Valentine’s Day’s ubiquitous colors of pink and red have us reaching for rosé when snuggling up with our significant others. But finding the right rosé in February can be tricky. Most of the offerings from the newest vintage are still settling in the bottle, awaiting release.
Cue last year’s rosés. It may not be intuitive, but 2015 vintage rosés are an excellent value. Especially because some rosés, like other wines, can benefit from time in the bottle. A well-structured rosé with intense red-fruit flavors will outlast pale, spritely versions made to capture summer. Rosés that skew toward savory are cozy in chilly February and will pair well with a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.
Limerick Lane 2015 Grenache Rosé (Russian River Valley); $26, 94 points. This memorably beautiful and delicious wine is made from estate-grown Grenache. The grapes weren’t designated for saignee, but rather picked specifically to make this tart and tangy expression of an inviting grape. Orange in color, almost like a beer, it’s dry and sneakily succulent, with inviting floral aromas at its core and enough body to stay interesting as it develops. Editors’ Choice. —Virginie Boone
Domaine des Carteresses 2015 Tavel; $17, 92 points. This is ripe, round and lush. Cherry-scented goodness leads the way, accented by hints of cracked pepper, cinnamon and allspice that linger elegantly on the finish. —Joe Czerwinski
Umathum 2015 Rosa (Burgenland); $22, 92 points. The almost luminous pink hue promises exuberance: the wine delivers a plethora of fruit notes— spicy elderberries, luscious strawberries and juicy red cherries all take turns to dazzle. Is this your typical rosé? Certainly not—it’s more of an ultralight red that needs chilling. But it certainly delivers sophisticated yet fun drinking. Simply abandon yourself to its joyful flavors and celebrate summer! Editors’ Choice. —Anne Krebiehl MW
Ravoire et Fils 2015 Domaine Mas Thérèse Rosé (Bandol); $23, 91 points. The Gantelme family has run this vineyard since 1908. In this vintage, the blend allows room for the structure of the Mourvèdre along with the ripe accessible fruits of Grenache and Cinsault. It is a rich wine, full of red-berry flavors and with a food-friendly structure. Drink from the end of 2016. —Roger Voss
Rex Hill 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé (Willamette Valley); $24, 91 points. This sensational effort was fermented and briefly aged in neutral oak. The striking package sets it apart from all other Rex Hill wines, and the rich, complex flavors add to the impression that this is something truly special. Red berries, blood orange, a touch of Grand Marnier, impressive body and spicy highlights all combine in a darn near irresistible rosé with the power to be a four season wine. Editors’ Choice. —Paul Gregutt
Kelby James Russell 2015 Dry Rosé (Finger Lakes); $16, 90 points. Bright raspberry and tart red–cherry notes are juxtaposed with complexities of garrigue and bramble in this elegant, spry rosé. Nuanced savoriness lends a slightly cerebral tone that’s unexpected and intriguing, but also particularly suited for pairing with grilled meat and fish. —Anna Lee C. Iijima
Pietradolce 2015 Rosato (Etna); $21, 90 points. Fresh, structured and savory, this opens with aromas of small red berry, brimstone, earth and fragrant blue flower. The zesty palate doles out ripe cherry, crushed strawberry, flinty mineral and star anise. Bright acidity lifts the finish. Editors’ Choice. —Kerin O’Keefe
Jäger 2015 Rosé (Wachau); $19, 88 points. Faint notes of white pepper and bay leaf create an aromatic introduction to this delicate rosé. The slender palate delivers red apple and a pleasant hit of citrus which lingers beautifully. —A.K.
Muga 2015 Rosé (Rioja) $15, 89 points. Crisp, focused aromas of citrus peel set up a firm, crystalline palate with a touch of body. Dry, fresh citrusy flavors end with chalky grip and a note of fresh-ground white pepper. —Michael Schachner