Cala Classic Rose ($15) shines with terroir authenticity, highlighting red fruit, fragrant wildflower, and juicy citrus notes. Slightly richer and rounder from a touch of oak aging, Domaine de Cala Prestige ($26) reveals more orchard and stone fruit notes with a hint of spiced woodiness.
With vineyards lying just minutes from the Sea in schist filled soils, earthy minerality and briny character define Figuiere Magali Cotes-de-Provence Rosé ($18). With a classic blend of varieties, refreshing tone, and subtle fruit-forward palate, the wines of Figuiere shine as leading examples of Provence style rose.
Likewise, traveling up the Rhone Valley, you find incredible examples of Rosé delivering freshness and character, often with a bit more structure, making them ideal food wines. Grenache dominant Ferraton Pere & Fils Samorens Cotes-du-Rhone Rosé ($14) melds red currant and cherry with crushed stone minerality thanks to the limestone and pebble soils of the vineyard locations near the Rhone River. Vibrant and full flavored Les Dauphins Cotes-du-Rhone Reserve Rosé ($10) leaps from the lass with a fruit-forward profile of candied raspberry, cherry, and wild strawberry.
Benefiting from cooling breezes off the Atlantic and salty sea air from the Mediterranean makes the Rosé wines from nearby Languedoc-Roussillon shine. Gerard Bertrand began making wine with his father at age 6 in their sleepy village in the Languedoc. He found early success in athletics as a star French rugby player, retiring a handful of years ago to take over the family winery and grow it to be one of the most successful in the South of France. Gerard Bertrand Cotes-du-Roses ($18), beautifully packaged with a rose carved base on the bottle, delicately delivers white peach, fresh berry and tea rose notes.
Honoring his father, Jean-Claude Mas took the helm of Domaines Paul Mas in 2000, growing it to be one of the most loved and celebrated from the region today. Each selection delivers relaxed luxury in every glass, from his fun, flirty Arrogant Frog Rosé ($10) wines to juicy Cote Mas Sud de France Aurore Rosé ($15, 1L) that melds fresh red fruit notes with a hint of creaminess thanks to 40 days of aging on the lees.
Photo courtesy of Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for JNSQ Wines
The French aren’t the only ones producing Rosé from Rhone varieties. California producers quickly picked up the Provencal style, delivering finessed, beautiful selections with an entirely American heart. The gorgeous packaging of JNSQ Rosé Cru ($30) prepares you for the beauty within as the Grenache-based Rosé offers a refinement not often found in fruit-forward wines, accentuating an earthy herbaceous quality in the wine, with red berry and floral rose notes.
Pinot Noir produced Rosé will make any Pinot lover’s heart skip a beat, melding strawberry, watermelon, and tangerine, creating inviting wines with character. Willamette Valley, Oregon delivers some of the most exceptional Pinot Noir Rose in the form of sparkling and still wines. From longtime favorites, like the Rose from Stoller, Soter, Raptor Ridge, and Adelsheim, to new favorites from Gran Moraine and Portlandia deliver the quality in each delicious glass.
Willakenzie Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir ($28) melds fresh cranberry, tangerine, and bitter orange. Dobbes Quailhurst Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir ($26) layers floral wisteria with wild berry and orange peel.
From Sonoma’s Russian River, textured Balletto Rosé of Pinot Noir ($19) reveals lovely acidity and freshness with a fruit-filled palate creating a 100% estate produced wine that speaks to the character of the land. Bright, lush and layered, Stewart Sonoma Mountain Rosé of Pinot Noir ($26) melds watermelon rind and tangerine for a punchy, fresh selection.
Greek wines often deliver robust tannins and strong character, that although delicious can be powerful for afternoon sipping. Rosé made from classic Greek varieties offer a lighter option for enjoyment, as with Gaia 14-18h Rosé ($16) made from Agiorgitiko. Bold yet balanced, the red-fruit-filled, food-friendly wine is ideal with fresh sardines and whole roasted fish.
Likewise, with a deep reddish hue, Negroamaro Rosato from Cantele ($15) in Puglia, Italy, delivers ripe bing cherry and boysenberry notes with herbal freshness, ideal for roasted pig or poultry pairings.
Produced from the classic varieties that produce dried cherry, red and blackberry filled Amarone, Sartori’s Love Story Rosé ($15) shines with notes of strawberry, minty, and stone.
Rosé from Bordeaux varieties can produce extraordinary wines as in Bordeaux’s Chateau de Fontenille ($14) Cabernet Franc-based Rose from owner Stephane Defraine showcases floral Caberent Franc, delivering an elegant selection. Clarendelle Bordeaux Rosé blending Merlot, Cab Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon reveals layers of violets and lilac with fresh fig and red plum. Fragrant Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($15) from South Africa generously layers currant, raspberry, and wild cherry, delivering a rich, luscious palate.