Drink Pink: World Rose, Rosato, Blush and Still More Pink Wines

by Ian D’Agata

While it’s easy to think that pink wines may be just another pretty face, there’s in fact so much more to the category. True, Rosé and summer may seem to go hand in hand, but there are many outstanding pink wines made nowadays offering a complex spectrum of hues, aromas and flavours, not to mention amazing food-friendliness, that such wines can be enjoyed all year long. I’m a huge fan of good Rosé, Rosato, Blush and any other pink wine you can think of tasting, but do yourself a favour and don’t fall into the trap of ultra-pale pink wines that look and essentially smell and taste of little more than coloured water. I realize that the best of these wines (the craze for them started in Provence in southern France, but given their popularity and sales, they’ve sprung up everywhere in recent times) can be vibrant, minerally and perfumed, but the truth is that most of them have very little aroma and flavour to speak of. Granted, they are still way better than any number of pink wines being made all over the world that carry a boatload of residual sugar and even less flavour, so I guess I, and we, all have to be careful what we wish for (just remember that when it comes to pink wines paler colour does not mean classically dry and that darker colour does not necessarily mean more flavour or complexity). But make no mistake about it: a great Rosato or Rosé or Blush wine is a thing of beauty, and so much more than just a theoretical blend of what a red and white wine might taste like. Just get a good one from Bandol or Abruzzo for example, and you’ll find yourself redefining the category in your mind. Style conscious consumers and wine collectors alike can all get into the beauty of the drink pink movement: it’s just a matter of finding the right ones to drink, and even to store, because the very best pink wines actually do age surprisingly well. This report will hopefully go a long way in helping you do so.

Types of pink wines: Blush, Rosé and Rosato wines that run the spectrum of pink-ness

Pink wines can be made essentially by one of three ways: by maceration, by bleeding (saignée, or “a bleed” in French) and by blending. The first of those methods is the source of some of the most delicate and purest pink wines all over the world: it entails leaving the must in minimal contact with the skins of red grapes. Clearly, reducing skin contact and fermentation times will unavoidably lead to paler-coloured wines, but the well-made ones will still boast inordinate amounts of aroma and flavour. The second of those methods refers to the taking (bleeding off) some wine in the first hours of skin contact when making a red wine (in theory, this technique helps make both a good pink wine and a more concentrated red wine). It is not the most common method by which to make pink wines, but it is frequently used in production zones where red wines are all important (think Napa, for example). Last but not least, the blending method is where a little red wine, usually 10% or less, is added to a vat of white wine; it is much more commonly employed to make sparkling wines than still wines. In any case, no matter how they are made, there are fewer more food-friendly wines anywhere than pink wines: barbecue and grilled foods, but also salmon, fish soups, cold cuts, tomato-based pizzas and pastas, vegetables, salads, goat cheese (and soft cheeses in general) will all marry exceptionally well with the pink wines of your choosing. Just remember to match textures of both wine and food for maximum enjoyment and get ready for a feast. Cheers!

The following report covers wines from China, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, South Africa and Spain tasted in my office in Shanghai in 2022.

The wines in the tasting


Château Nine Peaks.

Château Nine Peaks 2021 Rosé Pinkker Tsingtao China                      91

Bright dark pink. Vibrant red berries and flowers on the inviting, fresh nose. Then juicy, fruity and saline, featuring lovely density to its red fruit and nectarine flavours. Closes long and juicy, with pretty floral and delicate peppery nuances. Finishes classically dry but balanced; this is much more serious than many rosé wines you might taste this year. A 70% Syrah and 30% Cabernet Franc blend that is another example of just how good Chinese pink wines can be when wineries don’t fall into the trap of making overly sweet quaffs or flavourless copies of other world pink wines that though full of good press are devoid of any meaningful taste. By contrast, this is really pretty good and is one of the three best Chinese Rosé wines of the year. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Mystic Winery.

Mystic Winery 2020 Rose Dry Wine Yuhu Yentai China                     91

Vivid deep pink: very pretty. Then also very pretty aromas and flavours of raspberry, red cherry, pomegranate and watermelon, all lifted by a hint of almond flower. Then round and lively in the mouth, with hints of marzipan complicating the ripe red cherry and berry fruit nuances that linger long on the aftertaste. This 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot wine is very serious Rosé that is neither too sweet nor flavourless, and speaks of just how well Cabernet Franc has adapted to China, because this is not the only example of pink or red Cab Franc wine that has impressed me of late. Not crazy complex but smooth and delicious, this is remarkably good and one of the best delicious pink wines I have ever had from China. Very well done. Drinking window: 2022-2024.


Château Beaulieu.

Château Beaulieu Cuvée Alexandre 2020 Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence             88

Not at all expensive and fairly mineral for a Provence Rosé, this bright pale pink wine offers plenty of flowers and red berries too on the nose and in the mouth. Not the last word in complexity, but easygoing and fun to drink, with above average depth and delicacy (the altetr because it was made by gently pressing the grapes and not by the saignée method in which one bleeds off some red wine to make the rosé, which then tend to be bigger but at times harsher too because of the potential greater extraction of phenolic molecules) for a wine of this ilk. It finishes long, zingy and clean. A blend of 52% Grenache, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Cinsault made in the Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, an Appellation that’s still hugging the Mediterranean just west of the Côtes de Provence. The Jeanjean family is also co-owner of the famous Mas la Chevalière (also in southern France) and of Domaine Laroche (in Chablis). Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Château D’Allons.

Château D’Allons 2020 Bandol Rosé                                                 88

Medium pink-orange colour. Strawberry puree on the nose and in the mouth, with a hint of flowers and ripe citrus. Closes long and ripe, but I was left wishing for a little more acid lift. A nicely structured wine, with a creamier, weightier mouthfeel than most southern French rosé wines, but then again this is from Bandol (and hence is made with Mourvèdre), not from Provence. A little more freshness and complexity would have made this even more enjoyable, but this is a very serious Rosé wine and I think the property and its wines bear following closely. The estate is organically farmed (Ecocert certified) and owned by Philippe and Florence (vines were first planted on the property in 1924 by Philippe’s great-grand parents).  Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Chateau de la Galinière 2021 Côtes de Rosé Provence                                     88 

Pale salmon colour. Fresh citrus and strawberry on the nose, then creamier in the mouth with similar flavours. Finishes clean and crispb, with average length. Ideal as a pool sipper pool side or with shellfish and soft cheeses. A 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Cinsault blend made with organically farmed grapes grown on the lower slopes of Mont Sainte-Victoire. Drinking window: 2022-2023. 

Château d’Esclans.

Château d’Esclans 2020 Rosé Whispering Angel Côtes de Provence         91

This complex blend of 20% Cinsault, 20% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Rolle and 20% Tibouren surced from high quality vineyards in the la Motte region of Provence is probably the world’s most famous pink wine, and certainly one of its more expensive. Very pale salmon pink in colour, it boasts zesty aromas and flavours of pink grapefruit and herbs, with hints of orange peel and pink flowers. Classically dry but juicy and smooth, it lingers nicely on the fresh, suave aftertaste. The estate has a very exacting standard of quality, and it is borne out by the purity and precision of the wine. But quite frankly, given also its cost, for all the good things I can say about this very successful wine, a little more flavour and depth really wouldn’t kill it any. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Château d’Esclans 2020 Rosé Rock Angel Côtes de Provence                    90

Pale pink. Fresh citrus and flowers are complemented by red berries on the nose and in the mouth. This blend of mostly Cinsault and Grenache, with a little Syrah and Rolle is a far more accessible tipple than its more famous stablemate (Whispering Angel) and though this does not boast that wine’s level of purity, Rock Angel doesn’t really lag so far behind in the flavour department. Interestingly, though the chateau building dates back to the 1800s, the cellar foundations are reportedly the oldest in the whole region, going back as far as 1201. Esclans was bought in 2006 by Sasha Lichine who deserves all the credit in the world for what he ahs accomplished in Provence and gifting the region’s Rosé wines the megastar successes that they have today.

Chateau de Pibarnon.

Chateau de Pibarnon 2019 Bandol Rosé                                            89

Bright orange-pink. Aromas of raspberry, strawberry, herbs and orange peel. Enters suave and round, and rather full-bodied for a Rosé but in the typical powerful house style, the flavours are similar to the aromas but without much in the way of different facets or depth. Finishes medium-long with a hint of sweetness thanks to the very ripe fruit but without much complexity or lift. A blend of 65% Mourvèdre (by saignée) and 35% Cinsault (softly pressed), I am normally a huge fan of all the wines made at this estate, but frankly the 2019 Rosé left me feeling a little disappointed. I have had many wonderful vintages of this pink wine and am an unabashed fan of not just the Rosé but the red too, so I don’t know what to think; maybe the bottle was off, but I didn’t have a second one to double-check and there was nothing apparently wrong with the seal or the cork. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

Château Gigery.

Château Gigery 2021 Rosé Côtes de Provence                                 89

Vivid pink. Ornage peel, white flowers, almond and red berries on the nsoe and in the mouth. Fresh and zippy, this easy drinking, uncomplicated pink wine finishes long and saline. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

Chateau La Mascaronne.

Chateau La Mascaronne 2020 Côtes de Provence Rosé               88

Very pale, almost translucent pink: given its colour, this rosé wine could not really be from anywhere else but Provence! Very delicate, even reticent strawberry and herbs dominate on the nose and in the mouth. The finish is long and zingy, with noteworthy saline tang and nuanced flavours on the long very pure zingy finish. A stylish rosé wine, without memorable intensity of aroma or flavour, though it boasts marvellous, remarkable purity. A blend of Grenache (35%), Cinsault (35%), Syrah (20%) and Rolle or Vermentino (10%) grapes. The estate, located near the village of Le Luc, between the towns of Brignoles and Fréjus (Chateau Miraval, another famous Rosé producer, is situated close by; in fact, its owner Tom Boye, decided in 1999 to buy La Mascaronne too; in 2020, the estate changed hands again, bought by Michel Reybier, who owns many different wine estates, including Chateau Cos d’Estournel in Saint-Estèphe). La Mascaronne has been certified organic since 2016. Drinking window: 2023-2024.

Château Le Puy.

Le Puy 2018 Le Puy Rosé Vin de France Marie-Rose                          94

Very deep pink, this is really more like pale red. Very intense and complex aromas of ripe red cherry, aromatic herbs, sweet spices and field herbs, complicated by nuances of peach and blood orange. Smooth and creamy at the same time, with noteworthy depth and complexity on the long suave finish. What a knockout: to be clear, this is more complex and deeper than many red wines you will drink this year. A 100% Merlot wine, if this isn’t the best Merlot pink wine I have ever had, then I really don’t know what might be: it really is that good. Made by bleeding and fermented for 6-10 months in oak barrels. Now bottled as a Vin de France, this property has been in the Amoreau family since 1610 and is now being run by the fifteenth generation, and counting. The estate has biodynamic farming certification since 2012, and the wine is bottled with no additives whatsoever, but the wine is devoid of funkiness and is instead bright, clean and pure (I caution readers that one red from the estate is instead a little funky at times). The motto on the label of “Expression Originale du Terroir” is not just mere marketing here. I know it has nothing to do with pink wines, but I would do everyone a disservice if I did not mention how just amazingly good the estate’s sweet white 100% Semillon wine is, really a another superlative drink. Drinking window: 2022-2028.

Château Les Valentines.

Château Les Valentines 2019 Rosé Côtes de Provence                        89

Good full pale pink. Redcurrant, fennel and anise on the vibrant nose. Then juicy and fresh, with delicate hints of Provençal herbs and red berries. Closes long and juicy with a saline touch. Mostly Cinsault and Grenache the Pons family makes a light-bodied fresh, Rosé that is perfect for the summer. The estate is a real pink wine expert operation (rosé production accounts for about 75% of the winery’s annual output), located near La Londe-les-Maures, in the Côtes de Provence Appellation engaging in Ecocert-certified organic farming of local varieties such as Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Tibouren, Rolle, Clairette and Ugni Blanc. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Château Malherbe.

Château Malherbe 2020 Rosé Côtes de Provence                                88

Bright pink-orange colour. Raspberry, strawberry, orange peel and white pepper on the nose and in the mouth. Fairly luscious and yet precise on the long juicy finish. This former Roman farm and holiday resort is now making very fine wines with certified organic grapes, but it was only in 1964 that then owners Serge and Mireille Ferrari produced their first estate-bottled wine. The red and white wine made here is just as important to the estate’s fortunes as its pink wine. The estate boasts two different vineyard areas, the Malherbe on a gently sloping incline slope in the interior, and the Pointe du Diable, along the coast. Malherbe is characterized by a clay and schist soil that tends to give wines that can age, while the Pointe du Diable’s sandy alluvial soil tends to give more delicate, sea breeze- and iodine-accented wines. The Rosé is stainless steel-fermented but stays long on the lees for added complexity. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Château Minuty.

Château Minuty 2021 Rosé M de Minuty Côtes de Provence                     88

Vivid pink. Crisp red fruit and white flowers on the nsoe, and then more of the same in the mouth. Closes log and juicy with repeating floral nuances and hints of iodine and oyster shells. A blend of Grenache Syrah and Cinsault, this pretty pink wine is also quite mineral, and therein lies its charm, that huits far deeper than many of the region’s famous but ultimately boring, dilute, neutral tipples that, pretty colour aside, have very little going for them. A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 20% Syrah. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Château Miraval.

Château Miraval 2021 Rosé                                                      91

Pale salmon pink. Lemon zest, redcurrants and fresh flowers. Zippy and juicy, but with very good precision to the clean, nicely focused flavours similar to the aromas. The aftertaste is suave and lingers nicely on your taste buds and memory cells. The property is located in the village of Correns, the first 100% organic village in France, and also famous because it was long-owned by movie star ex-couple Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie (current ownership is unclear). But what is by far more important is that there’s somebody who really knows what they are doing here, and that is the Perrin family of Châteauneuf-de-Pape fame (Perrin has been involved since 2012), as in Château de Beaucastel. That sort of decision-making pays dividends, and this 40% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 20% Rolle and 10% Syrah is one pink tipple that really is good to the last drop (5% was fermented in oak, the rest in stainless steel). Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Château Terrebonne 2021 Côtes de Provence                                           88 

Pale pink. Spicy and herbal nuances to the red fruit aromas and flavours. A mineral edge rises on the medium-long fresh finish. Drinking window: 2022-2023

Clos Cibonne .

Clos Cibonne 2019 Rosé Tradition Côtes de Provence                         93

Bright orange-pink. Peach, strawberry and violet on the fresh nose. Then sweeter notes of orange peel mingle with fresh flavours of red berries and herbs in the mouth. Lovely texture here and above average complexity: this is nothing at all all the other Provence Rosés you might have already tried. Closes very long with a floral and briny nuance, so with a subtle hint of controlled oxidation. Fermented naturally, the wine is aged for twelve to eighteen months in very old oak foudres sous voile, a thin film of fleurette yeast. The vineyard is one of 18 Crus Classés of Côtes de Provence and benefits from its position close to the sea and the  foothills of the Maures mountains, allowing for a cololing effect on the vineyard microclimate.This extremely successful estate (it makes a bevy of delicious wines year after year) is named after a seaman, Jean-Baptiste de Cibon, no less than the captain of Louis XVI’s royal navy and the estate’s first owner. When he passed away in the 1790s, the estate was bought by ancestors of the current owners, the Roux family; it was André Roux who was especially instrumental in planting and promoting the Tibouren grape (what is called Rossesse di Dolceacqua in Italy, but careful, there are at least two different Rossese varieties in Italy, so not all Rossese wines are made with an Italian biotype of Tibouren). In fact, this wine is not all Tibouren but has a bit of Grenache in the blend. Last but not least, Roux was responsible also for the winery’s gorgeous, iconic label, not so arguably one of the one or two dozen most beautiful and recognizable in the world of wine. Drinking window: 2022-2028.

Domaine de la Mordorée.

Domaine de la Mordorée 2021 Tavel Cuvée de La Reine des Bois           92

Deep pink, almost pale red. Aromas of flavours of red cherry, raspberry, minty herbs, rosemary and minerals. Lively but harmonious acidity nicely frames the sweet red fruit flavours on the long powerful finish. A deeper coloured and bigger-bodied Rosé than is normally found nowadays, this is a real winner. Mostly Grenache and Clairette (in fact the blend is 60% Grenache, 15% Clairette, 10% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and 5% Bourboulenc) planted on a gravelly soil over clay and sand and that are biodynamically farmed. Drinking window: 2023-2026

Domaine de la Mordorée 2021 Tavel La Dame Rousse                 91

Medium dark pink with an orangy tinge. Red berries, fresh citrus, nectarine and pomegranate vie for attention on the nose and in the mouth. Finishes lively and with a saline edge. A blend of 60% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Syrah along with 5% Bourboulenc and 5% Clairette, planted on the area’s typical cobblestone-rich soil (the famous galets roulés), white limestones and sandy soils. This estate in Tavel belongs to the famous Domaine de la Mordorée of Châteauneuf-du-Pape fame, with its vineyards planted in the Vallongue plateau, around the villages of Palai, Roquanaute and Romagnac.  Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Domaine de Granajolo 2020 Rosé Porto-Vecchio Corsica                          93 

Orange-tinged salmon pink colour. Very complex nose of pineapple and strawberry, aromatic herbs, sea breeze, minerals and flowers. Bright and fresh in the mouth with lightly spicy mineral tinges to the red and tropical fruit flavours. Closes long, clean and fresh, with a multilayered quality. Very impressive. From Corsica’s first bio domaine in 1987 founded in 1974 in the southern tip of the island near Saint Lucie de Porto Vecchio, a really beautiful wine: this has a slight hint of oxidation on the nose but is clean and fresh and doesn’t taste at all tired or stale or off-smelling. Made with the local Sciaccarellu variety, according to some researchers a Corsican biotype of Mammolo. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Domaine de la Rouvière 2021 Côtes de Rosé Provence                                     91 

Pale salmon pink. Aromas and flavours of red berries, lime, grapefruit and herbs. Zippy yet concentrated, with a multifaceted quality and a jolt of sea air on the long crisp finish. A mostly Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault blend that boasts far greater deth and complexity than the majority of Provençal Rosés, this is a really lovely pink wine. Founded in 1961, the estate has been farmed naturally since 2008. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Domaine Le Cengle.

Domaine Le Cengle 2021 Rosé Côtes de Provence                        88

Bright pale pink. Field flowers and red berries, plus a complement of yellow melon on the nose and in the mouth. Clean and fresh, with similar flavours to the aromas, this will prove ideal poolside or on the porch. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

Domaine Ott.

Domaine Ott Rosé Étoile Vin de France                                  92

Bright pale pink. This is really all about texture rather than perfume (reticent or subdued almond flowers, cranberries, apricot) then mango and guava with aeration. Closes long with a suave texture coating the mouth nicely and strong mineral and floral strokes. An 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre blend made from the best vines Ott owns in Bandol and Côtes de Provence partly aged in ceramic vats (the percentage of which is increasing as they help give a more fruit-forward wine), this has proven be able to take on age well over the years. Drinking window: 2022-2027.

Domaine Ott 2020 Clos Mireille Rosé Côtes de Provence                    91

Very pale pink. Bright saline aromas and flavours of nectarine, yellow melon and peach are nicely complicated by floral undertones and strong mineral nuances. Organically farmed Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah off schist-rich soils. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Domaine Ott 2021 Chateau de Selle Rosé Côtes de Provence                     91

Vivid pink. Flowers, pink grapefruit, and nectarine on the nose and in the mouth. Very refined pink wine that is bright and juicy, and very nuanced. Mostly Grenache, with a smattering of Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Domaine Richeaume 2018 Rosé Coteaux de Provence                         90

Pretty pale peach skin color. Lively, pure and deep aromas of strawberry, nectarine and pink flowers, with a subtle mineral undertone. Juicy, smooth and open-knit, showing sneaky concentration and depth to its very pure, sappy orchard fruit and red berry flavors. Lingers nicely on the refined, nuanced, floral finish. Very pretty Rosé, this pristine wine boasts much more flavour than many of today’s pink wines. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Domaine Tempier.

Domaine Tempier 2018 Bandol Rosé                                      93

Bright pink. Rosehip, redcurrant, red cherry, garrigue and violet on the enticing nose. Then luscious yet juicy in the mouth, with good chewy extract and building complexity to the violet pastille and red fruit flavours that linger nicely on the bright fresh finish while featuring a building quality and offering excellent clarity and cut. Always one of my favourite pink wines in just about every vintage, the 2018 Domaine Tempier Rosé continues in a long tradition of excellence. A blend of 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache and 20% Cinsault made from roughly twenty years old vines planted on clay-limestone soils. This pink wine is made by blending direct press (65%) and macerated juice (35%) and is aged in a mix of stainless steel and concrete tanks. In my experience, it is a Rosé that ages fairly well too. Drinking window: 2022-2027.

Domaine Vincent Delaporte.

Domaine Vincent Delaporte 2021 Sancerre Rosé Chavignol               88

Deep bright pink. Fresh red berries, blood orange and white flowers on the strongly herbal-accented nose and palate. Offers very good clarity and cut on the medium-long finish, which features repeating floral and herbal nuances.100% Pinot Noir. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Ferraton Père et Fils.

Ferraton Père et Fils 2021 Côtes du Rhône Les Samorëns Rosé          90

Medium pale pink. Anise, cranberry and plums on the nose and in the mouth. Silky and round, this lingers nicely on the suave finish. Mostly Grenache grown on the right bank of the Rhône river on soils of cobblestones, limestone, clay and sand. Drinking window: 2022-2026.

Karine et Guillaume Lefèvre.

Lefèvre 2020 Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé Pomponette               90

Medium bright pink. Aromas and flavours of pink grapefruit, redcurrant, violet, lavender and herbs. Fresh and focused, with a creamy entry but then turning somewhat tannic and spicy, with red fruit and floral flavours lingering nicely on the tactile, downright chewy finish. Much more weioght here than is usual in this category of pink wines. Karine and Guillaume Lefèvre have created a flavorful Provençal Rosé, as hinted at already by the deeper pink colour than most such wines but also a far more tactile mouthfeel, with some skin tannin-infused grippiness. Lovely pink wine made with a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Vermentino (Rolle) that begs for sausages and salumi/charcuterie. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Maison Saint Aix.

Maison Saint Aix 2020 AIX Rosé Coteaux d’Aix en Provence                   87

Pale pink. Stone fruit, herbs and red berries on the nose and in the mouth, but also a noteworthy greenness due to grapes that were probably not physiologically ripe when picked. The finish is bright and lemony, and leaves a very fresh feeling behind, but it’s hard to escape that underlying green streak presence. Through a combination of usually well-made wines, clever and competent marketing, not to mention a modern, minimalist but instantly recognizable and easy to remember label, this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault has become very popular and is very easy to find. It’s usually a can’t miss wine, but it pains me to say that, at least in this specific vintage, it is disappointing, with the bell pepper notes too noticeable, at least for my taste. Others who don’t mind a little bell pepper in their wine will like it more than I. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

Pierre-Marie Chermette/Domaine du Vissoux.

Pierre-Marie Chermette 2021 Beaujolais Rosé Griottes        90

Medium dark pink with an orange tinge. Fruity mineral-accented aromas of redcurrant and tangerine, with a suave floral topnote. Offers lovely cut and clarity on the palate, with fresh but rich and ripe red berry and cherry flavours boasting a welcome chewy note and that are nicely persistent. From the Domaine du Vissoux, a 100% Gamay wine from granite soils (the name griottes, or cherries, refers to the wine’s aromas and the presence of cherry trees near the vines) that punches way above its weight (and price) class. Drinking window: 2022-2023.


Triennes 2019 Rosé Var-Provence                                   90

Lovely pink colour. Then just as lovely pink aromas and flavours (violet, grapefruit, pale blood orange) complicated by white flowers and red berries. Closes suave and nuanced, but with sneaky concentration and depth such that can stand up to white meat dishes with ease. Very clean and pure. A project in partnership of Burgundy’s Jeremy Seysses of Domaine Dujac and Aubert de Villaine of DRC and de Villaine estates fame. Drinking window: 2022-2023.


Mylonas 2021 Rosé Attika                                         90

Bright pink. Savory herbal nuances of rosemary and pine cones complicate red berries on the nose and in the mouth. An 80% Malagouzia (a white grape) and 20% Mandelaria (a red grape) blend from Attika, this boasts only 12% alcohol but lots of flavour. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Kir Yianni 2021 L’Esprit du Lac Amyndeon                          90

Fresh pale pink colour. Strawberry and peach aromas and flavours have a delicate rocky, steely edge. Closes long and juicy, with a delicate floral nuance. A new wine made with old vine (60 years old)  Xinomavros from the Amyndeon appellation in northwestern Greece. The name of the wine, which translates to “spirit  of the lake” is related to the presence of four lakes that help buffer temperatures making for a relatively cooler climate (the 700 meters of altitude help in this regards too). Drinking window: 2022-2023.



Antoniolo 2021 Bricco Lorella Vino Rosato                           90

Vivid pink.Pink flowers, redcurrant and tangerine on the nose. Then clean and lively in the mouth, with juicy cut and wonderful balance to the fruity and floral flavours. Usually almost entirely Nebbiolo with very small percentages of Bonarda and Vespolina, the 2021 is reportedly all Nebbiolo, and in fact I can’t pick up any of the typical spicy nuances normally gifted by the presence of Vespolina. A very pretty pink wine, made from direct pressing and a short three hour maceration or so, is named after founder Rosanna Antoniolo’s daughter, Lorella. Drinking window: 2022-2024.


Bonavita 2021 Rosato Terre Siciliane                              94

Good full pink, almost pale red: very pretty colour. Musky raspberry, red cherry, Meditterranean herbs and a spicy quality on the enticing nose. A mineral element adds cut and clarity to the juicy and refreshing but ripe red fruit flavours. Closes with strong mineral edge and candied violet notes. This is always one of Italy’s best pink wines, bright and easygoing enough to be used as an aperitif, but with plenty of weight so as to work with richer pastas and meat dishes. A blend of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Nocera. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Castello di Ama.

Castello di Ama 2021 Toscana Rosato Purple Rose               91

Luminous red-pink. Fresh aromas of strawberry, red cherry and pink flowers. Then typically creamy and layered, with very good acid cut lifting and extending the red fruit flavours on the aftertaste. Made with Sangiovese, this is a more serious Tuscan pink wine that was first made in 2017 with the saignée method (after about twelve hours of skin contact) than most, partly fermented in used barriques. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Cataldi Madonna.

Cataldi Madonna 2019 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Piè delle Vigne                     93

Pale red colour. Musky dark plum, strawberry-rhubarb pie and balsamic aromas and flavours are deep and pure. Very rich and creamy, with a core of harmonious acidity and a polished tannic spine nicely supporting the ripe dark red cherry and sweet spices on the long finish. More like a light red wine than a rosé in the authentic tradition of Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo (that should never be the colour of a Provence rosé), this is an excellent pink wine big enough to stand up to grilled pork and fowl. Drinking window: 2022-2029.


Cingilia 2021 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo                                        91

Bright dark pink. Aromas of redcurrant, dried herbs and strawberry jelly. Fresh and juicy, with a saline nuance to the red berry flavours, this closes long and with a welcome floral topnote. Fabio Di Donato is a one-man band who follows his little winery (only four hectares) with passion and energy. He makes this lovely pink wine with Montepulciano planted in 1980, a wine that is much fresher and lighter on its feet than his more savory, fleshier, hearty red wine. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Commenda Magistrale 2021 Rosato Avolo Rosè Puglia               90 

Bright pink. Fresh herbal and floral nuances to the red berry and cherry aromas and flavours. Fresh, light on its feet and zippy, this lingers nicely on the floral-accented finish. A blend of Negroamaro with some Primitivo and Malvasia Nera made by the talented team of Vincenzo Bruno and winemaker Cosimo Spina. Drinking window: 2022-2024.


Contini 2021 Nieddera Rosato Valle del Tirso                               92

Medium pink-purple colour. Highly piercing, perfumed nose of red and pink flowers, red cherry and redcurrants. Then also very floral in the mouth with bright red cherry and plum flavours that boast good chewiness but leave behind a lingering suave mouthfeel that is savory, juicy and fresh. Made with Nieddera, this is almost always one of Italy’s top dozen Rosarto wiens, loaded with flavour and personality. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Elena Fucci 2020 Titolo Basilicata Rosato Pink Edition             93 

Bright pink. Compelx, multilayered aromas and flavours of red berries, mountain herbs, licorice, and citrus peel. Dense and layered but fresh, with a tactile mouthfeel that lingers impressively on the long suave finish. Outstanding Italian pink wine from a recognized star estate. Made with the winery’s youngest Aglianico vines, roughly 6-10 years of age, this is stainless steel fermented and aged. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Francesco Cadiniu Rosato Tziu Simone Mamoja Barbagia                        93 

Deep very bright pink-red. Herbal nuances to the red fruit (raspberry, cherry) aromas and flavours. A note of licorice and of minerals add complexity on the long tactile and multilayered mouthfeel. The aftertaste is long and savoury. Beautiful stuff. Made with 100% Cannonau grapes from vines planted on disgregated granite soil that are about twenty years old, the estate’s youngest vines. The must spent only about an hour in contact with the skins, then stainless steel fermented (natural yeasts used only) and aged. Named in honour of founder Simone Sala, who started the estate by planting many of the centenary old Cannonau vines. Founded in 2015, this very small estate (less than 10,000 bottles/year made) is a gem, and one of Italy’s most exciting, a real discovery of mine: the red wines are made from centenary old vines of the local Cannonau biotype and are extremely noteworthy. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Franz Haas.

Franz Haas 2018 Moscato Rosa Alto Adige                                  94

Deep red: this is hadly a pink wine, though the grape variety has “pink” in its name. Rich, deep, amazingly complex and concentrated, this aromatic red grape has given us a remarkably pure and layered sweet red wine that boasts aromas and flavours of red cherry, plum, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, violet and quinine. Very pure and juicy on the long multilayered back end. Beautiful, and a statement of the talent of Haas, who unfortunately recently passed away unexpectedly. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Giovanni Viberti.

Giovanni Viberti Rosato Piemonte La Gemella                      90

Bright pale pink with orange highlights. Vibrant, focused peach and citrus fruit aromas complicated by delicate nuances of white flowers and redcurrant. Then lively in the mouth with a mineral character and a clean, taut finish redolent of honeysuckle and redcurrant. Made with Nebbiolo Rosé. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Girolamo Russo.

Girolamo Russo 2021 Etna Rosato Sicily                                        89

Light, bright pink. Energetic red berry, white flowers and minerals are complemented by notes of thyme on the nose. Juicy and tangy strawberry and orchard fruit flavours boast good clarity and size on the finish, with floral and saline notes persisting nicely. Not the most complex Rosato you’ll ever taste, but clean, focused and pure. Drinking window: 2022-2024.


Illuminati Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Lumeggio di Rosa                       89

Good full deep pink. Aromas and flavours of ripe red cherry, balsamic oils and fresh flowers. Boasts noteworthy density and freshness, with a saline undertone on the long creamy finish. This lovely pink wine is made with Montepulciano grapes grown on sandy soils not far from the sea. Drinking window: 2022-2024.


Istine 2021 Toscana Rosato d’Istine                                   90

Bright pink-red. Lavender and peony complicate ripe red charry and vanilla on the nose and in the mouth. Clean and fresh, with good weight to the acid and fruit-driven flavours similar to the aromas. Nicely floral and long on the finish. Drinkling window: 2022-2024.

La Gioiosa.

La Gioiosa Rosea Vino Spumante Rosato                        89

Bright deep pink with a steady stream of fine bubbles. Sweet aromas and flavours of red berries, cherries and almond, complemented by ripe citrus nuances. Closes long with a slight bitter note but classically dry and good palate presence. Not very complicated but easy to like, this is actually very good for what it costs, and will likely have many fans. Well done. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

La Kiuva.

La Kiuva 2021 Rosé de Vallée Valle d’Aosta                         90

Luminous pink. Flint- and herb-accented aromas of dried red cherry and redcurrant. Lively but densely packed, offering sneaky concentration and plenty of freshness to the red cherry and orange zest flavours. Closes with excellent energy and floral lift on the zingy finish. A blend of Nebbiolo, Gros Vien and Neyret, this medium-bodied but light and fresh pink wine is unabashedly excellent. Beware that despite it being described as an orange wine in some quarters (perhaps because of it’s orangy hue, which is fairly typical with Nebbiolo-based wines), this pink wine has nothing in common with orange wines (skin contact lasts less than twelve hours and it is not fermented on the skins) and should neither be sold nor explained as such, because it is instead a very “normal” Rosato wine that is typical of this alpine region of Italy. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Le Cinciole.

Le Cinciole 2021 Toscana Rosato                                                  91

Bright pale pink. At once perfumed and refined, with intense aromas and flavours of fresh red cherry, lavender, white chocolate, marzipan and forest floor. Boasts harmonious acidity and good tannic structure, finishing long and saline with outstanding precision and focus. Made from organically grown Sangiovese. Brilliant pink wine. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Leone De Castris.

Leone De Castris 2021 Salento Rosato Five Roses                 90

Pale luminous pink with orange hues. Rose violet and peony complement delicate cranberry and grapefruit aromas and flavours. Closes long and saline, offering tart cranberry and orange nuances and a late note of tarragon. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Leone De Castris 2020 Salento Rosato Five Roses                 89

Light, bright orange-pink. Spicy, almost aromatic citrus peel, white flowers and red berries on the nose, followed up on the palate with hints of herbs and white pepper complicating the nuanced red fruit flavours. Focused and racy, with a long classically dry finish. The first estate to bottle a Rosato in Italy back in 1943, this pink is still one of Italy’s most consistent, go-to wines. Made with Negroamaro, that in the pink version tends to lose its more savoury traits while giving space to the grape’s more floral side, with bright aromas of violet and peony dominating. Peach and cranberry persist nicely on the softly succulent finish. The colour is pale pink, much lighter in colour than is traditional for Salento Rosato wines (and for the Five Roses too of only ten years ago) in a nod to the currently prevailing fashion of paler than pale rosés brought to the fore by the success of Provence’s pink tipples. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

Leone De Castris 2020 Negroamaro Salento Rosato Medaglione              88

Pale pink. Simple sromas and flavours of red berries and herbs, with sweeter notes of citrus fruit adding interest. Finishes clean, zippy and medium-long. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

Les Crêtes.

Les Crêtes 2021 Rosato Valle d’Aosta                                                  90

Pale pink. Aromas of yellow melon, cranberry and herbs. Zippy and fresh in the mouth with very good fruit-tannin balance and harmonious acidity. Then refreshingly dry with an aromatic nuance emerging on the saline, suave back end. A blend of Pinot Noir and Petit Rouge made with three hours of skin contact and stainless steel fermentation. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Masseria Li Veli.

Masseria Li Veli 2021 Susumaniello Rosato Salento                     90

Bright good full pink. Rather shy but interesting on the nose as is typical of the variety, with kumquat, guava and pink flower nuances. Then similar flavours, with good saline cut and a refreshing nicely polished tactile finish that lasts and lasts. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Masseria Li Veli 2021 Negroamaro Rosato Salento Torrerose           88

Bright orange-pink. Aromas of redcurrant, dried violet and orchard fruit. Blood orange and red berry flavors offer good intensity and palate presence, with a lifting honeysuckle element on the light, smooth mineral close. This lovely rosato is not as complex as the Susumaniello but more floral; each will have its fans. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Medici Ermete.

NV Lambrusco Reggiano Vino Frizzante Rosato Secco I Quercioli               88

Deep orange-pink. Aroimas and flavours of strawberry and flowers. Juicy and saline on the long zingy finish. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

NV Vino Spumante di Qualità Metodo Classico Spumante Brut Unique     92

Bronze-tinged pink colour. Complex aromas and flavours of  nectarine, peach, blood orange, ripe guava and gooseberry. Medium-bodied and zingy in the mouth, with outstanding depth of red and pink fruiot flavours and very good floral lift on the mineral finish. Always an outstanding Lambrusco wine, this spends twenty-four months on the lees; not unlike those made with the Lambrusco di Sorbara variety, this 100% Lambrusco Marani wine is less floral and more mineral than Lambrusco wines made with that variety. Drinking window: 2022-2027.


Mora&Memo 2021 Rosato Isola dei Nuraghi “É”                        90

Bright red. Aromas of rosemary and thyme mingle with sweet raspberries and tangerine peel. Bright and crisp, with good sweetness of fruit and noteworthy length on the close. A blend of Cannonau and Monica, this is an exceptionally successful and well-made Rosato. Monica, more than Cannonau, is its secret: I have written it before, but I think it’s one of Italy’s most underrated varieties. The estate was created by Elisabetta Pala, while working with her father Mario at the family’s Pala estate in Serdiana, a town rough a half hour drive north of Cagliari, the island’s biggest city. Drinking window: 2022-2025.


Muri-Gries Lagrein Kretzer Sudtirol                                          90

Bright pink-red. Herbs, strawberry, raspberry, and pink flowers on the expressive nose. Then light and lovely in the mouth, with repeating floral nuances complemented by hints of lemon and tangerine. Closes saline, tangy and ripe. Made with Lagrein picked at about 260 meters above sea level, the name “kretzer” derives from a German word referring to the woven basket used to strain the must and separate the skins when wine making. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Najma NV Spumante Rosato Brut Rosé                                                  92 

Deep pink-red. Off-dry aromas and flavours that are unabashedly fruity (raspberry, strawberry, red cherry) and fun, this also boasts harmonious acidity and very good tannic spine nicelty supporting the generous fruit present. Closes long and tactile, with very good freshness and sneaky concentration. Very pretty wine. From vines located between Pordenone and the Carnian Alps in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a fairly unique wine made with 100% Refosco del Peduncolo Rosso, a grape that is most often used to make classically dry and still red wines. The grapes are picked relatively early in the summer so as to maintain freshness, then vinified with the Charmat tank method, the wine spends about 60 days on the lees. Absolutely perfect with stews and charcuterie, and all fatty cuts of meat. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Parco dei Monaci 2021 Rosapersempre Matera Rosato                            92 

Bright full pink. Strawberry and herbs dominate the nose and the mouth. Hints of licorice and pink flowers and a nuance of tobacco emerge on the long savoury finish. Spent eight months on the lees, stainless steel fermented. A beautiful wine (just one of many from this small Italian quality estate) made with Primitivo and named after the lady of the house, Rosa, wife of their owner Matteo (the two married in 1995) and who is a local girl from Matera. Some wine names just make you like the wine even more. Drinking window: 2022-2024. 

Pietraventosa 2021 EstRosa Rosato Murgia                                                          91 

Pale red-pink. Fresh flowers, peach, spring breeze, violet and strawberry on the nose and in the mouth. Fresh yet tactile, dense but light on its feet with a delicate hint of licorice and dried herbs on the nuanced, long finish. A 90% Primitivo and 10% Aglianico blend. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Poggio Verrano 2021 Vale Vin Rosé Costa Toscana                                                     90 

Pretty medium pink colour. Cherries and white flowers on the nose and in the mouth, with hints of licorice and black tea. Juicy and fresh, with a mouthcoating quality on the long rising and floral finish. Made with 100% Sangiovese, lovely stuff. Drinking window: 2022-2024.


Praesidium 2018 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo                                             91

Bright cherry red-pink.  Slightly funky whiffs blow off slowly with aeration (but never completely), to show red cherry, herbs and earth tones. Fresh, juicy and textured in the mouth, with flavours similar to the aromas.  Finishes long with repeating earth tones and a persisting  degree of funkiness.  Those who like natural wines will love this, those who don’t care for the wild funky stuff will think it’s a shame all that beautifully glossy fruit was tainted so. In NY case, this estate’s pink wine ages well. Drinking window: 2022-2028.

Proprietà Sperino.

Proprietà Sperino 2021 Piemonte Rosato Rosa del Rosa              92

Bright pink with orange tinges. Highly perfumed nose evokes red cherry, white peach, candied red berries, vanilla, and a herbal topnote. Suave and mouth-filling on the palate, offering intense raspberry and orchard fruit flavours that are silky yet structured. Very deep, long and fresh on the delicately spicy and floral finish. Made with roughly 90% Nebbiolo and 10% Vespolina from four different vineyards, one of which boats vines that are up to ninety years of age. Very serious Rosato and really one of the world’s best pink wines. Drinking window: 2022-2026.

Rosa del Golfo.

Rosa del Golfo 2021 Salento Rosato                                                     92

Orange-tinged dark pink. Red cherry, peach, violet, quinine and minerals on the nose and in the mouth. Closes long and saline, with above average depth and nuance, and with the peach and floral notes repeating. Made with 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera from vineyards in Sannicola, Parabita, Alezio, Campi Salentino and Veglie. This is one of Italy’s five best Rosato wines every year. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Stefano Amerighi.

Stefano Amerighi 2021 Rosato Toscana Syrah Rosa                    88

Deep pink. Ripe red cherry, botanical herbs and a hint of cocoa on the nose and in the mouth. The finish is long and slightly peppery. Made with Syrah. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

Tenute Lu Spada 2021 Negroamaro Rosato Salento Biologico Tuffetto        91 

Deep pink-red. Generous aromas and flavours of spicy red cherry and berries, complemented by hints of lavender and spices. Finishes long and crisp, with a savoury mouthfeel. Lovely. The word Tuffetto refers to a type of duck (it looks like a coot) that spends the winter in the nearby Lake Cillarese. Drinking window: 2022-2024.


Tiberio 2021 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo                                  92

Bright pale red: this is the authentic colour of Cearsuolo d’Abruzzo. In Abruzzo, Valentini, Emidio Pepe and Cataldi Madonna all make similarly deeply hued Cerasuolo wines (if you want to make a pale pink wine in Abruzzo, call it a Rosato). On the nose, this boasts lively red fruit aromas (strawberry, red cherry, raspberry) complemented by a deeper note of musky herbs and a whisper of mineral dust. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering delicate red cherry, fresh citrus, forest floor and anise flavours that are at once suave and complex. Finishes fresh and brisk, and with outstanding persistence. Massal selection, old vine Montepulciano at its best here; for my money only Cataldi Madonna, Emidio Pepe and Valentini make pink wines of a similar quality level as Tiberio: to put that comment in perspective, consider that in any reputable, knowledgeable top-20 pink wine producing estates of Italy, all four of these producers would be included. Drinking window: 2022-2025.


Trediberri 2020 Langhe Rosato                                90

Bright deep pink. Very perfumed and fresh aromas of sweet spices and red fruit, lifted by rose and violet. Then very pure and delicate flavours similar to the aromas enlivened by a bright citrus note (that’s the Nebbiolo). Closes gentle and spicy, with very good cut. A blend of mostly Nebbiolo with Barbera and Dolcetto (but the blend changes each year) made with about twelve to eighteen hours of skin contact. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

G.D. Vajra.

G.D. Vajra 2021 Rosato Rosabella Langhe                            90

Luminous pink. Aromas of red berries and tangerine are complemented by notes of white flowers. Racy and pure with bright flavours of fresh strawberry and citrus fruit finishing classically dry and long. Very good juiciness here. A blend of mostly Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

G.D. Vajra 2020 Nebbiolo Clare J.C. Langhe                        92

Bright pale red. Ripe red fruits on the nose, with Indian spices and a penetratingly pure floral element adding complexity and lift. Deep, broad and energetic in the mouth, with juicy and flavours of sweet pomegranate and bitter red cherry flavors, plus a hint of licorice and mienrals for added complexity. Firmly tannic but polished on the long juicy, effusively fruity finish. Colour-wise and texturally this wine looks and feels like a red, and I’d serve it with food keeping that in mind. No matter what, it’s just a gorgeous wine, one of the best buys in Vajra’s large portfolio of outstanding offerings. Drinking window: 2022-2027.


Valentini  2018 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo                             93

Pale pink-red colour. Slightly reticent aromas at first, but opens with aeration to showcase nuances of coriander, peach, cannellini beans, violet and nectarine, complemented by mineral dust. Fresh and zippy in the mouth, with similar flavours to the aromas and a slowly unfolding nicely tannic and lifted finish that boasts repeating floral and herbal nuances. Lovely stuff from Valentini. Drinking window: 2022-2032.


Vallone 2021 Susumaniello Salento Rosato Tenuta Terranova           90

Pale pink. Delicate aromas and flavours of pink flowers, cranberry and mint. Gently textured and creamy in the mouth, but with plenty of juicy freshness on the nicely persistent finish. The Vallone estate is huge one, with over 170 hectares split up among three different estates, and many outstanding wines in their portfolio. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Vie di Romans.

Vie di Romans 2019 Pinot Grigio Dessimis Friuli Isonzo                     92

Medium-pale pink. Orange marmalade, crushed flowers, grapefruit and pear on the nose and in the mouth. Fresh and juicy, with very good texture and length on the suave red fruit and floral finish. Drinking window: 2022-2025.

Vie di Romans 2018 Pinot Grigio Dessimis Friuli Isonzo                     95

Good full pink. Deep, complex aromas and flavours of red berries, sour red cherry, pear, jasmine, peony, iris, cinnamon, minerals and candied citrus peel. Very suave and boasting impeccable sugar-acid-tannin balance, this is just an amazing pink wine, hands down one of the ten best I have ever had from Italy. A true knockout. Drinking window: 2022-2026.


Villa Maria.

Villa Maria 2020 Rosé Earth Garden Hawke’s Bay                            89

Medium pink. Perfumed aromas of field flowers, red fruit and spices. Then similar flavours in the mouth, but with a slight green bell pepper note in the mouth is nicely buffered by a little residual sweetness. Stays fresh and clean on the long zippy finish. Lovely wine that will taste better with food. Drinking window: 2022-2023.


Herdade do Esporão 2021 Monte Velho Rosé                               91

Bright pink-red. Red berries. white pepper and fresh citrus fruit on the perfumed nose. Then zippy, juicy and fresh in the mouth too, with good clarity and energy to the ripe red fruit and floral flavours. Closes juicy and long. From the Alentejo in Portugal. Drinking window: 2022-2024.


Mother Rock Wines.

Mother Rock Wines 2020 Cinsault Rosé Swartland Force Celeste                    92

Pale pink. Crushed berries and flowers on the nose and in the mouth. Juicy and zippy, with a strong mineral presence on the long finish carrying the flavours nicely. Saline and juicy. Whole bunch-pressed grapes from very old Cinsault vines organically farmed planted on decomposed granite soils. Spends about seven months on the lees. A natural wine that is clean and where the fruit ismercifully not oxidised beyond redemption. Drinking window: 2022-2024.


Bodegas Castaño.                                                      

Bodegas Castaño 2019 Monastrell Rosado Yecla                          90

Medium pink colour. Generous, ample aromas and flavours of herbs, red berries and apricot. Finishes smooth and nicely textured, with very good juiciness and a fuller mouthfeel than many of today’s Rosé wines. A 100% Monastrell made by direct pressing of the grapes (no maceration) that are grown outside the town of Yecla in Southern Spain’s high altitude Murcia region (the vines are located at about 750 meters above sea level). Named after founder Ramon Caston Santa, this estate is large one boasting about 450 hectares in the Yecla region. Drinking window: 2022-2024.

Bodegas Godelia.

Bodegas Godelia 2021 Mencía Rosé Bierzo                                   90

Bright pink. Then more pink, as in flowers and grapefruit, with hints of red cherries and sweet spices. Juicy and fresh, but with good weight on the palate and a delicately chewy medium-long finish. A 100% Mencia that showcases all the effusively bright and light-bodied charm these wines made with this lovely grape variety are capable of. But it also boasts much more character and body than many of the world’s somewhat boring and overly sweet Rosé wines; not so with this one, made by the saignée method which will routinely guarantee more texture and oomph than direct pressing of grapes only. The name of the estate is a contraction of the words Godello (a grape variety) and lees, in an attempt to forward the notion that at this estate they have a newer, different approach to winemaking of the Bierzo grapes. Drinking window:

Lopez de Heredia.

Lopez de Heredia 2012 Gran Reserva Rosado Rioja                           95

Luminous pink-red. Deep complex aromas and flavours of red cherry, plum, blood orange, watermelon and pomegranate, complicated by violet and licorice, with a healthy dusting of minerals. Nuanced and very clean in the mouth, with less of the earthy tang that characterized the bigger, denser 2010, but this is absolutely beautiful. Very light on its feet with flavours similar to the aromas, it boasts a pure, translucent quality to the red fruit and floral flavours that linger impressively. Closes with a whiplash of mineral dust and aromatic herbs. Mostly Grenache, plus Tempranillo and Viura. This very pure and penetrating full-bodied pink wine is very much like a light red wine; but most importantly, it is a KNOCKOUT. Drinking window: 2022-2033.

Lopez de Heredia 2010 Gran Reserva Rosado Rioja                           94

Bright edium-deep pink. Strawberry, flowers, minerals  and herbs on the forest-floor nuanced nose. Then musky red cherry and plum flavours complemented by earth tones. Closes long with building, savoury flavours of chalk, and Oriental spices. A blend of 60% Garnacha (but they call it Garnacho at this estate), 30% Tempranillo and 10% Viura, a white grape, aged four years in American oak. A little reduced on entry, give this plenty of air in a large decanter before imbibing happily away. Drinking window: 2022-2028.

Segura Viudas Rosé Brut                                                                              88

Bright pink with a sdelciate stream of bubbles. Celan and fresh aromas and flavours of fresh citrus and red berries complicated by a noteworthy saline and musky touch. Closes medium-long with a mounting candied quality. The rare Trepat grape has been given new life with these sparkling wines that boast a little more flesh and size thanks to its presence, ultimately, more interest. Drinking window: 2022-2023.

Ian D'Agata

Editor-in-Chief of Terroir Sense Wine Review
President of Terroir Sense Academy
Vice President of Association Internationale des Terroirs
Chief Scientific Officer of TasteSpirit

Ian D’Agata has been writing and educating about wines for over thirty years. Internationally recognized as an distinguished expert, critic and writer on many wine regions, his two most recent, award winning books Native Wine Grapes of Italy and Italy's Native Wine Grape Terroirs (both published by University of California Press) are widely viewed as the "state of the art" textbooks on the subject. The former book won the Louis Roederer International Wine Awards Book of the Year in 2015 and was ranked as the top wine books of the year for the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times and the New York Times, while the latter was named among the best wine books of the year by Food & Wine Magazine and the NY Times.

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Ian D'Agata