The Dark Side of Rosé: 8 of our Favorites From California to Italy

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Pale, ballet-pink rosés are popular in the U.S., but those light-in-color wines can also be light on concentration. That’s when it’s time to look to the dark side for rosés that pack a punch.

These eight bottles offer more concentrated berry flavors while keeping the acid electrifying. They can hold up to heartier meals and have staying power to last more than one season, carrying you into fall, winter and beyond.

A Six-Bottle Master Class to Rosé

Amorotti 2018 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo; $35, 93 points. Tightly coiled aromas of pomegranate, blood orange peel and fennel seed lead to a broad yet energized palate. Packed flavors of strawberry and melon rind are lifted by zesty citrus and brisk herbal accents. The intensity of fruit remains pristine and persistent, indicating that this should hold well for later enjoyment. Drink now–2023. Jan D’Amore Wines. Editors’ Choice. —Alexander Peartree

Château d’Aqueria 2020 Tavel; $20, 91 points. Delicate notes of red cherry and apple blossom introduce this full-bodied but freshly concentrated expression of Tavel. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Clairette, it highlights zippy blackberry and crisp black-plum flavors against a backdrop of cassis acidity and lingering veins of graphite. This delightful dry rosé should delight red and white wine lovers alike. Kobrand. —Anna Lee C. Iijima

Domaine Corne-Loup 2020 Tavel; $24, 91 points. Almost garnet-hued in the glass, this plum-scented, Grenache-dominant blend offers all the blackberry and blueberry richness of a red wine with the freshness and thirst-quenching quaffability of a rosé. Accented by spikes of burnt caramel, granite and smoke, it’s an elegant, satisfying and dry wine that drinks well anytime of the year. Kysela Père et Fils. —A.I.

Saint K 2020 Around the Way Rosé of Mourvèdre (Paso Robles Willow Creek District); $26, 91 points. A vibrant shade of pink fuschia, this fun bottling hits the nose with aromas of raspberry jam, pomegranate and stone. The wine sizzles on the palate with bright, fresh and acid-driven red-fruit flavors, wrapped in a firm texture. —Matt Kettmann

Sling & Stone 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Monterey County); $25, 91 points. A dark-salmon color in the glass, this bottling begins with light aromas of dried watermelon on the nose. The palate packs a bit more entertainment, showing cranberry, red apple, dried lemon peel and a lightly candied finish, wrapped in a fine texture. —M.K.

Château de Manissy 2020 Cuvée des Lys (Tavel); $19, 90 points.
A touch of burnt caramel lends spice to notes of red plums and cherry blossoms in this invigorating dry rosé sourced from organically farmed Grenache (60%), Syrah (20%) and Clairette (20%). It’s luscious on the palate but thirst-quenching and spry, with a long, invigoratingly mineral finish. Delightful young, the wine should hold through 2022. Weygandt-Metzler. —A.I.

Republic of Pink 2020 Rosé (Central Coast); $18, 90 points. A darker shade of pink, this bottling starts with mellow aromas of light melon and a rusty minerality. There’s a firm texture to the palate, where dried orange rind, pink-fleshed fruit and a touch of dried sage converge for a unique flavor profile. —M.K.

Broc Cellars 2020 Love Rosé (North Coast); $22, 89 points. A deep-coral color and just-crushed berry aromas give this light-bodied, uncomplicated wine a charming freshness. Made from mostly Carignan, it offers vivid raspberry and peach-skin flavors and good balance. —Jim Gordon

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Published on September 3, 2021
Topics: Buying Guide