Story by Dave Eckert
There are few wines of any color, weight, flavor, or aroma that I enjoy more than a delicious, bone-dry rosé. For me, a lovely crisp rosé, slightly chilled, is the perfect wine. Rosés can be enjoyed with lighter fare, fuller-bodied cuisine, or on their own. They are neither fussy, nor pretentious, and come in so many different styles and grape blends that there simply has to be a rosé out there to match your palate.
It’s not about finding a rosé I like. It’s more about finding the ones I like the most. That’s what this article is all about – a personal guide to my favorite rosés.
Let’s start with Vineyard Brands and a few thoughts from Caroline Shook McDaniel, the company’s PR and Social Media Manager. “Rosé has grown from a French favorite to a worldwide phenomenon. Everyone says that rosé is food friendly, and yes, the term can be overused, but rosé really is! Rosé and BBQ is perfect. You have bright fresh, lower-alcohol wine that cuts through rich, fatty meat, and bright red berry fruit that counterpoints a sweet or spicy BBQ sauce. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, say a Greek salad-crisp fresh vegetable and a crisp fresh wine,” Shook McDaniel shared.
La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2022 (SRP $11.99) You simply can’t beat the price or consistency of this rosé, a stalwart at the Eckert house for more than 20 years. This is a classic Southern France rosé with bright cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors, and delicious, mouth-cleansing acidity.
J. de Villebois Pinot Noir Rosé 2022 (SRP $15.99) and J. de Villebois Sancerre Rosé 2021 (SRP $26.99) The Pinot Noir Rosé coaxes all the soft, lovely fruit from the pinot grape along with notes of black currant. The wine is light in color, but certainly not light in its expression. The Sancerre Rosé, is more tightly wound as well as a bit more layered and elegant. The Sancerre appellation also provides a nice backbone of minerality, which serves the wine well.
STUDIO by Miraval Rosé 2022 (SRP $15.99) Offering gobs of citrus fruit on the nose alongside floral hints of rose and peony might suggest a softer wine, but you would be mistaken as STUDIO has a great minerality and more than sufficient acidity.
Marqués de Cáceres Rosé 2022 (SRP $12.99) Maybe the most underrated rosé from their portfolio, this classic Rioja house produces a luscious, lively, and refreshing rosé. Darker in color, but still light on the palate, this rosé is equally adept on its own as it is with a juicy bacon cheeseburger hot off the grill.
Kobrand Wine & Spirits
I recently piggy-backed onto a rosé tasting with the company’s Midwest Market Manager Keith Paden, a personal friend, and I could not have been more impressed. Paden revels in the versatility of rosés, and their ability to rise to any occasion or any style of cuisine. “Other than sparkling wine, I believe rosés are the most flexible wines on the planet. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or simply by themselves out on the patio, there is a rosé for every time and everyone,” Paden stated.
Below are my FIVE favorites:
Caposaldo Rosé (SRP 11.99) From the Veneto region featuring the corvina grape, this rosé is a real crowd-pleaser. Gushing with ripe fruit and floral notes, it is the perfect patio wine served slightly chilled. And, the price can’t be beat!
Louis Jadot Beaujolais/Maconnais Rosé (SRP $14.99) Made with 100-percent Gamay, the grape of Beaujolais, this is one of the favorites of my favorites. Floral and fruity with fresh red currant and raspberry fruit character, this is another quaffable wine sure to easily win friends and admirers.
Aix Provence Rosé (SRP $15.99) Utilizing the classic Provencal blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, Aix is, quite simply, a delightful rosé. Boasting both floral and fruity notes, it finishes bone dry with both acidity and minerality. Delicious!
Chateau La Nerthe Cotes du Rhone Rosé (SRP $16.99) Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault comprise the blend on this elegant and balanced rosé. A bit fleshier on the mid-palate thanks to the Mourvedre, the wine is still crisp and light on the palate, offering notes of red currant and peach on its generous and lengthy finish.
Chateau D’Aqueria Tavel Rosé (SRP $16.99) If I had to select one rosé out of the dozen I’ve recommended here, this would be the one. There’s a unique sense of place to a Tavel rosé, and there are no finer expressions of the terroir, in my opinion, than the Chateau D’Aqueria, Darker in color and in body, it brings me everything I could ask for in a rosé: fruit, body, earth, minerality, and, of course, outstanding acidity. That, I think, is the perfect word for this wine, and for rosé in general-outstanding!