Group Rose Wine Bottle Photo

The Best Wines for Summer – It’s Rosé Season

Suns Out, Rosés Out! It’s time to rejoice in the official wine of summer – the rosé!  This trendy pink drink comes with its own catchphrases like “Rosé All Day” and “Yes Way, Rosé” and even recently made headlines for its availability in 40 ounce bottles!

And there’s a reason for the hype, the hashtags, and the memes so we’re going to dive into the pink world of rosé. Your guide to a rosé-filled summer is here, and it’ll have you saying “New Day, New Rosé”.

Rosé basics (although rosé is anything but basic)

Rosé is a category of wine – just as white and red are categories. Its name comes from the French word for pink.

Rosé happens when the skins of red grapes touch wine for only a short time (anywhere from 2 hours to 20 hours). The longer the grapes’ skins are left sitting in the wine, the darker the color of the finished rosé.

There are three ways to make rosé: maceration, saignée and blending. The maceration method is when red wine grapes are let to rest, or macerate, in the juice for a period of time and afterward the entire batch of juice is finished into a rosé wine. The Saignée (“San-yay”) method is when some of the juice is bled off during the first few hours of making a red wine and put into a new vat to make rosé. This method is very common in wine regions that make fine red wines such as Napa and Sonoma. And the blending method is when a little bit of red wine is added to a vat of white wine to make rosé. It doesn’t take much red wine to dye a white wine pink, so usually these wines will have up to 5% or so, of a red wine added. This method is very uncommon with still rosé wines but happens much more in sparkling wine regions such as Champagne.

The primary flavors of rosé wine are red fruit, flowers, citrus, and melon, with a pleasant crunchy green flavor on the finish similar to celery or rhubarb. Of course, depending on the type of grape the rosé wine is made with will greatly vary the flavor.

Rosés range in taste from dry (not sweet) to sweet depending on grape. Pink doesn’t always equal sweet!

The suggested serving temperature:45 – 55 degrees F / 7 – 10 degrees C.

Rosé pairs well with SO MANY foods – fin fish, shellfish, white meat, cured meat, hard cheese, soft cheese, greens, and exotic spices like turmeric, ginger, saffron, and cumin.

Just like summer can’t last forever, the vast majority of rosés are made to be consumed within 1-2 years which is why the rosés you’ll see below are from 2015 and 2016.

Rosé is produced in every major country and is made of nearly every grape variety – both red and white. The Molly’s Wine Team has chosen a few favorites out of our ENTIRE section of rosés for our guide. These hail from France, Spain, Austria, the good ol’ U.S. of A., Chile, and South Africa. Let’s travel through the various regions together!

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France

Rosé wines of France mainly come from Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon, both located in Southern France. French rosés are dry and the blend usually includes Grenache (fruity) and Syrah (savory). Fun facts: Provence is the world’s largest wine region specializing in dry rosé! The Center for Rosé Research, located in Provence, is the only scientific organization dedicated to studying rosé wine and supporting improvements in rosé quality and diversity. Wine Folly has dubbed rosés from Provence the “little black dress of pink wines”.

Saint Roch les Vignes Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016

“This blend of Cinsault (50%) and Grenache (50%) has everything a Provençal rosé should: delicacy, dryness and drinkability. It smells of bright red berries, and the palate is lively and full of crisp, food-friendly acidity.” — Importer

Region/Appellation: Côtes de Provence
Country Hierarchy: Provence, France
Grape/Blend: 50% Grenache, 50% Cinsault
Price: $14.98 | ON SALE: $12.98
Enjoy: With fresh berries while soaking in a hot spring

Château Montfaucon ‘Les Gardettes’ Rosé 2016

“Refreshing and crisp with hints of peaches, raspberries and violets, this easy drinking dry rosé is meant to be enjoyed casually in a jovial spirit.” – Rodolphe de Pins, Château de Montfaucon

Region/Appellation: Montfaucon
Country Hierarchy: Rhône Valley, France
Grape/Blend: Cinsault, Counoise and Grenache
Price: $12.98 | ON SALE: $10.98
Enjoy: While getting your daily dose of green vegetables (who said that can’t be fun?!)

AIX Rosé 2016

“An elegant rosé with layers of complexity and a fresh personality. Beautifully balanced with bright fruit flavors, delicate floral notes, and a long finish reminiscent of a clear, warm day in Provence, this delicious rose is as captivating as a gentle refreshing summer breeze – it seduces you like a bright sunny day. Sublime happiness in every sip. Enjoy chilled.” – Maison Saint AIX

Region/Appellation: Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence
Country Hierarchy: Provence, France
Grape/Blend: 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Cinsault
Price: $16.98 | ON SALE: $13.98
Enjoy: Overlooking the water with a glass of AIX Rosé in one hand and a good book in the other

Domaine de Beaurenard Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2016

“Fruity with ‘pep’, class and a nice mineral support. A frank attack with pleasing roundness, present fruit balanced by a delicate structure found by the mineral presence.” – Domaine de Beaurenard

Region/Appellation: Côtes du Rhône
Country Hierarchy: Rhône, France
Grape/Blend: Grenache, Syrah Juice, and Cinsault
Price: $18.98 | ON SALE: $16.98
Enjoy: At a backyard BBQ

Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé 2016

“A pleasant, intense, floral and mineral nose and well balanced palate with freshness combining red currants and berries. This rosé is ready to drink now, and should be consumed within a year to enjoy its fresh fruitiness to the full. Enjoy as an aperitif or with a meal.” – Mas de Daumas Gassac

Region/Appellation: Pays d’Herault
Country Hierarchy: Languedoc, France
Grape/Blend: 50% Syrah, 50% Carignan
Price: $12.98 | ON SALE: $10.98
Enjoy: While enjoying a late lunch after tackling your weekend to-do list

Chãteau du Rouët Côtes de Provence Cuvée Réservée Tradition Rosé 2015

“A refreshing blast of rose petal aromas give way to crisp minerality loaded with notes of cherry blossom, raspberry and strawberries. This classically dry Provençal rosé has a fruity palate and a long, rich aftertaste.” – Chãteau du Rouët

Region/Appellation: Côtes de Provence
Country Hierarchy: Provence, France
Grape/Blend: 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, and 20% Syrah
Price: $19.98 | ON SALE: $15.98
Enjoy: While sharing a cured meat plate with your bestie

Château de Paraza Cuvée Spéciale Rosé 2016

“A pleasing nose with notes of strawberry and redcurrant. On the palate the wine is wild, round, and well-balanced, with a lot of crisp. Pure freshness.” – Château de Paraza

Region/Appellation: Minervois
Country Hierarchy: Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Grape/Blend: 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache
Price: $13.98 | ON SALE: $11.98
Enjoy: With takeout from your go-to sushi place and a little Netflix binge

Spain

The most popular Spanish rosés are Tempranillo (savory) and Garnacha (fruity)-based rosado wines from Rioja, but Spain hosts a range of rosé wines. Jumilla is located on the Mediterranean coast of south-eastern of Spain and produces quality rosés from the Monastrell (savory) grape variety.

Ostatu Rosado 2016

“Pale salmon, bright color with pinks reflections. Aromas of fresh fruits (strawberries), with a fine and elegant expression. Very fresh and balanced in the mouth, slightly oily and with dimension. Great balance of flavors, fruitiness and warmth.” – Ostatu

Region/Appellation: Rioja Alavesa
Country Hierarchy:  Spain
Grape/Blend: 70% Tempranillo, 27% Garnacha and 3% Viura
Price: $17.98 | ON SALE: $15.98
Enjoy: With a make your own pizza date night

Bodegas Muga Rosado 2016

“Aromas of red currant and strawberry, and flavors of bright red fruit, orange and flowers. A very easy wine to drink” – Bodegas Muga

Region/Appellation: Rioja Alta
Country Hierarchy: Rioja, Spain
Grape/Blend: 60% Garnacha, 30% Viura and 10% Tempranillo
Price: $18.98 | ON SALE: $15.98
Enjoy: Poolside with a plate of sliced mango

Bodegas Olivares Rosado 2016

“The blend of Monastrell and Grenache gives richness and structure to this fresh, fruity rosé. You’ll find floral and red fruits on the nose and in the mouth. It is fruity, fresh and balanced.” – Bodegas Olivares 

Region/Appellation: Jumilla
Country Hierarchy: Murcia, Spain
Grape/Blend: 70% Grenache, 30% Monastrell
Price: $10.98 | ON SALE: $8.98
Enjoy:
By the campfire, although you might want to transfer into a different vessel before you set out on your adventure (should you decide to brave it and bring the glass bottle, it is a twist off so no need to worry about a cork screw)

Austria

Rosé wine is produced in all of Austria´s wine-growing regions, Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt are two significant grape varieties used in Austrian rosés.  Zweigelt is characterized by bold cherry flavors and a slight herbaceous bitter note on the finish making rosé wines fruity while Blaufränkisch typically produces wines rich in tannin and sometimes exhibiting a pronounced spicy character. Niederosterreich (Lower Austria) is the largest wine region in Austria followed by Burgenland.

Meinklang Frizzante Pinot Noir Rosé 2015

“This light frizzante made from Pinot Noir shows a lot of fruitness and aromatics. Strawberries, cherries and minerality lead to long slightly bubbly finish. Organic and biodynamic!” – kwselection.com

Region/Appellation: Burgenland
Country Hierarchy: Austria
Grape/Blend: Pinot Noir, Zweigelt & Blaufränkisch
Price: $19.98 | ON SALE: $17.98
Enjoy: With Sunday brunch

Pratsch Rosé 2016

“Made from several varieties of organically-grown estate grapes, this Austrian rosé is delicate and dry featuring aromas and flavors of wild strawberries, peach, and pear, backed by crisp, refreshing acidity.” – Winesellers, Ltd

Region/Appellation: Niederosterreich (Lower Austria)
Country Hierarchy: Austria
Grape/Blend: Zweigelt
Price: $14.98 | ON SALE: $10.98
Enjoy: With paella after a day spent on the water

United States

As of August 2016, The United States is currently ranked as the world’s third largest producer of rosé wine (after France and Spain respectively) and is gaining ground as the trend shows its longevity year after year!

Moshin Vineyards 2016 Rose of Pinot Noir

” A dry, refreshing, cool, crisp pink with flavors and aromas of strawberry, melon and hints of spring flowers. 100% Pinot Noir that delivers a juicy and delicious wine – pairing easily with appetizers, fish and good times with friends!” — Moshin Vineyards

Region/Appellation: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
Country Hierarchy: USA
Grape/Blend: Pinot Noir
Price: $19.98 | ON SALE: $17.98
Enjoy: At happy hour with friends from the office

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare 2016

“The ’16 Vin Gris is a bit of a departure from recent vintages, somewhat deeper in color and definitely a bit fruitier than some, though the fruit is perhaps (at least at this stage) more of the dark and brooding variety, particularly suggestive of black currants, Damson plum and rosehips. This wine is all about elegance and restraint. Rosehips, cassis, fraises de bois, citrus rind, with a wonderfully austere stony finish ” – Bonny Doon Vineyard

Region/Appellation: Central Coast, California
Country Hierarchy: USA
Grape/Blend: 49% Grenache, 19% Grenache Blanc, 13% Mourvèdre, 12% Carignane, 4% Cinsaut, 3% Roussanne
Price: $19.98 | ON SALE: $14.98
Enjoy: At a 4th of July crab boil under the fireworks

Chile

Chile’s hot summers, coastal cooling breezes, and moderate rainfall make it an ideal climate for wine grape growing! Most of Chile’s vineyards are located in the Central Valley Region, a large region that contains several smaller valleys like Maule Valley which is where our pick from Chile is produced. Over the past two decades, Chile has seen a massive diversification; wineries, both big and small, new wine regions and plantings of altogether new-to-Chile grapes. The Carménère grape used in the rosé below is now considered the national grape of Chile.

Apaltagua Reserva Carménère Rose

“Rose petal-colored, clear, brilliant and clean, our Apaltagua Carménère Rosé has perfumed aromas of tart red fruit, such as raspberry. With floral notes such as rose, as well as hints of citrus, there is a touch of light balsamic and subtle spice. In the mouth it is fresh and dry, with a medium body and a long finish.” – Apaltagua Vineyards

Region/Appellation: Maule Valley
Country Hierarchy: Chile
Grape/Blend: 85% Carmenere, 15% Syrah
Price: $11.98 | ON SALE: $9.98
Enjoy: On a picnic with a plate of fresh tomato and mozzarella slices

South Africa

Like the United States and Chile, South Africa is classified as a ‘New World’ region. New World wines come from countries that used to be colonies, where winemaking (and Vitis vinifera grapes) were imported. The differences in Old World and New World wines come from winemaking practices (tradition) and from the affect of the land and climate on the grapes (the “terroir”). New World wines are often described as tasting riper, having higher alcohol, having less acidity, and tasting more fruity while Old World wines are often described as tasting lighter, having less alcohol, having higher acidity, and tasting less fruity. The Cabernet Sauvignon is one of South Africa’s most planted grapes and is used to produce the rosé listed below. First released in 1999, Mulderbosch Rosé was one of the very first of its kind from South Africa. This rosé is produced in Stellenbosch, South Africa’s leading wine area with a winemaking tradition that stretches back to the end of the 17th-century.

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2016

“Bracing mineral aromatics and floral notes are found on the nose whilst the well balanced and vibrant palate features freshly sliced watermelon, Turkish rose water and subtly herbaceous Cabernet Sauvignon flavours. Amplifying its fresh, clean acidity and striking length is a burst of succulent Ruby grapefruit that carries the wonderful ensemble to a pleasant, lasting finish.” – Mulderbosch

Region/Appellation: Stellenbosch /Coastal Region
Country Hierarchy: South Africa
Grape/Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: $13.98 | ON SALE: $11.98
Enjoy: At the annual Labor Day family reunion

All prices limited to stock on hand. Molly’s Spirits reserves the right to limit quantities. Prices are subject to change. Molly’s has an entire section dedicated to rosés (Lane 2, Aisle B)! Swing by and our wine team will be happy to help you find the perfect one!

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