It’s beginning to look a lot like summer. The warming weather is another sure sign that rosé season is officially upon us. And if they aren’t already, then wine shops and retail stores across the country will soon be stocked with the newest vintages of everyone’s favorite pink drink.
Here to stay
Although many drinkers enjoy rosé all year round, there’s no denying that people subscribe to the “rosé all day” lifestyle more often during the spring and summer months. According to NielsenIQ data, sales of rosé in the first quarter of 2021 reached just $144 million, while sales during the second quarter jumped to $216 million. And more rosé is on the way, as IWSR Drinks Market Analysis predicts rosé sales will grow by at least 70% by 2024. The growth is primarily due to producers making better quality bottles, changing the image of rosé from sweet, fruity wine to something with structure and elegance at a good price.
“Producers successfully marketed and expanded tastings over a number of years to change the American consumer’s perception of what rosé wine is,” Ryan Lee, a research analyst on the IWSR’s U.S. team, noted in a report.
More winemakers than ever are experimenting with rosé now, too, leading to more styles for drinkers to enjoy.
“Consumers are spending more per bottle, particularly in the sparkling category,” Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights at BevAlc Insights, noted in the company’s 2022 Rosé Wine Category Forecast. “As consumers trade up, retailers can drive higher margin sales by stocking more premium offerings.”
Rosé for every occasion
“We started the harvest on August 17 last year. It was a dry harvest. So you will find more intense aromas and flavors and much more beautiful acidity in our rosés this year. And you can absolutely find enjoyment pairing them with food,” says François Matton, a third-generation co-owner of Château Minuty.
Although new rosé vintages usually hit stores in early spring, shoppers are likely to see an uptick in 2021 bottles on shelves over the next several weeks and through summer. Blame supply chain issues for the delays.
In the meantime, though, many 2020 vintage rosés are still ripe for the taking and worth drinking while waiting for new releases to trickle in.
2021 vintage rosés to try:
Prisma Casablanca Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir 2021 (~$17)
Winemaker Ricardo Baettig makes this blend of Pinot Noir, Cinsault, and Grenache at his certified sustainable estate in Lo Ovalle, a subregion of Chile’s Casablanca Valley. Bright and acid-driven, this complex wine displays fresh red fruit, peach, and watermelon notes. A hint of crushed, wet stone lingers in the background and through the lengthy finish.
Planeta Sicily Rosé 2021 (~$17)
This Italian winery is dedicated to organic practices and has taken steps toward using renewable energy and waste management in the winery to enhance sustainability efforts. The vineyards and winery also hold the Italian SOStain certification. As for the rosé, the blend of Nero d’Avola and Syrah is like a basket of wild berries topped with hibiscus petals. The aroma is intense with fruit and floral nuances, while the palate is lively and fresh with peach and lemon meringue notes.
One Stone Cellars Central Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir 2021 (~$18)
When you drink rosé by One Stone Cellars, you drink with a purpose. The proceeds from each bottle support Dream Big Darling, a nonprofit dedicated to mentoring women in the wine and spirits industry. An entity of Ancient Peaks Winery in Santa Margarita, California, One Stone Cellars makes this luscious wine with estate-grown Pinot Noir and grapes sourced from vineyards across the Central Coast. The juice is ripe and fresh but features a spicy character that wraps it up in a neat little bow.
Saracina Mendocino County Rosé of Grenache 2021 (~$20)
Founded in 2001, the certified sustainable Saracina estate lies within the Mendocino County wine-growing region of California. The Grenache grapes used for this soft pink rosé come from a vineyard along the Russian River, where gravel soils and cool climates influence the wine’s dazzling minerality and bright acidity. Aromas of peachy stone fruit dominate the palate through the long, mouthwatering finish.
Bertani Bertarosé Chiaretto Veneto IGT 2021 (~$20)
For more than a century, the Bertani winery has produced wine in Veneto, Italy, on hillside vineyards above Lake Garda. While the winery is most known for its Amarone production, the full-bodied and rich Chiaretto — an Italian rosé that displays a vibrant lychee-pink hue — is worth considering when the mood calls for a wine that drips with sapidity. Made with Molinara and Merlot grapes, the wine is bursting with pomegranate and cranberry flavors while herbal and floral elements provide a flattering savory character. The high acidity takes center stage on the back end and extends throughout the quick, enjoyable finish.
DAOU Vineyards Discovery Paso Robles Rosé 2021 (~$21)
Clean, crisp, enticing tropical fruit flavors lead on the aroma and palate of this pale pink rosé. Produced by DAOU Vineyards, this wine drinks like a light and dry classic Provençale style rosé despite being a product grown and made entirely in the Paso Robles region of California. Mango and melon nuances are abundant, while hints of red fruit and lemon linger in the finish.
Château d'Esclans Côtes de Provence Whispering Angel Rosé 2021 (~$23)
Sacha Lichine’s Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel is the most popular rosé on the U.S. market, according to BevAlc Insights’ 2022 report. It’s no wonder why this particular blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Rolle — also known as Vermentino — is such a hit with wine lovers. It’s approachable, easy to drink, and food-friendly with its bone-dry profile and lush, medium-bodied palate balanced with citrus, ripe red berries, and crisp acidity.
Maison Noir Love Drunk Willamette Valley Rosé 2021 (~$25)
It’s not hard to fall head over heels for this juicy Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend. Winemaker and award-winning sommelier Andre Hueston Mack produces this wine at his Black-owned winery, Maison Noir, in the Willamette Valley wine region in Oregon. Light and salmon-pink in color, this wine is drenched in strawberry and watermelon aromas and flavors. At the same time, fresh acidity gives it a mouthwatering edge. Though perfectly delicious all on its own, this is a crusher with a plate of summer barbecue.
Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Rosé of Pinot Noir 2021 (~$26)
From the heart of Oregon’s Dundee Hills comes this rosé made with Pinot Noir grapes from the Sokol Blosser estate. The winery was first established in 1971 by Susan Sokol and Bill Blosser. Now their children Alison and Alex Sokol Blosser are at the helm of the winery. As for the wine, its deep pink hue is the first hint of the juicy fruit elixir awaiting in the bottle. Radiant with stone and tropical fruit and white floral flavors, the rosé features a crisp acid undertone that extends through the fruit-forward finish. Drink it alone or pair it with a veggie salad, shellfish, pasta, or chicken — this wine will make a worthwhile accompaniment to almost any type of food.
Sandy Road Vineyards Estate Texas Hill Country Sangiovese Rosé 2021 (~$28)
Texas winemaker Reagan Sivadon makes this rosé in the heart of Texas Hill Country, the second-largest winemaking region in the state. He uses 100% Sangiovese grapes grown on his estate to create a wine that is approachable and totally crushable while still maintaining some weight and structure. A medium-bodied wine, aromas of sweet floral nuances are pronounced while the palate displays crisp red apple and berry fruit on the palate. Serve it cold and drink it up.
Bouchaine Vineyards Napa Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir 2021 (~$29)
This deep pale pink rosé is made with Pinot Noir grapes grown on the southern border of Napa Valley’s Carneros district and is produced by Bouchaine’s woman winemaker Chris Kajani. Fragrances of fresh-picked strawberry lead the aroma, while melon and tropical fruit saturate the palate. Light body and easy-drinking, this wine is every bit of a porch pounder, though it pairs well with a variety of foods.
Château Minuty 281 Côtes de Provence Rosé 2021 (~$83)
Who says that rosé can’t be high class? With scores well above 90 points from wine critics at Wine Enthusiast and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, this blend of Grenache and Syrah made by Provence winery Château Minuty proves that rosé can indeed be a drink of sophistication. Shimmering pale pink, the wine displays complex aromas and flavors of citrus fruits and white flowers. The palate is lush and filling with pronounced minerality that’s noticeable through the long and memorable finish.