Our Favorite Rosé Wines for Summer 2018

Rose wine on a picnic table.

Rosé may be all day now, but it’s still perfect for summer sippin’.

So for our latest round of National Retailer Wine Panel reviews, we asked our panelist of wine pros to rate bottles of rosé — any style from anywhere in the world.

As always, these selections include brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine’s retail price (which can vary from store-to-store and market-to-market). Unless noted otherwise, the price reflects a 750-ml. bottle. If you’re a beverage professional with a specialty in wine and you’re interested in participating in the panel, please contact managing editor Kyle Swartz at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or 203-855-8499 x2225.

Recent rounds of our wine reviews have included chardonnay and pinot noir.

Rating System

Five Stars (100-92): A top-flight wine, superior in taste and character, and providing a superior price/value ratio.


Four Stars (91-86): A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back.

Five Star Wines:

(95) Halter Ranch Rosé 2016 (California). One of the best rosés I have tasted in the last few years. Completely untraditional style for California. I love the edition of the picpoul blanc grape. Pours a darker pink with an orange hue. This wine offers a nice minerality and is layered with both citrus and fresh strawberry. Great complexity with a lasting finish. ($24)

(94) Gruet Brut Rosé (New Mexico). 100% pinot noir. A winner every time. Makes every meal or occasion a sensation. Delicate aroma and flavor of wild strawberry and a long, elegant finish. Great with ham and turkey or just by itself. ($15)

(94) Miro Cellars Chevalier Vineyard Grenache Rosé, 2017 (California). This wine is from a one-acre grenache vineyard planted specifically for this rosé. The winemaker chose to use no oak, minimal skin contact and long, cold fermentation to develop and preserve the classic flavors of rosé. Brilliant light ruby in color, this dry grenache rosé has notes of ripe strawberry, orange, hibiscus and sometimes with a hint of allspice on the finish. Lively acidity brings this wine into the “easy to drink a bottle” category and needs a sunshine-filled day to enjoy. ($19.99)

(94) Montaribaldi Sigiuja Rosato 2016 (Italy). Much darker in the glass then most, almost ruby-red grapefruit in color. Made from nebbiolo, this is tight when first released. A year later and this wine has released some great dark berry and plum notes. Bone dry and rich lasting finish make this perfect for a chilly spring day. ($15)

(93) Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2017 (Oregon). This dry rosé wine is actually made from free-run juice from crushing whole clusters of pinot noir grapes. It delivers bright acidity and soft, subtle aromas of cranberry, watermelon, raspberries and strawberries, and exhibits a terrific minerality. Balanced and very enjoyable when paired with salads, poultry or grilled foods. ($19.99)

(93) Sanford Rosé Of Pinot Noir 2016 (California). Sourced from two of their better estate vineyards, this is an elegant rosé. Beautiful color balances the subtle summer fruit, balanced with zesty acidity, and a subtle hint of muted oak and minerality. ($28.99)

(93) Balletto Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir 2017 (California). This medium-bodied, luscious wine is impressive in its combination of crisp red fruit, cranberries, pomegranate flavors alongside a smattering of orange zest. The smooth texture, savory notes displayed on the mid-palate, present a balanced, focused wine. It lingers on the palate with snappy acidity and a pleasant finish. Complex, impressive and delicious are the words that come to mind. Seek it out, as it will enhance any meal or gathering. ($22.99)

(92) Four Bears Rosé 2017 (California). Dry, crisp and mouthwatering. There is no denying the watermelon and cherry on the palate. Such a great value! ($14.99)

(92) Clos Pegase Rosé 2017 (California). Rich color hints at the complexity of a pinot noir, cab, sauvignon blanc, and sangiovese blend that delivers great complexity. Sourced from three prime sub-AVA sites in the valley. A touch of plum and licorice round out the flavor profile. 100% stainless, utilizing two different styles of winemaking, then aged for four months in tank. ($24.99)

(92) Domaine Maby La Forcadierer 2016 (France). A fastidiously made organic wine. Longer skin contact produces a deep crimson hue. Black and white grenache, cinsault and syrah are beautifully blended to produce a full, rich palate that can handle a platter of roast beef.($17.95)

(92) Olivares Rosado 2017 (Spain). Floral with red fruits on the nose and in the mouth. It is fruity, yet fresh and balanced. Serious bang for the buck! ($9.99)

(92) Lyanne de Provence Rosé 2017 (France). Inviting aromas reveal new complexities every time you revisit the glass . . . unfolding into melon, then peach, then a pink grapefruit note. The palate is bone dry, yet carries nice weight and a creamy roundness that precisely balances the minerality and tension through the middle. Delicious. ($24)

(92) Chateau de Campuget Costiéres de Nimes Rosé 2017 (France). 30% grenache noir, 70% syrah. Ballet-slipper pink on appearance, its nose is of summer red fruits. On the palate there is zippy citrus, and melon flavors. This wine is more than ready to convert anyone still harboring rosé reservations. ($14.99)

(92) Butternut Rosé 2017 (California). Sweet scents of watermelon, citrus and pale floral notes fill the air. On the palate, an array of strawberry and grapefruit entwine to deliver a crisp, acidic finish. ($14.99)

Four Star Wines:

(91) Apaltagua Carmenere Rosé 2017 (Chile). Brilliant pink hue with perfumed aromas of freshly picked red berries, rose petals, and hints of citrus. Fresh and dry, with a medium-bodied finish. ($13)

(91) Estandon 2016 (France). Produced near Aix, this is one of the prettiest rosés on the market. Perfect salmon color, beautiful mineral and fruit balance with a mélange of pear, peach and strawberry. Grilled seafood and goat cheese just sparkle with this wine. ($14.95)

(91) Domaine de la Piegonne Rosé 2017 (France). Round and refreshing with crisp acidity, notes of strawberry and a touch of honey highlight this Rhone rosé. The approachability and bright fruit make this a great choice for people who generally pick up the Provence rosés. ($14.99)

(91) Banfi Centine Rosé 2016 (Italy). A blend of sangiovese, merlot and cabernet. Medium bodies and packed with lots of rich, succulent strawberry aromas and flavor. Nice crisp finish. Try it with a nice bowl of pasta with shrimp. ($10)

(91) Apothic Rosé 2017 (California). A blend of grenache, tempranillo, pinot noir, sangiovese and “other varietals.” This will take the white zin drinker a step up. A tad bit fruitier than other roses, with concentrated raspberry and strawberry attributes. Creamy finish makes it super easy to enjoy. ($12)

(91) Rosegraphite 2017 (France). All zest and raspberry here, this rosé has some power to it. The initial flavors of red fruits subside to a citrus laser-like acidity that just so happens to be clean and refreshing. They might have a modern label but this is a classic Provence — fun wine. ($16.99)

(91) Tendance Rosé Caladoc 2017 (France). The nose and palate both are laced with peach and strawberry notes. More complex fruit notes than your standard Provence wine, this Caladoc (crossing of Grenache and Malbec) is a bright, elegant approachable rosé. ($14.99)

(91) Essentially Geared Rosé (California). This canned rosé screams pool party! This medium-bodied rosé is thirst-quenching and refreshing. Lots of bright red fruits and nice acidity. 375-ml can. ($5.99)

(91) Alexander Valley Vineyards Rosé of Sangiovese 2017 (California). 100% Sangiovese moves this great example into the decidedly dry category. One of the early proponents for Stelvin — sure makes it easy for those weekend spring picnics. All stainless-steel fermentation. Clean, crisp, with great acidity. Balanced fruit aromas finish with a hint of minerality. ($16.99)

(91) Chapelle St Victor Rosé Provence 2017 (France). Beautifully crafted and refreshingly crisp, bright and juicy. The palate is nicely dry with strawberry, peach, sea breeze and spice notes that are fresh, fresh, fresh. This vintage shows remarkable freshness and complexity. ($18) 

(90) Aroma Rosé 2017 (Chile). 100% Syrah. Great value for the picnic crowd. Crisp, clean – especially good with appetizers. ($5)

(90) Ripaille Rosé Provence 2017 (France). The pale rose color leads to hints of white flowers on the nose. The palate is vivid and quite complex with strawberry, peach and an underlying salinity we love. Really nice grip and texture across the mid-palate. Very nicely done. ($18)

(90) Rare Vineyards Rosé 2017 (France). Quite a remarkable value. Light on its feet with nice tension and super-fresh bright-red berry flavors. Lingers clean and long. ($13)  

(90) Chevalier de Lafoux Sainte Anne Rosé 2017 (France). The bright zesty mouth-feel and energetic texture are evident in this classic Provence rosé. Subtle strawberry and peach on the nose and palate are restrained and elegant — especially on the finish. ($14.99)

(90) Banshee Rosé 2017 (California). A strong bouquet of watermelon opens to a juicy, focused palate of strawberry and watermelon with a finish that lingers. ($19.99)

(90) Boschendal The Rose Garden Rosé 2017 (South Africa). Raspberry, cranberry and red cherry aromas are the hallmarks of this delicate rosé, with wild berry flavors on the palate and a hint of spice adding complexity to the finely textured finish. ($14)

(90) Vivanco 2016 (Spain). A lush blend of tempranillo and garnacha. Brillant deep pink, with hints of cherry and raspberry. A real buy which pairs with just about everything. ($12)

(90) Gruet Brut Rosé NV (New Mexico). Tradition champagne style from all pinot noir grapes. Orange/pink in color with fine to medium bubbles. Aromas of strawberry are prevalent. The taste is of much darker berry notes. Balanced acidity with a touch of citrus zest. Prolonged dry finish make this a steal. ($17)

(90) Yalumba Y Series Rosé 2017 (Australia). Brilliant pink color to the Yalumba Y-Series Rosé, offering up lively flavors of watermelon, strawberry and lime. The long, vibrant finish features a tart refreshing quality that keeps you thirsting for more. ($15)

(90) Pallas Rosé 2017 (Spain). Rose petals and strawberry on the nose, but the strawberries take over on the palate from start to finish. Fruit-forward and a silky soft round character define this wine as a standout among its price-point peers. ($11.99)

(89) Kim Crawford Rosé 2017 (New Zealand). A vivacious and expressive rosé offers bright pops of tart fruit with a beautiful marriage of acidity. The energy and balance give it a wonderful finish. ($18.99)

(89) Decoy Rosé 2017 (California). Duckhorn never takes the easy route to their wines. This rosé is a perfect example of shared resources and talents from all their operations. Understated and elegant, with a complex blend of syrah, vermentino, carignan, and pinot noir. Muted spice, zesty effervescence, and great fruit aromatics. ($25.99)

(89) Landun Chusclan Reserve de la Saurine Rosé 2017 (France). Pours a pale pink color. Clean fresh floral nose. Very bright and fruity. Perfect summer poolside sipper. Light and refreshing. Great to pair with a nice light salad with grilled salmon or chicken. ($9)

(89) Milou Rosé 2017 (France). Possibly the best rosé value of the year! Aromas of fresh raspberry, strawberry and watermelon are backed up by a zippy acidity and minerality. ($9.99)

(87) Underwood Rosé 2017 (Oregon). Fresh and fruity with peach and watermelon on the palate. The short finish makes this quaffable and great for outdoor activities. 375-ml can. ($6.99)

(87) Cupcake Rosé (California). This rosé offers wonderful flavors of raspberry and strawberry with a subtle hint of cranberry. The gentle texture and balance of fruit and acidity make this a wonderful pairing with a wide variety of food options. ($10.99)

(86) Day Owl Rosé 2016 (California). What a hoot of a simple rosé! Primarily barbera-based with grenache, chenin, cinsault and syrah added for complexity. Very drinkable, with beautiful color, and sour-patch candy finish. Sourced from Madera, Paso Robles, and Central Coast fruit. A great value. ($19.99)


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