2019 Rosé Roundup


Worldwide demand for Rosé, at all price levels, is at an all-time high. Sales have grown exponentially for the last six years, and even though some market pundits think the category is burning out, it just keeps accelerating. In many ways this is a good thing for wine lovers, as we are more spoiled for more choice than ever before. It’s a double-edged sword, however, because just as there are more high-quality pink wines available, there are also a growing number of mediocre, mass-production examples, mostly from factory-style producers looking to cash in on the trend. I hasten to add that most of those wines are simply boring, not bad. They’re well-made but are usually either dilute or on the confected side – often both. But truly awful Rosé is not easy to find these days if you’re spending more than, say, $10 a bottle.

Where The Smart Money Should Go

At the top end of the category, meaning in the $30-plus range, I found a number of wines that are flat-out superb this year. There are also quite a few overachievers in the $20 range and even a handful with price tags in the low teens. But what I found really interesting is the growing number of wines made by high-end producers from fruit that they either grow or buy from less prestigious appellations. Frankly, calling the world’s best pink wines overpriced is pretty curious given what plenty of people are happily paying these days for mid-level white Burgundy or California wines.

The insatiable global demand for Rosés from the most famous producers in France, in particular, means that the wines sell out even before they are released. That doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon. In an effort to satisfy and expand their customer base, a number of domaines are now making Rosés from satellite or nearby appellations, often in négociant fashion, at prices that are often far more affordable than their marquee bottlings. And in many cases, the quality of those wines is quite close to that of their swanky relatives. That’s where my money would be right now, and that will likely be the case for some time to come, despite what the Chicken Littles are saying.

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