Rosé: Wine of the Month

Marcy Gordon on Apr 14, 2020

Bottles of Rose with book Rose All Day on a table outside

Strawberries cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring
My summer wine is really made from all these things

Those are the opening lines to Nancy Sinatra’s song, Summer Wine written by Lee Hazlewood. And how apt the lyrics are in capturing the essence of Rosé. Fresh, bright, fruity and floral it’s the raison d’être for the #RoséAllDay movement. No longer a simple by-product of red wine making, today Rosé is made intentionally with fruit that is often sourced from vineyards dedicated solely to the varietal.
Here are capsule reviews of Rosé wines you may find along the Wine Road.

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2019 Rosé of Sangiovese, Sonoma County

A virtual love note to the category of Rosé, the 2019 Alexander Valley Rosé is a classic example of everything we love about drinking pink. Made from Sangiovese grapes grown exclusively for the purpose of making Rosé, it’s an homage to the farm fresh fruits of summer; full of bright strawberry, juicy watermelon and spicy spearmint with a light blush pink color. Satisfying and quenching, it’s full of acidity and minerality with a wonderful parchment dry finish. Pair with spicy tuna rolls or poke bowl.

Balletto 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, Estate bottled, Sonoma County

Bright, balanced and beautiful the Balletto 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir delivers a nosegay of floral notes with orange blossom, spicy carnation, and crushed violets and a fascinating vanilla scent of heliotrope. Full zing and zest with ripe peach and bing cherry floating upon tropical flavors of pineapple, guava, and key lime. Positively dreamy, it floats along on delicate clouds of soft tannin. Pair with roast chicken with spicy jambalaya rice.

Ektimo, 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley , Sonoma

The lovely round and balanced Ektimo, 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir opens with a bouquet of orange blossoms, ginger and rose petals. Pale golden rose in color, it leans towards citrus notes over red fruits, a characteristic usually found in Provençal style Rosé. On the palate you will find tropical notes of guava, kiwi and mango and a strawberry–lemonade through line that ends with a delicate but bright, dry finish. Crisp and versatile it allows for a variety of pairing options. Spicy duck tacos would be a worthy pairing.

Ferrari-Carano 2019, Dry Sangiovese Rosé, Sonoma County

Elegant and crowd-pleasing, Ferrari-Carano’s 2019, Dry Sangiovese Rosé is chock full of aromas of summer red fruits—strawberry, cherry, white peach and a floral note of hibiscus. The flavor profile is zippy and bracing with citrus notes of orange peel and lemongrass. Dry as parchment, with a long lingering finish, this wine will have you marveling at the complexity of flavor and simple pleasures of a well-made Rosé. Pair with crab cakes or your favorite goat cheese along with a salty prosciutto.

J. Rickards Winery 2019 Ava Rae Rosé of Grenache, Alexander Valley 

Salmon pink with flecks of gold, the Ava Rae Rosé of Grenache checks all the boxes for a standout example of the varietal. Crisp and zesty, it zips across the palate with tart tropical citrus notes, and a rich undertone of ripe watermelon and a distinct note of strawberry that reminds me of the Bonnie Bell Strawberry Lip Smacker that I adored in junior high school. Despite the old school sense memory, this Rosé is a thoroughly modern and sophisticated sip that is as soft and lovely as a first kiss. Pair with pork or chicken sliders.

Three bottles of Rose wine and a tuna poke bowl on a table with a glass of rose

Pedroncelli Rosé of Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

Looking for a Rosé with a pedigree? Then cast your gaze upon Pedroncelli 2019 Rosé of Zinfandel. Pedroncelli has been making Rosé for over 60 years, and they have the style dialed in with this soft pink hued example that’s teeming with rich flavor and great body. The nose is like rose petal cotton candy with a strawberry-cherry vibe. The flavors are bright and juicy with notes of blood orange and sweet Bing cherry grounded with spicy notes of galangal and bergamot. Sharp and clean it’s the ultimate refresher on a hot summer day. Pair with a spicy gumbo or grilled shrimp in garlic sauce.  

Zialena 2019 Rosé of Sangiovese, Sonoma County

This pale beauty made from Sangiovese is rose gold in color and opens with a rush of fresh fruit featuring white peach, Rainier cherry, the alluring scent of spicy carnation and an herbal note of thyme. Long and lively on the palate, the flavors are bright and brimming with wild strawberry, pomegranate, and Santa Rosa plum. The lingering, satisfying finish keeps the party going. Pair with Thai curry, charcuterie board, or BLT with spicy mayonnaise.

We missed including this gorgeous sparkling Petite Sirah from David Coffaro in our Sparkling Wine post, but we include it now as it is a great example of Sparkling Rosé style.

Bottle of David Coffaro Sparkling Peite Sirah on a bench with plant in background

David Coffaro 2017 Petite Sirah Sparkling Dry Creek Valley

While most sparkling wines are a dainty affair, the David Coffaro 2017 Petite Sirah Sparkling has a tannin structure that is pleasantly robust. The complex flavor profile offers all the oomph of Petite Sirah with dark notes of licorice and boysenberry jam along with the delicateness and brightness of a sparkling wine, making it most versatile for a variety of food pairing options from cheese and salami plates to hearty beef stew. Save for a special occasion or pop the cork to elevate an everyday meal.

Posted by Marcy Gordon

Marcy Gordon is a freelance wine and travel writer. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Wine Enthusiast, San Francisco Chronicle, Sonoma Magazine, The California Travel Guide, and Forbes Travel Guide. In 2017 she was awarded a fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. She is the co-host of the award winning Wine Road Podcast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *