10 Darker Rosés from the West Coast

Rosé comes in all different shades. Here are some of our favorite medium-bodied or darker rosé wines from California and Washington.
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It’s that time of year again where everything from your Instagram feed to the shelves of your local wine shop are full of bright pink rosés, and it makes sense. These pale, fruity and often times light-bodied wines make them an ideal sipper during the hot months of summer. But sometimes, you just want something with a little more body and more complexity on the palate.

So, we selected some of our favorite California and Washington bottles which, unlike many pale Provençal rosés, tend to showcase Pinot Noir and the famous Rhône-style Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre blend. Since many of these bottles are slightly fuller than the average rosé, they are ideal for pairing with food.

If you’re looking for dark pink rosés, here are the bottles you are going to want to seek out.

Ramato, the Unexpected Rosé Alternative

Lynmar 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $25, 94 points. Cranberry colored, this is an earthy wine, substantial yet balanced, with a mix of dried herb, strawberry, blood orange and lemon-lime flavors. Vibrantly fresh and dry, it delivers a refreshing experience. —Virginie Boone

Eric Kent 2017 Rosé (Sonoma Coast); $22, 92 points. This is made from 77% Pinot Noir, 17% Syrah and 6% Grenache. The trio works well together, combining to offer a distinct minerality of crushed rock around complex, curious flavors of cured meat, citrus and strawberry. The wine is dark as Dolcetto in color. —V.B.

Stewart Cellars 2017 Rosé (Sonoma Mountain); $28, 92 points. Robust with a floral nose, this is juicy and generously fleshy, with strong flavors of blood orange and strawberry. The acidity is balanced and uplifting with just enough heft to pair effortlessly with food. —V.B.

Lumen 2017 Starry Rosé (Santa Barbara County); $24, 91 points. A darker shade of reddish pink, this 70% Grenache and 30% Pinot Noir rosé is full of red-plum and raspberry aromas, with an orange-rind twist and warm baking-spice notes as well. It’s very full yet tense and balanced on the palate, with flavors of raspberry gum and citrus peels. —V.B.

Tongue Dancer 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast); $25, 91 points. Dark in color, this wine tastes of strawberry leather with an expansive taste of biscuit, lemon zest and Bing cherry. Medium bodied, it remains fresh in acidity, with a bite of body that gives it a nice mouthfeel that’s complex but never weighty. —V.B.

Tamber Bey 2017 Fore Family Vineyard Rosé; $32, 91 points. This is a substantive, savory and flavorful rose that has more oomph than is typical. Made from Rhône varieties grown at high elevation, its meaty, melony flavors, herbal accents, full body and relatively rich texture can fill the role of a light red wine at mealtime. —Jim Gordon

Prima Materia 2017 Rosé; $22, 90 points. Smooth and supple, this medium-bodied wine is beautifully polished in texture and poised in terms of balance. It shows light peach and canteloupe flavors, a touch of red-wine grip on the palate and good concentration that contributes to a lingering, snappy finish. —J.G.

Castello di Amorosa 2017 Morning Dew Ranch Rosato (Anderson Valley); $39, 90 points. This medium-bodied wine is made from Pinot Noir grapes grown on a single-vineyard hillside site. It has a light-pink color tinted with salmon, fresh peach-skin aromas and nicely dry, crisp yellow-plum and white-cherry flavors that sit on a smooth, substantial texture. —J.G.

Waters 2017 Patina Vineyard Rosé (Walla Walla Valley); $22, 88 points. Darker in color than recent vintages, this wine brings very pretty aromas of cherry, herb and watermelon that lead to bone-dry fruit flavors with sharp-edged acidity. It needs some food alongside it to tame that tartness. —Sean P. Sullivan

14 Hands 2017 Rosé (Washington); $12, 86 points. Mostly Syrah, this wine is a somewhat darker, electric pink color compared to most rosés from the state. It offers bubblegum, melon and cherry aromas, drinking just off dry, with a broad feel. —S.P.S. 

Published on August 8, 2018
Topics: Wine Ratings



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