Top 8 Roses for July

The best of our summer favorites


Rosé wines are indeed the epitome of summer wine but they should not be relegated to summer use exclusively.

Having said that, it is summer and the shelves are filling with rosés so you might as well enjoy the wines now! Point is, don’t worry about having a few bottles leftover after the summer’s heat leaves us. A nice rosé can be a welcome change of pace anytime of the year and some of them, like the Martin Ray or Artezuri for example, are so worth buying by the case!

2010 Martin Ray Dry Rose Russian River Valley 13.9% $12

Fruity and minerally on the nose, smelling fairly red wine-like with black cherry fruit. A bit soft and broad on entry with nicely mineral-laden, if slightly baked, fruit. There’s a nice base of earthy currant fruit here and good length that reveals excellent persistence of fruit with a faint sweet edge to it. This is a bit more than your typical rosé with a nice style that combines richness and elegance. 89pts

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2010 Artazuri Garnacha Navarra 13% $10

A bit yeasty on the nose at first, then softly fruity with a light baked edge to the raspberry aromas and an underlay of baked white earth. This shows excellent balance with good acidity and a nice roundness on the palate framed with subtle tannins. The fruit is transparent and dry, very wild raspberry-toned, allowing the low mineral and earth tones here to shine right through. The acidity brightens up on the finish, adding freshness to the fruit and some length. It’s not going to win any awards, but it’s a might fine rosé in my book. 89pts

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2009 Bugay Vineyard Long Stem Rose Rose of Syrah Santa Rosa Ca. 13.5% $22

Oily and olivey on the nose with black spice notes and a little edge of poblano chile. Rich and round with a seductive mouthfeel, this offers up a core of distinctly meaty fruit, supported by gentle tannins that lend the wine a subtle bittersweet character. The fruit pops on the finish, revealing a lightly candied cherry aspect that adds to the sweet/savory nature here. Fairly complex and quite interesting.  88pts

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2009 Yin Yang Pinot Grigio Rose Willamette Valley 13.5% $12

This smells of pears and plums, with a slight honied edge and some floral top notes.  A touch sweet but at the same time this shows really interesting bitter/sweet tension in the mouth. The wine exhibits a lovely fresh fruit quality, and the texture is clear and tense with good density and just a hint of creamy thickness. The flavors here are more akin to a typical Pinot Grigio rather than a typical rosé, but with several added dimensions. The finish is lightly dusty and ever so drying with a lovely mineral/spice/tree bark finale. This is delicious. 88pts

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2010 Prieure de Montezargues Tavel 13.5% $21

Fruity and deep on the nose with notes of lingonberry and red plum backed up with herbal and floral nuances. This is rather large-scaled in the mouth, but well balanced. I love the fruit here; it’s fresh and obvious without being totally fruit bomb-y and is underpinned by some soft tannins and decent acidity. This is a fruity wine, but fresh with nice peach and apple tones contributing some complexity, but always kept in check by the lightly stemmy tannins. Fire up the grill! 88pts

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2010 Jean Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rose 12.5% $11

Vin de Pays: Syrah 40%, Grenache 40%, Counoise 20%

This has a rather ethereal but very pretty nose with a woodsy feel that combines frutti di bosco (mixed berries) with forest floor tones. With air, this turns more mineral on the nose and even a touch floral. An interesting wine in the mouth with plenty of acidity, but it’s very well covered with rather thickish fruit. The flavors are lovely, bright raspberry with mineral cut and floral woodsy top notes. But the texture is a little less delicate than I would like to see. Still, it’s quite lovely. 88pts

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2010 Castel des Maures Cotes de Provence Cuvee Jeanne 13% $14

Nicely complex on the nose with balanced notes of herb, white pepper, mineral and soft red fruit. This is rather big boned in the mouth but finely balanced with integrated acids and a touch of dusty tannin, adding detail to the mineral and peach shaded red berry fruit. A bit on the astringent end of the spectrum, the fruit here recalls red currant and lingonberry that leads to a medium-length, refreshing finish. 88pts

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2010 Regaleali Le Rose Sicily 12.5% $11

Lightly floral on the nose with scents of licorice and dusty soil adding detail to the red currant fruit. Smooth and polished in the mouth with nice raspberry fruit up front followed by a bright, acid-driven watermelon note that leads to a gentle, mineral-accented, nicely fruited finish. 87pts

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  • I agree with you, very,very much in what you say here! They should be more explicit in their descriptions as to what we are to expect before buying Rose's.
    By far my biggest stink as far in to what to expect is, Dry or sweet or Semi whatever?: I who prefers the dryer the better type Rose's, especially from France, but have also enjoyed some moderate experiences from Spain and Italy, but again, France are the champs, especially in this category in my experiences.
    But to expand on your gripe here, to that of which I believe, that even such as yourself have made the descriptions to the majority of these wines you have tasted, outside of the first two, unexplained as to whether they are dry, semi dry, sweet, semi sweet, etc. See this a problem and in not getting that sort of labeling, I have bought many rose wines, way to sweet for me, such as Riesling sweet, to which I am not a big fan of, unless otherwise expected at my convenience of indulgence.
    So if they could make it a mandatory labeling such as DOC, etc. this would be very helpful as to what to expect when purchasing and the rest of it is simply as with all wines, whether they rate high or low in their attempt.. This would also help in a wider indulgents in trying difrent wineries try on them, as apose to when you find a couple good ones, thats it, you get tired of wasting your money, and unfortuantely we could be missing out...Thanks, again a very good article..

    Jul 06, 2011 at 6:12 AM

  • I disagree with your description. Oily and olivey? Did you even try this wine? This Rose' is a wonderful example of a French style Rose' with the added benefit of beautiful Sonoma Co. fruit. I detect no "bitter" and it certainly isn't "sweet". Made with a Bandol yeast, the finish is crisp and dry; a perfect compliment to foods ranging from lighter dishes to pates.

    Jul 08, 2011 at 12:11 PM

  • When in doubt, refer to the degree of alcohol in the wine. Rule of thumb, the higher the alcohol the drier the wine

    Jul 10, 2011 at 3:34 PM

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