This year, as we celebrate the blog’s ninth annual Memorial Day and rose post at the traditional start of summer, we have much to enjoy. Not only have the hipsters and the Hamptons elite embraced rose, but so has Big Wine – Dark Horse, an E&J Gallo label, has released a dry rose, something I don’t remember Gallo brands doing very often (though the wine isn’t quite up to this post’s standards).
So let us rejoice. The rest of the wine world might be going to hell in a hand-basket – premiumization, consolidation, Millennialization and all the other -ations that have taken so much fun out of wine – but rose remains cheap and delicious and widely available.
This year’s recommendations are after the jump. You should also check out the rose category link, which lists eight years of rose reviews. The blog’s rose primer discusses styles, why rose is dry, how it gets its pink color, and why vintage matters. Vintage, in fact, is especially important this year; I didn’t see as many 2015s on shelves as I should have, and there seemed to be more older wines. In rose, older does not usually mean better.
• A to Z Wineworks 2015 ($11, purchased, 13%): This Oregon pink is made with mostly sangiovese, but that grape’s earthiness is offset by grenache, which seems to show up in most of the roses I enjoy. Very nicely done — bright and fresh, with strawberry and cherry fruit.
• Los Dos Rose 2015 ($10, purchased, 13.5%): This Spanish blend of cabernet sauvignon and garnacha demonstrates the joys of rose. It’s just an ordinary rose, but even an ordinary rose is still much better than what passes for too many $10 wines these days. Fruitier than other Spanish roses (strawberry?), but that’s not a problem.
• Familia Zuccardi Innovacion Rose 2015 ($10/1-liter bottle, purchased, 13.5%): This Argentine rose (a Whole Foods label but may available under Santa Julia elsewhere) is almost exactly what New World rose should taste like – crisp, with lots of tropical and strawberry fruit. Plus, its 1-liter size offers one-third more than a standard bottle.
• Sacha Lichine Single Blend Rose 2015 ($10, purchased, 12%): Provencal-style rose (the kind they drink in the Hamptons) that costs a lot less and is made by one of the most famous families in French wine. Made with grenache, it had a bit more watermelon fruit than I expected, but otherwise all it should be. Highly recommended.