The Rosé Roundup of 2015 – Parts 1-5

International demand for pink wines shows no sign of abating; if anything, it’s now a year-round thirst. Long-time rosé aficionados know that these wines aren’t just for warm-weather drinking, given their flexibility at the table and their deliciousness on their own. Given the modern eater’s evolving predilection for lighter foods, especially vegetables and seafood, pink wines are obvious pairings, as most examples emphasize vibrancy and clean red fruit and citrus character, often with a steely mineral underpinning. But the best of these wines also have the depth and power to work with the most strongly seasoned, spicy foods, those that might run roughshod over most white wines or be overwhelmed by the tannins of most reds.

Two faces of Rosé - direct press on the left and saignée on the right

The Different Kinds of Rosés

The growth in demand for Rosés is mainly for lighter, paler renditions made via direct pressing of red grapes, as opposed to those made according to the saignée method, which, as the name suggests, involves a bleeding-off of juice from the tanks of red wines before skin contact imparts too much color. In many cases, saignée Rosés don’t resemble pink wines at all: they look, smell and taste like light reds, which in my opinion diminishes their flexibility with food, not to mention their refreshment factor. Such wines have a place, and that place is as stand-ins for delicate red wines in warmer weather or when seasonings veer toward herbs and assertive spices, especially of the Asian, Moroccan, Provençal or Indian sorts. Those wines also tend to age well, due in no small part to the tannins that are imparted through skin contact. In fact, a well-made saignée Rosé is actually better, at least to my palate, with a year or two of bottle age—and sometimes more.

A Vineyard in Côtes de Provence La Londe - Francois Millo/CIVP

Rosés from France’s Provence region have long been the gold standard for the category, and continue to be today. I’m hard-pressed to think of any New World winemaker, for example, who doesn’t cite Provençal Rosé as their model for making their own pink wines. As an example, in the US alone, imports of Provence’s rosés have been on fire of late, jumping by 29% in 2014 (imported Rosé sales in general were up a whopping 41% for the year overall), and the trend is continuing in 2015, with the ascendant U.S. dollar working strongly in the American wine drinker’s favor.

The Market for Rosés

That rising popularity can be a double-edged sword because the odds are high that a growing quantity of lower-quality wine will be shipped here and to other Rosé-craving markets to meet demand. Importers with an eye to catching the wave are hard at work finding inexpensive but often shabbily made Rosés that they hope will turn a quick profit. So a little diligence is in order if one wants to drink the good stuff, a task that we hope to simplify in our multi-installment coverage of the category this spring and summer.

Note that most high-end Rosés from the 2014 vintage, especially those from Bandol, have yet to be released or have not yet made their way to American retail shelves. Once we’ve had the chance to taste these wines, we’ll publish reviews as quickly as possible.

--Josh Raynolds

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
Apaltagua Alain Jaume & Fils Ameztoi Abbaye Saint-Hilaire Amalie Robert Estate
Banshee Wines Bodega de Sarría Arnot-Roberts Adelsheim Anglim Winery
Baronne Philippe de Montremy               Cachette A Tribute to Grace Antica Terra Bernard Baudry
Bieler Père & Fils Calera Bodegas Dinastia Vivanco Bedrock Wine Company Birichino
Bodegas Más Que Vinos Casas del Bosque Bodegas Martínez Lacuesta Blackbird Vineyards Bodegas Eguía
Botasea Caves d'Esclans Casa Cadaval Bodegas Ostatu Bodegas Muriel
Château Beaulieu Château de L'Escarelle Channing Daughters Winery Bonny Doon Vineyard Broken Earth Winery
Château de Fontlade Château de Roquefort Château Coup Roses Bryn Mawr Vineyards Brooks Wines
Château de Rouët Château de Saint-Martin Château de Montmirail Buil & Giné Bucklin
Château des Demoiselles Château des Deux Rocs Château de Saint-Martin Cameron Winery Calcu
Château Grande Cassagne Château du Donjon Château des Arnauds Cepa 21 Château Bianca
Château Laulerie Château Haut Rian Château d'Esclans Charles Thomas Château d'Aquéria
Château Léoube Château La Canorgue Château d'Or et de Gueules Château Beaubois Chateau d'Arlay
Château Les Valentines Château Maupague Château Gassier Château de la Chaize Château de Calavon
Château Pégau Château Minuty Château l'Afrique Château de Lancyre Château de Manissy
Château Roubine Château Plaisance Château Mourgues de Grès Château de Lascaux Château de Pibarnon
Château Vignelaure Clos Cibonne Château Paradis Château de Sours Château des Garcinières
Chevalier Torpez Devois de Perret Château Riotor Château de Vaux Château des Nages
Commanderie de Peyrassol Domaine de Fontsainte Château Routas Château d'Oupia Château de Trinquevedel
Domaine Cazes Domaine de la Bastide Château Simone Château Gassier Château Haut-Dambert
Domaine de Fondrèche Domaine de Saint Ser Chêne Bleu Château La Mascaronne Château La Gordonne
Domaine de Gournier Domaine du Grand Cros Clos Bagatelle Château Landereau Château Miraval
Domaine de la Janasse Domaine Houchart Commanderie de la Bargemone Château Les Crostes Clos Solène
Domaine de la Mordorée Domaine Isle Saint Pierre CVNE Château Pradeaux Coste Brulade
Domaine de la Petite Cassagne Domaine Jean-Paul Picard Domaine de Bagnol Château Thivin Del Rio Vineyards
Domaine de La Vallongue Domaine Reine Juliette Domaine de Figueirasse Château Viranel Domaine André Neveu
Domaine de Saint-Antoine Domaine Saint-Aix Domaine de la Pépière Chêne Bleu Domaine Claude Vosgien
Domaine des Cabotières Domaine Sarrail Domaine de la Tourade Chevalier Torpez Domaine Collotte
Domaine des Cantarelles Domaines Ott Domaine de Montfin Clément et Florian Berthier Domaine d'Astros
Domaine des Corbillières Dominique Piron Domaine de Rimauresq Cornerstone Cellars Domaine de Fontenille
Domaine du Tariquet Emile Balland Domaine de Saint-Pierre CVNE Domaine de la Tour du Bon
Domaine Jaulin-Plaisantin Garduño Domaine des Bosquets Domaine Brazilier Domaine de L'Aujardière/Eric Chevalier
Domaine La Douceur Gustave Lorentz Domaine des Florets Domaine Charles Audon Domaine de Marquiliani
Domaine Saint-Andrieu Jean-Maurice Raffault Domaine de Sulauze Domaine Charvin Domaine de Reuilly
Domaine Saint-Damien Judith Beck Domaine Gérard Boulay Domaine Chevrot Domaine de Terrebrune
El Coto de Rioja Laporte Domaine La Rocalière Domaine des Deux Puits Domaine du Gros' Noré
Famille Perrin Le Clos de Caillou Domaine Le Galantin Domaine des Roy Domaine Duseigneur
Hecht & Bannier Les Rocailes/Pierre Boniface Domaine Le Pive Domaine des Terres Vivantes Domaine La Consonnière
Laroche Los Dos Domaine Les Grands Bois Domaine de Viranel Domaine La Jeanne
Lechuza Mas de Gourgonnier Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières Domaine du Grand Arc Domaine les Fouques
Les Vignobles de l'Escarelle Mas de Lavail Domaine Pierre Amadieu Domaine du Grand Cros Domaine Maby
Lieu Dit Matthiasson Wines Domaine Pré Baron Domaine Houchart Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils
Maipe Moraitis Estate Domaine Raspail-Ay Domaine Jacourette Domaine Sainte-Croix La Manuelle
Maison Belle Claire Pure Provence Domaine Saint-Andrieu Domaine La Blaque Domaine Tempier
Mas Carlot Sean Minor Domaine Sylvain Bailly Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine Domaine Vacheron
Mas de Bressades Seven Hills Winery Donkey & Goat Domaine Laurens Domaine Val d'Astier
Michel Torino Stoller Family Estate Ehhart-Domaine Saint-Remy Domaine Pierre Guindon Domaine Yves Martin
Mirabeau Sylvain Bailly Famille Sumeire Domaine Sainte-Eugénie Eric Texier
Paradis Terres Dorées/Jean Paul-Brun Fleur de California Domaines Bour Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup
Paul Jaboulet Aîné Van Duzer Vineyards Grandes Serres Domaine Serene Ferrandière
Raventos i Blanc Villa des Collines Halter Ranch Vineyard Domaine Vaquer Finca Parera
Riebeek Cellars Viña Sastre Hecht & Bannier Dragonette Cellars Idlewild Wines
Scheinder & Bieler Wines Vins Bréban Innocent Bystander Florian Mollet Isabel de France
Sidebar Cellars Jean-Max Roger Font-Mars Johan Vineyards
Tablas Creek Vineyard Jean Reverdy Fournier Père et Fils La Bastide Blanche
Weinkellerei Hugl-Wimmer Josep Foraster François Chidaine Lucia Vineyards
Karine Lauverjat Idlewild Wines Luli
Lagrezette Jeff Carrel Mas de Cadenet
Laporte J.K. Carriere Maurice & Nicolas Boiron
Le Cirque Kale Wines Olga Raffault
Lelièvre La Vieille Ferme Phelps Creek Vineyards
Le Moulin de la Gardette Les Quatres Tours Presqu'ile Winery
Les Chais Saint-Laurent Marqués de Cáceres Primitivo Quiles
Liquid Farm Mas Carlot Quivira Vineyard & Winery
Marc Plouzeau Mas Champart Rainstorm Winery
Markowitsch Mas de la Dame R d'Été
Mas Fleurey M. Chapoutier Real Compañia de Vinos
Matthias et Emile Roblin Milbrandt Vineyards Rousseau Frères
Moulin de Gassac Mulderbosch Saint-Romain d'Esclans
Notre Dame de Cousignac Pascal Jolivet Sol Rouge
Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Paul Mas Vie Winery
Pierre-Marie Chermette Penya Vignoble d'Azur
Pierre Morin Ponzi Vineyards Viña Zorzal
Quinta do Vallado Roger Champault Vines on the Marycrest
Red Car Roucas Toumba Vista Hills Vineyard & Winery
Sables d'Azur Tablas Creek Vineyard Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht
Sauska Vinicola Corellana Weingut Walter Buchegger
Ser Winter's Hill Estate
Small Vines Wines Yorkville Cellars
Villa des Anges