The Great Rose Round-Up

40 of GDP's favorite rose wines that you've just got to try


Rosés come around just once a year. This is lamentable or not, depending on your opinion of them. With such a sudden influx, it’s imperative that I taste as many as possible as quickly as possible.

This is the first round-up of rosés from the summer of 2012. You can expect another in several weeks, but these 40 wines, along with the dozen or so previously tasted, should give you plenty of ideas for wine to enjoy now.

This was a very strong set of wines with nine scoring 90 points or above in a myriad of styles. I was a bit surprised by how well the rosés of Pinot Noir fared here, taking the top two spots and three of the top nine. The rest of the field is made up of all sorts of grapes yielding all sorts of styles for you to pick and choose from.

A mineral Zweigelt perhaps, or a rich petit Sirah? How about a meaty Syrah or structured Rhone blend, or a funky Malbec? Still not biting? Then how about that Prieto Picudo?

Yes, there really is something for just about everyone here. Dive right in and check out the rosé round-up, or take a pick at the list of top wines, wines tasted on 6/18, or some fun rosés for your next backyard BBQ.

Summertime Rosé

8 Great Rosés for a Barbeque

Photo courtesy of Community Friend via Flickr/cc
2011 Wine by Joe Jose’s Rosé of Pinot Noir Oregon 12.5%

Lychee, bitter melon, candied cherry, lime zest, watermelon, hints of banana, gummy bears and eucalyptus gush out of the glass here. After time some of that exuberant fruit does fade, leaving this in the mint, banana, lime end of the spectrum, with the red fruits remaining. Lovely mouth-filling texture makes this somewhat large-scaled with dusty tannins adding textural detail and fine acidity lying just below the fruit, keeping things fresh, bright and lively. The fruit is soft and subtle, almost creamy with big strawberry notes on the palate and dusty raspberry and lime adding complexity on the fairly long finish. This really does have everything. 92pts

2011 Alexana Rosé of Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Oregon 12.6%

This is soft and subtle on the nose with a really attractive array of sweet berry, pollen/floral, lightly candied carob and candied fruit zest aromas. Bright and uber fresh in the mouth, this packs in a lot of zesty strawberry fruit that’s a touch simple but shows lovely purity. There’s a whisper of sweetness on the finish but the vibrant acidity balances it out very well, though it does lend the finish a certain bubblegum character. This is really lovely and has wonderful intensity of fruit. 91pts

2011 Gobelsburger Cistercien Rosé Austria 12%

Softly fruity on the nose with a nice forest floor, floral undercurrent along with creamy suggestions of raspberries dusted with a hint of talc. Focused and sapid in the mouth with an early rush of almost salty minerality that adds decisive cut to the gently fruity palate. A noticeable touch of sweetness here helps to accentuate the strawberry fruit of the palate that leads to a fairly long, quite mineral finish. Easy drinking in style yet with wonderful minerality and nervous tension. 91pts

2011 Guado al Tasso Scalabrone Rosato Bolgheri Italy 12.5%

Fairly floral on the nose with tarry notes of saffron accenting dark, almost plummy fruit that shows some basil stem and tomato leaf aromas. Translucent on the palate with wonderful framing acidity and nice layered flavors of tart plum, red currant and wild strawberry. These drive across the fairly long finish, joined by decisive quartzy mineral notes and a faint undertone of almost bitter apple skins. This is really lovely with near perfect texture. 91pts

2011 Chapoutier Cotes-du-Rhone Rosé Belleruche France 13%

The nose here is lovely with early suggestions of orange peel and grapefruit joined by light black currant and spicy strawberry aromas. Fairly light-bodied, this doesn’t lack for structure. A nice peppering of tannin in the mouth and sufficient acidity keep the lightly spicy raspberry and strawberry fruit lively. There’s a nice burst of spice and pomegranate on the back end that transitions to a moderately long finish of spice and fruit, ending on a citrus peel note. This is a bit dry and severe, just the way I like it. 90pts

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9 Exceptional Roses!

Wine By Joe Jose's Rosé of Pinot Noir Oregon (2011)
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Alexana Rosé of Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Oregon (2011)
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Schloss Gobelsburg Rosé Blend Gobelsburger Cistercien (2011)
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Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Bolgheri Scalabrone Rosato (2011)
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Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes du Rhone Rose (2011)
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Nigl Zweigelt Rose (2011)
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Husch Vin Gris of Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Ca (2011)
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Field Stone Rosé of Petite Sirah (2011)
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Rose l'Escargot (2011)
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Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: pgriego
    159759 31

    There is a Great Rose missing from the list, and I'm sure the only reason is because you didn't find it or haven't tried it yet. Be sure to check out Julien Fayard's Azur Rose, YOU WILL NOT BE DISSAPPOINTED and I'm sure it would be added to your list after tasting. It is my absolute favorite Summer Wine not only Favorite Rose! Cheers,

    Jul 03, 2012 at 1:51 PM

  • Robert Oatley Rose' of Sangiovese is BANGIN'

    Jul 03, 2012 at 3:27 PM

  • Snooth User: dashagirl
    1117143 24

    Another delicious rose is missing-Muga(Spain). There are so many from Provence that are not on the list as well-there are too many delicious ones, I don't know where to begin. California still has a ways to go concerning rose!!

    Jul 03, 2012 at 3:29 PM

  • Snooth User: Rok Pavlic
    1117152 1

    Certainly missing is a top notch rose Laus Flor de Merlot 2011 from Somontano

    Jul 03, 2012 at 3:56 PM

  • Snooth User: hnachaj
    740601 8

    I used to buy Pogerinno a nice Tuscan. I bought this year, Majolica by Castorani. It works well as an apero, hamburgers, fish etc... It is of course not for fine food but a pleasant allround fresh summer wine.

    Jul 03, 2012 at 6:04 PM

  • Snooth User: MOKONGR
    41572 1

    One Rosé missing from your list is Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé: This is a salmon-pink Rosé made of Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Grenache and Carignan (sometimes includes some Syrah) grapes. I haven't had one that doesn't excite all of one's senses.

    Jul 03, 2012 at 8:37 PM

  • Well said MOKONGR
    Bandol appelation is the most reliable source of roses in France. I do not know Tempier' Rose but if it is Bandol AOC I know it will be good

    Bandol Rose in particular and the roses of Provence, arent listed?

    This seems an omission given how food friendly they are, and how some like Domaine Terrebrune Bandol Rose will - unusually - keep for many years

    Other styles missing like Tavel Rose, Menetou Salon Rose's, Beaujolais roses, Bordeaux clairets, might (also?) be due to their being hard to find outside of France? And a reminder of how varied rose field is from full on weird to almost disappearingly bland

    I only know the reds of Belleruche and guido al Tasso, and the white gruner veltliner of Schloss Gobelsburger, but based on those experiences would say they are talented winemakers well worth trying a rose of, thx for suggesting

    Jul 04, 2012 at 5:20 AM

  • For their minerality and dry quality, NYS Finger Lakes Rose' cannot be beat.

    Jul 05, 2012 at 9:29 AM

  • I was fortunate enough to try several delicious Pinot Noir Roses at the Anderson Valley Pinot Festival back in May. The stand out for me was the 2010 Baxter Mendocino Ridge Rose: Crisp, clean, bright and delicious, I'll be taking this one along to my friend's surprise birthday party in a couple of weeks. Claudia and Phillip are wonderful people and make excellent wine.

    Jul 06, 2012 at 1:54 PM

  • Snooth User: Constance Chamberlain
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    268548 44,312

    Also would like to recommend Sauska Winery Villányi Rosé 2011 from Hungary. One of my top roses ever $20/bottle. :)

    Jul 09, 2012 at 7:55 AM

  • Snooth User: hnachaj
    740601 8

    Bandol Rosé wines are the best of the French South!

    Jul 09, 2012 at 5:54 PM

  • Snooth User: Peter BP
    1118572 43

    And what about Turkey Flat Rose from Barossa Valley?
    Any one mentioned this one? This Rhone styled Aussie is consistant and delicious

    Jul 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

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