Plan your weekend with our Good Taste newsletter, offering wine advice and reviews, recipes, restaurant news and more. Sign up today.
Pink wine continues its ascent from the ranks of cheap and cheerful to one of the most stylish and expressive categories in wine. Rosé sales are growing in North America and more pricey, premium and luxury labels are being introduced to take advantage of the increasing awareness.
If my social media feed is any indication, the #roséallday movement seems to have quieted, although that could also be a sign folks in quarantine feel less of an urge to sport bedazzled T-shirts or floppy brimmed sun hats embroidered with cutesy slogans. I’d like to think it’s a sign we’re at the acceptance stage of rosé appreciation.
No longer novel, rosé is a bona fide category that merits time and attention from wine lovers, at least during the summer months. Breaking through the seasonal mindset will be the next stage in its evolution.
That said, these remaining weeks between now and Labour Day are still largely seen by wineries, bottle shops and most consumers as the high season for rosé. With that in mind, here are some recommendations to order online or seek out in stores. The lineup includes a couple of new premium releases from Canadian wineries as well as some selections coming in practical and portable cans and Tetra Pak containers.
I believe these sorts of wines are just as tasty in autumn, winter and spring, so there’s no need to worry about still having bottles in your stash come October. If you appreciate them now, you’ll still enjoy them at a later day. #roséallyear.
Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada Rosé 2019 (Portugal)
SCORE: 88 PRICE: $14.95
This dry rosé from Quinta de Cabriz in the Dao region is a blend of touriga nacional and alfrocheiro grape varieties. It’s medium-bodied and offers fresh cherry and berry fruit flavours. Drink now. Available in Ontario.
Cave Spring Rosé Estate 2019 (Canada)
SCORE: 90 PRICE: $22.95
A new addition to the Cave Spring portfolio, this premium rosé is made from 100-per-cent cabernet franc from a single block of the Cave Spring Vineyard in Beamsville, Ont. It was barrel-fermented and aged in older barrels for added weight and complexity, but without any additional vanilla or toasted oak notes. The result is an attractive pink wine with a core of berry, watermelon and spice notes, and a clean refreshing finish. Drink now to 2022. Available direct through cavespring.ca.
Le Ballon Rosé 2019 (France)
SCORE: 88 PRICE: $20
This tasty and refreshing organic rosé from the south of France is made from a blend of grenache and cinsault grapes. Crisp but mouth-filling, this really displays the ripe fruit character and generosity of grenache. Drink now. Available in Nova Scotia at the above price, $16.95 in Ontario, sold in cases of 12 bottles by livingvine.ca.
Le Petit Chat Rosé Malin 2019 (France)
SCORE: 87 PRICE: $12.99
This value-priced dry rosé from the south of France is a classic blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah. A pink wine with refreshingly juicy berry notes with some spicy accents, this is ready to drink. Available in British Columbia at the above price, $14.99 in Prince Edward Island.
Malivoire Ladybug Rosé 2019 (Canada)
SCORE: 89 PRICE: $16.95
Ontario’s bestselling rosé continues to impress. The 2019 vintage sports an updated label design, with a blend of cabernet franc, gamay and pinot grapes that were farmed and harvested specifically to produce this wine. The result is a refreshingly crisp and inviting rosé that’s a year-round staple. Vegan friendly. Drink now to 2022. Available in Ontario at the above price and direct through malivoire.com, various prices in Alberta and Manitoba, $17.50 in Quebec.
Mission Hill Terroir Collection Border Vista Vineyard Rosé 2019 (Canada)
SCORE: 91 PRICE: $30
Mission Hill’s Terroir series focuses on single vineyard wines that represent some of the best parcels available. This dry rosé is a blend of mostly merlot, with cabernet franc and syrah. A small portion was fermented and aged in barrel to add texture and complexity to the finished wine. It’s fruity but with some more interest on the nose and refinement on the palate. Drink now to 2022. Available direct through missionhillwinery.com.
Roche Texture Rosé 2019 (Canada)
SCORE: 89 PRICE: $21
Roche is a family-operated winery based in Penticton, which farms its vineyards organically and strives to produce top-quality small-batch wines. A surprising blend of zweigelt and schonburger, this is a generously fruity rosé with herbal and spicy notes that add interest. Drink now. Available direct through rterroir.ca.
Rosehall Run Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 (Canada)
SCORE: 90 PRICE: $29
This is the first estate-grown pinot noir rosé from pioneering Prince Edward County winemaker Dan Sullivan. This refreshingly dry expression offers enjoyable fruity and savoury aromas and flavours. That zesty county acidity really stands out, making this a serious rosé that’s best enjoyed with food. Drink now to 2022. Available direct through rosehallrun.com.
Rustenberg Wines Petit Verdot Rosé 2019 (South Africa)
SCORE: 89 PRICE: $14.95
The Rustenberg estate in Stellenbosch started to produce its fashionable rosé with the petit verdot grape in 2015. Prized for adding colour, fragrance and structure to blended red wines from Bordeaux and other parts of the world, it’s seldom seen as a solo act but works incredibly well here. Really pretty berry and floral notes pervade. Drink now to 2022. Available in Ontario.
Stel + Mar Premium Rosé (United States)
SCORE: 88 PRICE: $45.95/3 L
A ripe and flavourful blend of grenache and syrah from California’s Central Valley, this appealing dry rosé is the latest addition to the Stel + Mar lineup of wines packaged in cans or tetrapak. Six 500 mL tetrapaks are sold as a single 3-litre box, which makes good sense for having on hand for whenever the mood for a glass strikes or physical-distancing entertaining occasions. Drink now. Available in Ontario.
Stratus Wildass Rosé 2019 (Canada)
SCORE: 88 PRICE: $27.60/4 x 200 mL
This is a unique blend of red and white wine grapes, merlot, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, semillon and riesling, that displays an off-dry, fruity character that’s easy to appreciate. Available in conventional 750 mL bottle for $18.95 but I’m excited by the addition of 200 mL single serve cans. Available direct at the above price through stratuswines.com.
Township 7 Provenance Series Rosé 2019 (Canada)
SCORE: 91 PRICE: $24.97
This is a beautifully balanced and expressive Okanagan Valley rosé produced from grapes grown in Naramata and Oliver. The blend features cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and syrah alongside merlot, malbec and petit verdot grapes that were co-fermented for better fruit integration. The resulting wine is ripe, flavourful and ready to drink. It will hold nicely for the next year or two if you like some age on your rosé. Available direct through township7.com.
Zonte’s Footstep Scarlet Ladybird Rosé 2019 (Australia)
SCORE: 88 PRICE: $17.95
Here’s an inviting blend of cabernet sauvignon, grenache and pinot gris from the Fleurieu Peninsula in Australia. Made with grapes sourced from blocks in Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale, this is fruity, floral and fun. The alcohol is 13.5 per cent, which contributes some broadness to this refreshingly dry wine. Look for fresh red berry fruit and with attractive fragrance. Drink now. Available in Ontario.