Best Roses for August

Top picks from Spain


Rosé wines are always an early indication of a vintage’s promise. In the case of 2010, Spain enjoyed a fine growing season with sufficient rainfall and slightly cooler than average temperatures across much of the country, which allowed for the production of rather well-balanced wines as evidenced by this selection.

Photo courtesy My Grape Escape

See the Top Spanish Roses slideshow

2000 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rosado Gran Reserva  13.5% $27

Nicely aromatic on the nose, if not fruity, with mineral earth nuances supporting a complex array of evolved, nutty sherry and hints of mustiness that grow around the core of wild raspberry and dried orange peel tones. On the palate this is tense and crisp with nuanced almond, bitter orange rind and raspberry notes that lead to a long, layered finish that reveals mineral, red fruit and aromatic wood notes. Not your typical rosé, and after aging for over four years in barrel and six years in bottle, how could it be? Nonetheless, this is a brilliant wine, more akin to a great aged white wine than a rosé. It’s subtle and complex, perfect for rich fish dishes and cheese. 92pts

2010 Marques de Riscal Rose Rioja 12% $12

Earthy and funky right out of the bottle with complex, slightly sweet nutty, old wood, and dried spice tones over slightly medicinal black raspberry fruit with a gentle vanilla top note. This is lovely in the mouth, bright acids support transparent, clear black and red fruit tones with floral, waxy and gently spicy accent notes floating around the mouth. The wine finishes with impressive weight, length and good clarity to the black raspberry fruit, with medicinal and dried spice tones. This is elegant and fine and all you can ask for from a rosé. 90pts

2010 Protocolo Rose Tierra de Castilla Spain 13% $8

Dusty on the nose with dark cherry fruit and a nice vinous element. This smells a little bit on the sweet/fruity side but blind, one might easily think this is a red wine.  Very lean on entry and precise with low, pure lightly mineral-laced flavors of earthy wild cherry/blueberry fruit. This is well put together with a nice foundation of acids and super fine tannins. The finish shows a nice burst of mineral, herb and black fruit tones that linger before ending on an almosty peachy tone. A really complete and fun rosé. 89pts

2010 Vivanco Tempranillo-Grenache Rioja 13.5% $13

Very fruity on the nose with a sweet undertone to the raspberry/strawberry fruit. A touch of RS up front is paired with rather assertive fruit and an opulent mouthfeel. This is a lovely sipping rosé, perhaps a touch sweet and fruity, but it finishes dry and with good cleansing acids. It’s a bit simple in flavor profile, a touch of meat and leather accenting the raspberry fruit, but it’s a nice, bolder rosé. 88pts

2010 Vega Sindoa Garnacha Rosado Navarra 13% $8

Lightly aromatic with a hint of pear, some stony notes and an overlay of lightly minty, lightly herbal astringent red berry fruit. Bright and crisp on entry with an immediate rush of red cherry, raspberry fruit that’s framed with a gentle spice notes and some interesting aromatic top notes. The mid-palate here turns a little creamy and rich, and while less interesting to me, should prove to be wildly popular. This finishes with the acid reasserting itself and good length to the stony red fruits. Nicely done. 88pts

2010 iLurce Rosado Rioja 14% $10

Really fruity on the nose with the intensity of watermelon candy with some dusty edges and a hint of cooked fruit. Rich in the mouth with good supporting acids, but perhaps a bit too much RS and alcohol combining to give a hint of a thick, slightly sweet impression. There’s a dark cherry cough drop quality to the fruit, which while not unattractive does lack some freshness. There’s also a touch of mint and herb that reinforces the medicinal aspects here. Unusual but the more I taste it, the more I like it; though I’m not sure if this would fare as well if I were drinking it. Finish is a touch dull and short. I’d like to try this again. 87pts
2010 Sinfo Rosado Castilla y Leon Spain 13% $12

This is quite pungent with a fruity and floral array of sweet aromas. There’s some background spice notes as well but this is an aromatic berry bomb. A nice sweet/sour element on entry is followed by intense black cherry and blackberry fruits. The mouthfeel is rich and soft, broad and perhaps a touch too relaxed with a long sweet cherry/blackberry finish. A touch sweet, this should be super popular. 86pts

2010 Tampesta Prieto Picudo Rosado Tierra de Leon 13.5%

A bit of clay and bitter cherry jam greets the nose with some herbal notes and grains of paradise on the top note. Very well-integrated on entry, if high acid. This is rich but not weighty with lovely depth of blood orange-tinged wild strawberry and slightly earthy cherry fruit. There’s a nice turn of spice and mineral on the bac kend and a modest, lightly spicy finish that is crisp and cleansing ending with a nice strawberry-rhubarb tone. A really nice wine, a bit low key but rich, good for pairing with burgers and the like. 86pts

2010 Conde de Valdemar Rosado Rioja 14%

A bit earthy on the nose with a hint of carob accenting the spicy strawberry fruit along with overripe watermelon background tones. This is much nicer on the palate with bright, juicy strawberry and watermelon fruit. There’s some weight to this and a nice subtle, yet astringent, edge of tannin adds detail to the mouthfeel. The finish is simple, cherry fruited and moderately long with a tough of nuttiness on the finale. Fun to drink, though the nose is a bit bothersome. 85pts

2010 Borsao Campo de Borja Rose 14% $8

Light and floral on the nose with background notes of soft fruits. Aromatically well-balanced and nicely complex. Very light in the mouth with a touch of fat covering the bright juicy acids and supporting the strawberry/cherry fruit here. This is nicely dry with a good cleansing acid wash on the modest finish. A refreshing, light style of rosé. 85pts

2010 Chivite Gran Feudo Garnacha Rosado Navarra 13% $12

This smells sweet and sour/bitter with a deep pithy pink grapefruit undertone to the sweet, lightly cotton candied red fruit.  A touch of sugar greets the palate followed by plenty of balancing acids. This definitely has a sweet/sour thing going on with modest red fruit flavors and more of that pithiness that came out on the nose. The wine is complex in a certain way. Sour, bitter, sweet, but it lacks harmony and finishes abruptly with lots of succulent, lemony acidity. The pithy bitterness grows on you after a while, offering nice relief from the sweet fruit and sour finish. I could definitely enjoy this with food in a rustic way. 83pts

2010 Ochoa Rosado Grenache Navarra 13%

Dusty and dry on the nose with notes of cherry skin, minty flowers and faint tobacco leaf. Round and a bit soft up front with good intensity of strawberry fruit. This is simple with a touch of tannin and some nice acid that supports a bit of mintiness on the finish, but is rather straightforward and linear. 82pts

2010 Cortijo Rioja Rosada 50% Grenache 50% Tempranillo 12.5% $12

Sharp, dusty and slightly metallic on the nose. In the mouth this shows a bit more fruit but it retains its metallic edge. There’s nice acid here and a dusting of tannin in the somewhat green, watermelon rind and sour cherry fruit on the mid-palate. The back end gains some nice fruitiness and flesh that drops off on the short cranberry finish. 82pts

2010 Penamonte Toro Rosado 14% $10

A bit of cooked fruit on the nose, jammy raspberry tones, carob and caramel. Nice acid on entry, though the fruit here is broad and low. It has a certain appeal with nice yellow cherry tones and hints of herby spice, accentuated by the slightly stemmy tannins. The back end is a bit disjointed though, and the finish short and a bit shrill. 78pts

See the Top Spanish Roses slideshow

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