It may not really feel like it yet, but it’s definitely Spring and that means it’s time for California Rosé wines. We have always been fond of excellent wines crafted from Pinot Noir grapes, including Rosés, but there are also a lot of great Rosés made from other varietals as well. If you are a Rosé fan, and would like to try some new wines, we thought we’d offer suggestions based on our recent personal favorites to help narrow the field. Keep reading, and we’ll tell you about some of our favorites so you can do some exploration and tasting for yourself.
This is actually a great time to be purchasing wines directly from the folks that make them. Some wineries have just released their new 2019 Rosé wines (Timbre, Trombetta). A few of the wineries that usually sell out of their popular Rosés quickly still have some in stock (Auteur, Robert Sinskey Vineyards). Other wineries, luckily, still have some Rosés available that have won accolades in ratings and wine competitions (Balletto, Pennyroyal Farm). And of course, this is a great time to be supporting small, family-owned businesses by purchasing their products.
We have personally enjoyed a lot of excellent California Rosés recently and they come from all over the State. Our suggestions below include wines from Mendocino County, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Monterey County, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara County, and more. Please consider these wines (and wineries) as you plan your future brunches, dinners, or home-curated wine tasting experiences. Most of these wines appear to be available for sale on the wineries’ websites, and many currently have discounts on wines and/or shipping fees. For example, Graziano Family of Wines’ Rosé is on sale for $72 a case, Stephen Ross Wine Cellars is offering $1 shipping, and Long Meadow Ranch is offering free shipping.
California Rosés – Rosés of Pinot Noir
Auteur Wines (Sonoma) – 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Balletto Vineyards (Santa Rosa) – 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Bernardus (Carmel Valley) – 2018 Rosé
Bouchaine Vineyards (Napa) – 2019 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir
Bricoleur Vineyards (Windsor) – 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Cuvaison (Napa) – 2019 Pinot Noir Rosé
Domaine Anderson (Philo) – 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Fiddlehead Cellars (Lompoc) – 2018 “Pink Fiddle”
Goldeneye (Philo) – 2019 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir
Graziano Family of Wines (Hopland) – 2018 St. Gregory Pinot Noir Rosé
Handley Cellars (Philo) – 2018 Pinot Noir Rosé
Holman Ranch (Carmel Valley) – 2018 Susan’s Saignée Rosé
Keller Estate (Petaluma) – 2019 Rosé
Long Meadow Ranch (Philo) – 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Lula Cellars (Philo) – 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Lynmar Estate (Sebastopol) – 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Malk Family Vineyads (Napa) – 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Pennyroyal Farm (Boonville) – 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Poe Wines (Napa) – 2019 Rosé (Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier)
Presqu’ile Winery (Santa Maria) – 2019 Santa Maria Valley Rosé
Robert Sinskey Vineyards (Napa) – 2019 Vin Gris
Saintsbury (Napa) – 2019 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir
Stewart Cellars (Yountville) – 2019 Sonoma Mountain Rosé
Timbre Winery (Arroyo Grande) – 2019 “Opening Act”
Trombetta Family Wines (Forestville) – 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir grapes can create lovely sparkling wines as well. For example, Davis Family Vineyards (Healdsburg) not only makes delightful still Pinot Noirs (hello, Soul Patch), they also have a tasty 2016 Rosé de Noir sparkling wine. Presqu’ile Winery (Santa Maria) produces three fantastic sparkling wines, and their delicious 2015 Sparkling Rosé is made entirely from Pinot Noir grapes (the other two are a Blanc de Blancs, and a Brut Cuvée). In Sonoma, the Gloria Ferrer 2016 Brut Rosé is made from 90% Pinot Noir Grapes (and 10% Chardonnay grapes) and is outstanding too.
California Rosés – Other Varietals
But, there are many more flavors to the California Rosé rainbow than Pinot Noir. For example, we’ve fallen for many Rosés crafted from Grenache grapes which you should check out. Some of our favorites are the 2017 Rosé of Grenache by Koehler Winery, 2019 Edna Valley Rosé from Chamisal Vineyards, 2019 Rosé of Grenache from Stephen Ross Wine Cellars, 2018 Rosé of Grenache from Morgan Winery, 2018 Rosé (Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel) from Southern Roots Wines, 2018 rosé di grenache from Campovida, and 2016 “Fantasie” from Seebass Vineyards.
If you want to do some more exploration, and enjoy California Rosés that aren’t primarily Pinot Noir or Grenache, here are the ones we’d recommend starting with:
- 2019 Rosé of Pinotage from Tiny House Vineyard
- 2019 Rosé of Sangiovese from Jeff Runquist Wines
- 2018 Rosé of Peloursin from Retro Cellars
- 2019 “Oasis” (Mourvèdre, Grenache) from Cass Winery
- 2019 Turbidity Current Rosé (Mourvèdre, Grenache) from Joyce Wine Co.
- 2018 Rosé d’Or (Grenache, Syrah) from Azur Wines
- 2019 Rosé (Grenache, Mourvèdre, Rolle, Cinsault) from Malene Wines
- 2019 Coucher de Soleil Estate Rosé (Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Zinfandel) from Canard Vineyard
- 2019 Cabernet Rosé from Spence Vineyards
- 2018 Hi No Tori Rosé (Cabernet Sauvignon) from Kanpai Wines
- 2018 Rosé (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc) from Mario Bazán Cellars
- 2019 Sylvaine Rosé (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc) from Ehlers Estate
- 2018 Rosé Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Cabernet Franc) from Palmaz Vineyards
- 2018 Rosato (Primitivo) from La Sirena
- 2018 Rosé (Zinfandel, Grenache) from Cāpo Creek Winery
- 2019 Rosé of Zinfandel from Drive Wines
- 2018 Rosé of Zinfandel from Fathers + Daughters Cellars
- 2019 Rosé of Petite Sirah from Quixote Winery
- 2019 Sandpiper Rosé (Syrah) from Porter Family Vineyards
- 2018 Syrah Rosé from Scalon Cellars
So, collectively, that’s over four dozen California Rosé wines we think are worth the effort to try and taste for yourself. If you’re ready to start your exploration now, please reach out to the wineries and place some orders. Or, look for them at your local wine store, if they’re an “essential business” in your area. Or, after your area’s “shelter in place” is lifted, and your personal comfort level rises to where you can start traveling again, please seek out these wineries on your real-life wine tasting trips as well.
Wine Events to Explore
If you are a huge fan of Rosé wines, you may also want to research some fun and public wine tasting events that include great wineries sharing their Rosés. For example, Experience Rosé is a two-part event starting with a wine-tasting competition followed by a later public tasting, “The Great Rosé Infusion of Summer,” showcasing the highest-ranking winners. Last year, the Balletto Vineyards 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir won “Best of Show.” This year, the judging takes place at the end of April, and entries must be submitted by April 22. The public tasting was held in Healdbsurg last year, but the 2020 event’s exact location and date are yet to be determined (because of, you know).
The World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) was a weekend of events in early March including two separate Grand Tastings focused on Pinot Noirs (and Pinot Noir Rosés). At WOPN, another fun experience was a Rosé Lawn Party, with over 50 Pinot Noir Rosés served alongside Spanish Tapas such as Pan Con Tomate, Spanish Omelet, and Albondigas with Pepper Sauce. This annual event celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and other activities included seminars, luncheons, and special dinners. If that sounds appealing to you, the next World of Pinot Noir is March 4-6, 2021, in Santa Barbara.
Please stay safe, and healthy. If you’d like to learn more about our other favorite wines and wineries in California, please follow the drop-down menus under “Favorites by Wine Region” to see our suggestions.