As we ease into Fall, I know you’re probably looking forward to embracing all the wonderful red wines that pair so brilliantly with the delicious dishes we look forward to during the chillier months. But since Fall doesn’t officially start until September 22nd and the temperatures are still soaring into the triple digits in most of the U.S. (please, make it STOP!), I have some delicious rosé recommendations to share that are going to help you make the transition seamlessly.
But lest you think these are the pale, rose petal pink Provençal rosés of Summer…think again! No, the wines in this post are located on the other end of the rosé spectrum. They’re the crimson-hued, deeply colored, pink wines that are packed with flavor and beautifully bridge the gap between the lighter rosés of Summer and the fuller-bodied red wines of Fall and Winter.
You might be surprised to learn that this spectrum of rosé wine even exists! Since the Provencal rosés have gotten so much press during the #RoséRevolution, many of the other beautiful shades of pink wine still remain well kept secrets. Well, that ends today and I’d like to encourage you to drink the rosé rainbow, and the wines listed here provide the perfect opportunity to do just that.
And because these rosés contain more color, flavor and tannin than their lighter counterparts, I like to call them “red wine drinker” rosés. Mostly because my die hard red wine lovers who generally despise wimpy Provencal rosés, positively LOVE the darker colored pink wines. But these wines are so user friendly, as we usher in Fall they can provide enjoyment to a variety of wine lovers. This is also a great way to get acquainted with some unfamiliar grape varieties including Nebbiolo, Mourvedre and Negroamaro which make some truly brilliant pink wine.
So go forth, scroll down and enjoy these recommendations and if you have any questions about anything you read here, please let me know in the comments section below.
Leone de Castris Five Roses Salento Rosato, Puglia, Italy ($16): In Italy, rosé goes by the name “rosato” and this one represents the very first pink wine to ever be bottled and sold in Italy back in 1943. The current vintage is a blend of 90% Negroamaro, a dark, thick-skinned, red Italian grape with blackish-violet skin that produces wines with medium-plus tannins, and 10% Malvasia Nera, a blending grape that brings additional color and aromatics to the finished wine. The end result is a delightfully dry, medium-bodied rosato with notes of baked plum, cherry and spice with a delightful herb and spice-tinged finish.
A.A. Badenhorst Secateurs Rosé, Swartland, South Africa ($14): If you’ve been following my recommendations lately, you know I’m obsessed with the Secateurs wines. They offer an incredible value for the price and their rosé is no exception! This savory blend of 90% Cinsault and 10% Shiraz will keep you coming back for more with enticing notes of wild strawberry, watermelon and earth accentuated by a tangy, balsamic finish. And just FYI, this wine gets its gorgeous deep pink hue from 2 hours of contact with richly colored Shiraz grape skins.
Masciarelli Villa Gemma Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy ($18): Established in 2010, the Italian Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC is strictly dedicated to the production of rosato wine. It’s an appropriate name since “Cerasuolo” means “cherry red” which refers to the deep, translucent crimson color the wine has from very brief skin contact with the highly pigmented Montepulciano grape. As a big fan of this producer (check out this delightful pairing), I love this hearty gem that’s sure to delight those who enjoy a more mouthfilling style of rosé with notes of wild cherry, raspberry and herbs accentuated by lovely tannins.
Chateau D’Aqueria Tavel Rose, Rhône, France ($22): This deeply colored pink wine hails from France’s Southern Rhône, specifically, from Tavel, the first AOC ever established in France in 1936. This is a Grenache-based blend that includes other indigenous red and white grapes from the region including Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Bourbolenc. As a rosé that’s closer to an actual red wine, it has a dazzling, deep ruby-red color and fragrant aromatics of red berries and spice. On the palate, ripe juicy flavors of cherry and ripe berries strawberry, cherry, peach,
Charles Joguet Chinon Rosé, Loire Valley, France ($22): Hailing from France’s Loire Valley, this rosé comes from well known producer Charles Joguet and embodies the beauty of the region’s signature red grape, Cabernet Franc. This medium-bodied, lively rosé, crafted from 100% Cab Franc, exhibits enticing aromas and flavors of raspberry, rose and cherry accompanied by savory herbal notes of lavender and thyme. Red wine lovers will adore this wine’s depth of flavor, slight grip of tannins and spice tinged finish that round out the experience.
Round Pond Estate Rosato di Nebbiolo, Napa Valley, California ($24): When I first tasted this wine at a trade tasting years ago…I was immediately intrigued! It was clearly no wimpy rosé and to this day, this California “rosato” exhibits tremendous depth of flavor and that delightful hint of grip that only tannins can provide. Crafted from 100% Nebbiolo, the same red grape responsible for the legendary Barolos and Barbarescos of Italy’s Piedmont region, this wine has aromas and flavors of blood orange, watermelon, strawberry and spice framed by a food friendly acidity and fine grained tannins.
Goldeneye Rosé of Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California ($25): This gem from the legendary, California-based Duckhorn portfolio, has been one of my best sellers since last season! This delightful rosé is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier, and while crafted from relatively reserved grapes, this sophisticated rosé seduces with layers of flavor featuring notes of white peach, orange peel, strawberry and spiced pear. The fruit is accentuated by a lively, yet graceful acidity and a lengthy, spice-tinged finish.
Wölffer Estate “Summer in a Bottle” Rosé, Long Island, New York ($26): Hailing from Sagaponack, NY in the bucolic glory of the Hamptons this rosé is a creative blend of 40% Merlot, 22% Chardonnay, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Gewürztraminer, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Pinot Meunier, 4% Pinot Blanc, 3% Riesling and 2% Sauvignon Blanc. As the sheer number of grapes might suggest, this delightfully aromatic wine is packed with flavor exhibiting notes of blood orange, guava, spiced pear and strawberry accompanied by a fabulous, food-friendly acidity and fine-grained tannins.
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé, Provence, France ($40): The pale color of this rosé from this iconic, Provençal producer belies the fabulous flavor you’ll discover in your glass. Crafted primarily from Mourvèdre, the region’s signature red grape, with a bit of Grenache and Cinsault added for good measure this refreshing wine delights on the palate with complex aromas and flavors of blood orange, tart cherry and peach accentuated by a lovely minerality and notes of savory rosemary, lavender that conjure the terroir of this beloved wine region.
Chateau Minuty Côtes de Provence Rosé et Or, Provence, France ($45): Hailing from the South of France with vines planted on the Saint-Tropez peninsula overlooking the stunning Côte d’Azur this delightful bottling is a blend of the winery’s signature grape, Grenache, with a splash of Cinsault. This wine delivers enticing, fragrant aromas of candied citrus, red berries and white flowers while on the palate intense flavors of pink grapefruit, white peach and wild strawberry are accentuated by a bright acidity and a crushed limestone and citrus-tinged finish.