10 California Rosés That Give Provence a Run for Its Money

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Summer is in full swing, and what could be better than a super-chilled glass of rosé to keep the heat at bay?

While Provence may be the spiritual home of pink wines, California is giving the southern French locale a run for its money with a wide range of quality driven examples. So the next time you need a bit of refreshment, look to Cali for your rosé enjoyment.

The Ultimate Guide to French Rosé, Organized by Region

Caraccioli 2020 Escolle Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands); $25, 94 points. This bottling begins with crystalline strawberry, pink-lemonade and rose-petal aromas on the crisp, clean and delicious nose. There is a fantastic sizzle on the sip, where a chalky grip frames the poached strawberry, pluot and rose petal flavors. —Matt Kettmann

Hartford Court 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $30, 94 points. Made predominantly from grapes grown at the Fog Dance Vineyard, a vineyard-designate of its own, this memorably delicious wine is light in color and delicately inviting in tangerine, peach and strawberry. Stainless-steel fermented, it remains crisp on the palate with just a touch of orangesicle richness on the finish. Editors’ Choice. —Virginie Boone

A Tribute to Grace 2020 Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard Rosé of Grenache (Santa Barbara County); $25, 93 points. A very pale shade of pink in the glass, this bottling begins with aromas of rose petal, honeydew and wet slate. The palate is extremely tense and grippy—like licking stones and seashells, as flavors of red apple and rose petal float toward the finish. —M.K.

Red Car 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast); $28, 93 points. Crisp red fruit dominates in this lovely wine, which delivers a great depth of flavor and nuance. Tangerine and blood orange characteristics add continued freshness and undeniable appeal. —V.B.

Joel Gott 2020 Rosé (Central Coast); $16, 91 points. For a widely available rosé, this is a solid deal, beginning with aromas of clean bubblegum, strawberry shave ice and chalk. There is a firm tension to the sip, where ripe watermelon and strawberry flavors will please the masses, yet the chalky texture will keep experts enthused as well. Editors’ Choice. —M.K.

Joseph Jewell 2020 Slusser Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $24, 91 points. Fruity and layered in waves of raspberry, strawberry and watermelon, this light, crisp wine delivers vibrant flavor and texture. Dried herb and a hint of lemongrass add complementary nuance and deliciousness. —V.B.

McKahn 2020 Rosé of Grenache (Shenandoah Valley); $26, 91 points. A pale-pink color, tempting Ruby Red grapefruit aromas and light, fresh, crisp flavors give this light-bodied wine charm and grace. Its raspberry and mint notes are surprisingly concentrated and lingering. Editors’ Choice. —Jim Gordon

Dancing Crow 2020 Rosé of Syrah (Lake County); $20, 90 points. This attractive, well-balanced wine is light-salmon in color, offers fresh raspberry and peach aromas and nicely ripe yet tangy flavors on the palate. —J.G.

We Recommend:

LangeTwins 2020 River Ranch Vineyard Aglianico Rosé (Jahant); $22, 90 points. Generous fruit flavors and a polished texture are complemented by bright, underlying acidity in this flavorful, well-balanced and harmonious wine made from an Italian grape variety. —J.G.

Noble Vines 2020 515 Rosé (Central Coast); $12, 90 points. There’s a bright bubblegum and cotton-candy combo that kicks off the nose on this bottling, but a hint of white ash adds a more serious streak. Orange blossom and ripe nectarine flavors show on the sip, bound together by a stony, chalky frame. Best Buy. —M.K.

Published on June 30, 2021
Topics: Wine and Ratings