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Summertime: A great time to think pink

Written By | Feb 2, 2014

SEATTLE, June 30, 2013 —  For some reason, Rosé has sort of a bad reputation among certain male wine lovers who think of it as a “chick wine.” That’s unfortunate.

One could make the case that its pink color is a bit feminine but there are many complex Rosé wines on the market that pack more muscle than some reds or whites. If you haven’t yet experienced a good bottle of this summertime-favorite, then you should consider one for your next wine purchase.

Rosé is easily one of the most versatile wines you can buy as it quite literally goes with just about any food you can muster and it is made in styles ranging from a bit sweet to bone dry. There are few wines that complement a picnic better or summertime fare in general and the pairing possibilities are nearly endless. Rosé is also brilliant for Thanksgiving and other festive holidays as well, anywhere there’s a bounty of food selections at the table.

But this is summertime and the 4th of July is pending – what a perfect time to “think pink” for your next wine purchase.

For this round up, you’ll see wines from all over the globe that come from differing varietals and are made in varying styles, but all of them are solid bottles to consider.


2012 AIX Rosé $15

On the nose: There is some herbaceous strawberry action going on here along with a hint of dust, watermelon, elderberry, gooseberry and white pepper.

On the palate: Gorgeous amounts of elderberry, watermelon, quince, strawberry and fresh blossom. A very good mid palate that delivers what we love about rosé — dry, fruity, lush and that beautiful acidity that comes lingering in, ready to snuggle up close to your taste buds. Lovely finish — easily one of the better ones out there for the money.

2012 Chateau de Sours Rosé: $15

On the nose: Whiffs of raspberry cream puff, rhubarb, strawberry and tart melon.

On the palate: This wine starts off a tad on the juicier side but on the mid palate it gets nice and dry. The finish lingers well with notes of fresh berries and melon.

2012 Castelmaure Rosé: $12

On the nose: Strawberry, Rainier cherry, white pepper, rhubarb and golden raisin.

On the palate: Fresh strawberry bouquet with hints of loganberry, huckleberry and white pepper with a hint of Fabreeze. The stellar mid palate spills into a lingering finish.

2012 Joseph Mellot Sancerre Le Rabault: $12

On the nose: Watermelon, strawberry, bubble gum, blackcurrant and rose petal.

On the palate: A rather lush-tasting rosé in that it contains a bit more residual sugar that makes it feel very “rounded” on the palate. This is an easy “crowd-pleaser” rosé because it has that mouthfeel at the expense of some dryness. It would be a very good picnic wine or with some slightly spiced Asian foods.

2012 La Vieille Ferme Récolte: $10

On the nose: Cherries, watermelon, white pepper, rhubarb, a pinch of raspberry, huckleberry and a trail of loganberries.

On the palate: A stellar combination of watermelon, strawberry and raspberry, which all blend very harmoniously into a finished wine that’s very pleasant on the palate. It has just enough sweetness to pair with spicier foods and yet enough dryness to make it very food-friendly.

2012 Miraval Rosé: $28

On the nose: Earthiness — like a forest floor. Also get notes of roses, cherry, white pepper and strawberry.

On the palate: Good body and fruit but aromas are a bit muted with a finish that is good, but not great. At its price, it’s clear you’re paying a bit for the “celebrity factor” that comes from a label by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.


2011 Marqués de Caceres Rosado: $10

On the nose: Cherry, rose petals, raspberry, white pepper, strawberry and cherry 7up.

On the taste: A beautiful combination of strawberry and cherries in a very dry format — it has a very clean flavor profile that would quite literally pair with just about any kind of food. This is a very solid rosé that is extremely food friendly and frankly one you could enjoy just about every day.

2012 Rosado Címbalo: $12

On the nose: Strawberry, cranberry and some cherry action at play here.

On the palate: A rather tasty bottle that goes down the hatch rather well with its combination of red fruit and hints of melon. There’s some decent complexity here that helps it pair with a variety of foods. It also has good acidity. Overall, a solid, affordable effort from Spain.

South Africa:

2012 Goats Do Roam Rosé $10

On the nose: A good mix of cherry, strawberries, rhubarb and tart raspberry.

On the palate: A slight hint of sweetness will help this wine cater to a broader customer base, perhaps, but it still retains enough dryness to keep it food-friendly with a nice finish. A good value that could qualify as an easy daily drinker.

2012 The Wolftrape Rosé $10

On the nose: An explosion of fresh strawberries and raspberries that come to life, enticing you to hurry up and sip it. This wine smells like a lover, waiting for you to embark on a fun journey. I also get lovely notes of Fabreeze, white pepper and melon.

On the palate: This is a rosé that’s a clear example of how we should never judge the profile of a rosé based on its color alone. Beautiful, lush fruit with an explosive mid palate of rhubarb laced with rose petals toward a nice, long finish.


2012 Cono Sur Bicicleta Rosé $10

On the nose: Tart prune, peppercorn, shoe laces, pomegranate, leather, ripe raspberry and spice.

On the palate: A full-bodied rosé that is more lush in structure going onto the tongue than some of the other choices in this round up. It still finishes on the drier side but the mid palate pours on the fruit like a racecar in full throttle.


2012 Dry Creek Vineyard Rosé of Zinfandel: $18

On the nose: Fresh rhubarb, strawberry, pink peppercorns, popcorn and a hint of sour cherry.

On the palate: The bone-dry action means it’s not going to be enjoyed as some of the sweeter choices. But it’s on the money as a very food-friendly wine. Its ultra-dry finish cleanses your palate like a razor blade scraping over it, so you can taste your next bite of food with a clean slate.

2012 Meyer Family Rosé: $18

On the nose: Ruby red grapefruit, cherries, rhubarb, a hint of strawberry and some fig.

On the palate: Nice balance of citrus and red fruit with hints of tartness like rhubarb and spice. A good effort, overall but lacks the complexity that would make it a crowd pleaser on a warm summer day.

2012 Pedroncelli Rosé of Zinfandel: $12

On the nose: Tart strawberry, rhubarb, sour cherry, plum and a slight hint of raspberry.

On the palate: A wonderfully dry arsenal of strawberries, rhubarb pie filling with a hint of watermelon. A really nice overall mouthfeel that’s dry with decent acids and fruit. However, the finish falls off a bit too soon. Still, it’s a tasty bottle of rosé and one that will please guests on a summer day.

Washington State:

2012 JM Cellars Cinsault Rosé: $24

On the nose: Lush strawberry, white pepper, cherry, watermelon and a hint of Fabreeze.

On the palate: A very “Provence-like” rosé — it strikes a very good balance between dryness and “mouthfeel” in such a way that one could easily manage an entire bottle without realizing it. The lovely “textures,” fruit, aromas and finish make this a very easy-to-drink rosé.

2012 Julia’s Dazzle $15

On the nose:  Fresh strawberries with a hint of spice, minerality and some lychee.  There are also notes of melon, quince paste and rhubarb.

On the palate: A very well-made bottle for the money and one that exhibits a good deal of complexity, acid, fruit and lushness. Even though it’s a dry rosé, it gives the impression of a hint of sweetness because of the “roundness” of palate on the mouthfeel. This wine is only available at select wine shops and restaurants.

2012 Maison Bleue Rosé of Mourvédre $20

On the nose: Lightly-salted watermelon, citrus, strawberry patch, jasmine, white pepper and a hint of plum.

On the palate: Stellar combination of fruit, minerality and mouth feel here. Even folks who appreciate sweeter interpretations of rosé should like this wine as it has a splendid mid palate that’s lush, dry and full. The lingering finish hangs out nicely and leaves a clean palate.

2012 Syncline Rosé: $18

On the nose: Rhubarb-laced strawberry pie filling with hints of white pepper, Fabreeze and blossom.

On the palate: A super dry rosé, one that Provence-style lovers will appreciate a great deal. It’s also one that will equally turn-off those who prefer a bit more of a “mouth feel.” It’s easily one of the most “Provence-like” wines in Washington State. Very nice viscosity across the mid palate due to its acidity, which envelops the palate while presenting a very clean, long finish.

Personal rosé favorites:

2012 Wolftrape Rosé
2012 AIX Rosé
2012 JM Cellars Rosé
2012 Maison Bleue Rosé of Mourvédre
2012 Syncline Rosé
2012 Castelmaure Rosé
2011 Marqués de Caceres Rosado

In the end, no matter which rosé you choose, you’ll be rewarded with a solid bottle of wine that will cater to a variety of menus and summertime patio-time.

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Duane Pemberton

Duane Pemberton is a lifestyle writer and CDNs Auto Editor. Pemberton loves anything that helps bring people together which is why he writes about food, wine, cars, and travel.