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I had a brief conversation last night with VinT about rosés: how they're a hot topic when the weather is hot, and how so many of them are simple, sweet strawberry juice.

So what serious, dry, complex rosés would you recommend? I'll start the ball rolling with a couple:

Vini Rabasco Vino Rosato La Salita
Vini Rabasco Abruzzo Selezione Damigiana

Both with a ton of complexity and depth.

I have also purchased the 2016 Valentini Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo but have yet to open one. D'Agata thinks it's age-worthy so I'm going to let them sit for a year or so more.

Aaaand.... go.

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I think the key is to stay away from Grenache-based versions. That's probably heresy to most people, but after having tried many dozens over the past two years, I've decided that the best use of the Pinot Noir grape is to make rosé. Frequently an unsatisfying red wine, pick it a little early and it can make a wonderful pink wine!

We've had a few from Austria, Germany, France, and of course the US and they tend to have better acidity and none of that melon/bubblegum character that so many others have.

I suppose that melon/bubblegum taste is exactly what appeals to many people, but it's a turn -off to me.

We also like versions made from Zweigelt and Cab Franc, and any number we've had from Italy.  A few, and not expensive at all, are:

Pratsch (Austria) Zweigelt

Red Car (Sonoma) Pinot Noir

Gloria Ferrar (Sonoma) Pinot Noir

Poggio delle Grazie (Italy) Corvina / Rondinella blend

Tercero (Santa Barbara) Mourvedré



Last edited by gregt

The I had a Tempier last night. A long-standing favorite and go-to for me and many other wine lovers I know. The price is a little steep for what it is, though ($48).  Peach pits, nectarine fuzz, strawberry and stems, maybe some red apple skin, all while being perfectly dry. 

But my actual favorite from that region is Chateau Pradeaux. Less well known than Tempier and only $30. Probably my second-favorite overall.  Usually little earthier than Tempier.

My overall favorite is probably Lopez de Heredia Gran Reserva.  Which, if you hit it at the right moment, you can get at a very decent price.  Otherwise it is astronomically expensive and not worth it at all.  (Seriously.  Like, the difference between $40 and $200.)

 I’m also a fan of Batic rose.  (Really, all the Batic wines.)

Strictly speaking, Edoardo Valentini makes a rose I adore, but it is so freakishly expensive for a still rose that I never buy it.

 I also like Chateau Musar Rose, but it suffers from the Tempier problem. $50 isn’t a great value proposition for it, imo.  

In general, my favorite still roses come from Provence and the Rhone.  But Italy and Spain both have many good examples I’ve tried.  (And obviously Slovenia and Lebanon, as well.)  Even Germany has some good examples.  I’m sorry I don’t recall more names.  These are frequently purchased as one-offs on hot summer days.


Last edited by winetarelli

I second Lopez de Heredia’s rose as the most complex I’ve ever tasted.

Bandol makes some excellent rosés as well such as Tempier or Pibarnon.

and of course there is the Caves d’esclans that make complex but rather pricey rosés.

If all that fails, just mix and match red and white wines you like until you get it right.

Last edited by mimik

I love their reds and Tempier's rosé is very good, but too expensive for me. Coincidentally the 2018 was released here by our gubmint monopoly for CDN$42 (US$32).

LDH. If a partially oxidized rosé is complex, I'll take simple please. I've only had one vintage of this wine so I don't know if that's the way it's always made or if it's just all over the map inconsistent like their white rioja(s). It could just be because they release it 10+ years after the vintage. I have little tolerance for wines made in an oxidized style anymore. I realize this is heresy to many who love this winery.

Speaking of heresy. GregT

"I've decided that the best use of the Pinot Noir grape is to make rosé."

Some of my favourite rosés

Domaine La Suffrene, Bandol

Domaine Bunan, Bandol, Mas de la Rouvière

Tardieu-Laurent, Tavel

Domaine De La Mordorée, Tavel (borderline on price for me now)

sunnylea57 posted:

Steve, $42 CAD for the Tempier doesn't seem bad, all things considered. Certainly cheaper than the $37-38 USD they're asking south of the border.

42$ cad minus consumption taxes hst-gst etc is 36$ Cad or 27$ Usd. So the correct comparison is 27$ usd vs 37-38us. So a very good deal indeed.

I’m not singling anyone Sunnylea57 and please don’t interpret it as directed at you but when some posters bitch and complain about Kgbo this and that, this proper price comparison is not often done.

There is no doubt that we are ripped off on pricing for certain regions of wines but it’s not as drastic as it’s made out  to be.

Last edited by mimik

Had a glass of Chateau Pradeaux last night while cooking dinner. This remains my favorite rosé (outside of LDH and Valentini).  A definite improvement over the Tempier I had two nights before. Just the right balance of “fun” and “serious” with Provencal earth and herbs complimenting the strawberry, peach and hint of cherry skin fruit. I could just see myself on a patio in Èze looking out over the Mediterranean in the distance while sipping this. A steal at $30. (BTW, 2018)

Last edited by winetarelli

Hoping to find some LdH locally (but not holding my breath).

In the meantime, I picked up a few bottles each of the 2018 Tempier Bandol Rosé, 2018 La Suffrene Bandol Rosé and another that got me curious: 2018 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Rosé de Pinot Noir. Unfortunately I won't likely take delivery of the Suffrene and PYCM until the fall.

My favourite rose for many years has been the Biondi-Santi Rosato, although the price here is a bit daunting (in Tuscany it sells for 29 Euros, so I stick some in my luggage if space permits).  I have also had a few corked wines from them which makes it a worse value proposition.

Another rose that I particularly like is Massa Vecchia Rosato, a very small producer in Maremma - but it is very hard to find here unless you know their agent in Quebec or look for it in the NYC area.  But if you happen to be travelling in Tuscany, it is worth visiting the producer,

I have enjoyed this thread, but must say that my tastes in Rosé are not so demanding.  If it washes down some cold chicken, cheese and good bread then I'm perfectly happy.  I look for complexity elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, I don't want alcoholic fruit juice, but the point of diminishing returns in Rosé for me begins pretty early.


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