To us, the warm weather means it’s time to sip rosé on the deck or patio, lakeside, oceanside or poolside. Drink pink!
Rosé can be paired with seafood, shellfish, smoked salmon, salads, pasta and Asian dishes. Or simply drink rosé without food, watching the sunset reflected in its pretty color.
Here are seven summer sippers that we enjoyed, listed by price — five from Washington state, one from Spain and one from New Zealand.
Vivanco 2016 Rioja Tempranillo Garnacha Rosé ($15)
This is a lively rosé, a dark pink color with pretty aromatics of red licorice, cherries, orange zest and red berries, leading into rich, red fruit and white peach notes on the palate.
This Spanish rosé blends 80% Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha – it is not a light and easy wine like many of the other wines mentioned here. Rather, it is medium-bodied, substantial and well-balanced — fresh and fruity, but dry.
We cracked open a bottle on the deck with our neighbors, who loved it. Thanks to Vivanco for the sample.
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2017 Syrah Rosé ($15)
In the words of winemaker Bob Bertheau, “I like to say that our rosé is 98% Syrah, 2% Merlot and 100% delicious.” We couldn’t agree more. This limited release is a graceful, elegant and classic rosé, with strawberry, lemon zest, peach and watermelon flavors, and subtle hints of smokiness. Bright, fresh and lively, pour it chilled on the patio now. Why wait for summer?
The Sisters 2017 Pinot Noir Rosé ($19)
We paired this substantial yet refreshing New Zealand rosé with garlic-butter halibut cheeks last night and it was so delicious, we didn’t want the meal to end. The Sisters rosé is 100% Marlborough Pinot Noir, fruit-driven and balanced with juicy berry flavors. But this rosé is also easy to enjoy without food. All of The Sisters wines were created to celebrate “women who do extraordinary things, every day.” Thanks to The Sisters for the sample.
Lauren Ashton Cellars 2017 Rosé ($21)
This beautiful wine, which blends Grenache (50%), Mourvedre (30%) and Counoise (20%), is bright, lively, refreshing, crisp and dry. An extra bonus, it shows some minerality, which is a pleasant and welcomed surprise. This rosé features a lovely nose of strawberries, raspberries and watermelon, followed by red berries and some citrus and spices on the palate and finish. Thanks to Lauren Ashton Cellars for the sample.
Le Bec Fin 2017 Vin Rosé ($21)
Jean Claude Beck, the winemaker for The Woodhouse Wine Estates, launched Chateau Le Beck’s “Le Bec Fin” as a side project, releasing three wines including this rosé in the classic Provence style — pale, dry, light-bodied and delicate. Showing a light salmon color in the glass, this rosé blends Syrah with Viognier, and features red berry, bitter cherry, zesty orange and citrus flavors, balanced by minerality. Thanks to Chateau Le Beck for the sample.
Va Piano 2017 Rosé of Cabernet Franc ($22)
This rosé sings of summer! We absolutely love it. But beware, the 2016 vintage (pictured) sold out quickly, so place your order for the 2017 soon or you might miss out on this gem. This delicious summer sipper is 100% Cab Franc rosé — dry, crisp and smooth, with floral and strawberry aromas and flavors, along with melon, guava, mango and watermelon. Mouth watering! Va Piano has been on our “Top 50 List of Washington Wineries” every year since we started the list in 2014.
Amavi Cellars 2017 Cabernet Franc Rosé ($24)
This is another amazing rosé made from 100% Cab Franc that quickly flies off the shelves. Smooth and fresh, it opens with a beautiful nose of mountain strawberries and orange blossoms, followed by blood orange, red berries and a hint of rhubarb on the palate. This wine is smooth with a bit of a sweet, but not overpowering, finish. We visited Amavi Cellars in Walla Walla one year ago, and look forward to going back later this year.
Cheers to rosé and summer!
Margot and Dave