The Best New Roses: 2012

Americans seem to have finally become comfortable with the fact that rose wines aren't just for summer drinking.  They also seem to be realizing that a great rose--and there are more than a few--is a truly great wine, with no apologies for being pink.  They're even coming around slowly to the realization that the best roses can actually last and improve with a little time in bottle, or even a lot of it in the case of some bottlings.  Those of us who have lost a bottle of rose in the cellar and popped it a few years later, expecting the worst, can often vouch for that but I doubt that many wine lovers are going to make a habit of laying down pink wines for the grandkids, nor do I recommend it. 

Broadly speaking, there are two types of rose: the classic version is in a delicate style made from the juice of red grapes that are pressed and and then left to macerate briefly together, which usually imparts a pale pink color.  The second style is made by the saignee method, where juice is drawn off of fermenting red wine, which typically means darker color, richer flavors and more weight.  The paler versions are well-suited to drinking by themselves or with lighter foods while the saignee renditions are usually better with food, and in many cases they can even stand in for red wines at the table.

I tasted a large number of excellent roses this year and due to the sheer volume of them we are only publishing full notes on those that I rated 88 points or above.  Those wines that scored 87 points are in the "Also recommended" section of this article, along with those that rated 86 and 85 points.  In many cases these wines sell for somewhere in the $10 range, which makes them seriously good values, so don't hesitate to try these too.  Note that there are no Spanish roses in this year's rose article as they will be included in our annual Spanish coverage, which will be published in the next issue of the IWC.

Also recommended: 2011 Vina Apaltagua Carmenere Rose Central Valley (85), 2011 Chateau d'Aqueria Tavel (86), 2011 Arcane Cellars Pinot Noir Rose Willamette Valley (86), 2011 Domaine de la Bastide Figue Cotes du Rhone Rose (86), 2011 Bieler Pere et Fils Coteaux d'Aix en Provence (87), 2011 Vignobles Boudinaud Grange des Rouquette Vin de Pays d'Oc Rose (87),  2011 Domaine de Brazilier Coteaux de Vendomois Tradition Rose (87), 2011 Domaine de Cabasse Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret Rose de Marie Antoinette (86), 2011 Domaine des Cantarelles Rose de Fayel Vin de Pays du Gard Rose (87), 2011 Chais St.-Laurent Vigne en Veron Chinon Rose (87), 2011 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes du Rhone Rose (86), 2011 Charles & Charles Rose Columbia Valley (86), 2011 Le Cirque Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes Rose (86), 2011 Churchill's Estates Touriga Nacional Rose Douro (85), 2011 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rose Contra Costa County (85), 2011 Collovray & Terrier Pech de Vignes Vin de Pays d'Oc IGP Rose (86), 2011 Chateau Coussin La Croix du Prieur Cotes de Provence Rose (87), 2011 Chateau du Donjon Minervois Rose (86), 2011 Emille Balland Les Beaux Jours Coteaux du Giennois Rose (86), 2011 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Rose Sonoma County (87), 2011 Domaine de la Ferrandiere Grenache Gris Vin de Pays d'Oc (86), 2011 Domaine Gaujal de Saint Bon Vin de Pays de Cotes de Thau Rose (87), 2011 Jean et Michel Gonnet & Fils La Font du Vent Les Promesses Cotes du Rhone Rose (87), 2011 Chateau Grande Cassagne Costieres de Nimes Rose (87), 2011 Domaine Les Grands Bois Cuvee Les Trois Soeurs Cotes du Rhone Rose (87), 2011 Domaine Gris de Bauries Les Estras Cotes du Rhone Rose (87), 2011 Chateau Guiot Costieres de Nimes Rose (87), 2011 Hecht & Bannier Languedoc Rose (86), 2011 Jules Wines Cotes de Provence Rose (86), 2011 Bernard Laporte Le Bouquet Rose Pinot Noir Vin de Pays du Val de Loire (86), 2011 Chateau Laulerie Bergerac Rose (85), 2011 Domaine Laurens Marcillac Rose (86), 2011 Macphail Family Wines Rose of Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (86), 2011 Domaine de Malavielle Charmille Vin de Pays d'Oc Rose (85), 2011 Mas de Bressades Costieres de Nimes Rose (86), 2011 Mas Carlot Costieres de Nimes Rose Tradition (87), 2011 Mulderbosch Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rose Coastal Region (87), 2011 Numero 3 Rosado de Monastrell Bullas (86), 2011 Paul Jaboulet Aine Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone Rose (85), 2011 Chateau d'Or et de Gueules Les Cimels Costieres de Nimes Rose (86), 2011 Vina Quintay Q Pinot Noir Rose Casablanca Valley, 2011 Domaine de St. Antoine Pays du Gard IGT Rose (85), 2011 Domaine Sainte-Eugenie Corbieres Rose (86), 2011 Santi Infinito Bardolino Chiaretto (85), 2011 Domaine du Tariquet Rose de Presse Cotes de Gascogne Rose (85), 2011 VML Wines Rose of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley (86), 2011 La Vieille Ferme Ventoux Rose (85), 2011 Villa des Anges Old Vines Cinsault Rose Vin de Pays d'Oc (86), 2011 Vina Robles Roseum Huerhuero Paso Robles (85), 2011 Chateau Viranel Saint-Chinian Rose (87), 2010 Chateau Saint-Sulpice Sarah Bordeaux Clairet (85).

Other wines tasted: 2011 Calcu Rose Reserva Colchagua Valley*, 2011 Chakana Maipe Rose of Malbec Mendoza, 2011 Vina Chocalan Seleccion Rose Maipo Valley, 2011 Curtis Winery Heritage Rose Santa Barbara County*, 2011 Domaine du Grand Cros Le Grand Cros L'Esprit de Provence Cotes de Provence Rose*, 2011 J. Bouchon Cabernet Sauvignon Rose Maule Valley, 2011 Michel Torino Malbec Rose Calchaqui Valley, 2011 Miguel Torres Chile Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon Rose Reserva Central Valley*, 2011 Pascal Jolivet Attitude Vin de Pays du Val de Loire IGP Rose*, 2011 Penya Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes Sud de France Rose.