Please find here a bouquet of a dozen carefully selected Rosés, any of which will add a thrillingly pink sparkle to your Valentine’s Day.
MERCAT Brut Rosé Cava, Penedes, NV ($14.89)
A blend of 40% Macabeo, 40% Xarel-lo and 5% Parellada with 5% red Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) (all 15-40 year old vines) aged 18 months and disgorged to order with a final dosage to 0.75 residual sugar. Pale-salmon-orange color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-light-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and light phenolics. Fine fruit-toast sparkling wine nose. Clean but slightly earthy with red fruit essence and enough citrus to keep it balanced. Delicious, fresh, mineral. Enough toast. Lovely balance. Delicious. BearScore: 92.
FRANÇOIS LABET Rosé, Crémant de Bourgogne, NV ($15.99)
From the owner of Ch. de la Tour in Clos Vougeot comes this methode champenoise Rosé sparkler made from 100% Pinot Noir grown in Burgundy. Copper-pink in color, fully sparkling; just off of dry, medium-light-bodied with fresh acidity and very light phenolics. Offers red fruit (strawberry-cherry-raspberry) with enough citrus to keep it fresh and focused. Due to the addition of a bit of red Pinot Noir (for color), it has more earth and richness to go with its fruit and subtle toast notes. BearScore: 89+.
MUMM NAPA Rosé, Napa Valley, NV ($17.97)
12.5% alcohol. 85% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay from vineyards in Napa Carneros and southern Napa Valley. A portion of the Pinot part of the blend is red pinot noir (riper, longish cold soak, punchdowns) to give the wine its full darker rosé color. After aging en tirage, the wine is disgoged and dosed to 1.2% sugar to give it a richer finish that allows it to handle some spice in the foods it is served with. Pink-garnet-salmon in color and fully sparkling; almost dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and scant phenolics. Richer textured, slightly earthy, toasty Rosé sparkler offering darker red fruit with enough citrus to keep it fresh. Satisfying with real depth and texture in the mouth. Fine food fizz. This can handle grilled salmon and even some red meats. BearScore: 91.
JANSZ Brut Rosé, Tasmania, NV ($23.39)
A methode champenoise lend of 68% Pinot Noir, 26% Chardonnay, and 6% Pinot Meunier made fully sparkling and finished with a dosage of .9% residual sugar. Spends about 18 months en tirage (on the yeast). Salmon in color, fully sparkling; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Crisp, fresh, refreshing Rosé offering strawberry and cherry essences along with a bit of citrus and an earthy mineral component that blends in nicely with the fruit and toasty yeast. Great food fizz. BS: 92+.
RIDGEVIEW Fitzrovia Rosé, England, 2014 ($37.79)
A blend of 50% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir, and 17% Pinot Meunier all fermented in 100% stainless steel. 100% malo-lactic fermentation. Red wine for addition made from Pinot Meunier (on skins for 3 days then fermented with skins and pressed). Aged 11 months on its yeasts. disgorged April 2016, Dosage 10 g/l. Orange salmon in color; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and scant phenolics. Lovely more elegant style of Rose with some red fruit and more citrus. Not food Rose, more in an aperitif style but really delicious. Yum. BearScore: 92+.
ANDRE CLOUET Brut Rosé, Champagne, NV ($47.49)
An estate-bottled cuvee of 92% Pinot Noir made as white Champagne blended with 8% Bouzy Rouge (the famous but rare red wine from the grand cru village of Bouzy). Ferment in stainless steel tanks but with a full malo-lactic fermentation and aged 4 years on the yeast before a dosage of 6 grams per liter. Decidedly pink (as opposed to orangey-salmon) in color and fully sparkling. dry and fresh with light but present phenolics (from the red wine component). Supple and juicy with red fruit accented with subtle earth. It hints at exotic spice with fine perfume and a balancing core of citrus and red fruit acidity. Its toastiness emerges in the mouth. Great feel. Yum. Excellent. BearScore: 94.
Chateau de BLIGNY Brut Rosé, Champagne, NV ($49.99)
An estate-bottled cuvee of 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir (30% of which is red Coteaux Champenois). 15% of the total cuvee is reserve wines. Full malo-lactic fermentation and and aged at least 24 months on the yeast. Dosed to 10 grams-per-liter of sugar) Orange-salmon in color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and very light phenolics. Clean and fresh with red (strawberry and raspberry) fruit and citrus over limestone mineral and notes of toast and spice. Rich enough to drink with dinner. BearScore: 93.
MICHEL MAILLIARD Cuvee Alexia Brut Rosé, Champagne, NV ($49.99)
An unusual ESTATE BOTTLED cuvee of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir (all which is red wine). Vinifcation and aging for 8 months in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation. Aged 4 years en tirage (on the yeasts). Finished true Brut with a 7g/l dosage (0.7%). Deep salmon-pink color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-light-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Riper darker rosé with lots of red fruit. The 10% red wine in the blend gives it a strong red fruit character but the 90% Chardonnay keeps it elegant (with a citrus balance) and keeps it from any heaviness. It is toasty-yeasty and mineral but the driving force is the tension between the red fruit character and its Chardonnay elegance. Ultimate food Champagne. BearScore: 92+.
JACQUES PICARD Brut Rosé, Champagne, NV ($52.99)
An estate-bottled cuvee of 90% Chardonnay with 10% Pinot Noir Champagne Rosé. The color comes from the red grapes/juice getting a 6-7 day maceration (with no alcoholic fermentation) before being blended and co-fermented with Chardonnay and 8 months of vat aging before bottling. This bottling is based on 2010 with 30% reserve wines added for depth and richness. Aged over 4 years on the yeasts before it was disgorged in October 2015. Dosage at 8 grams/liter. Pale-salmon-orange in color; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Integrated complete style of Rosé with enough red fruit and lots of Chardonnay (citrus and focus) character. the fruit, mineral earth, and yeastiness all knit together. More elegant aperitif style of Rosé. BearScore: 92+.
JOSE DHONDT Rosé de Saignee, Champagne, NV ($57.94)
An estate-bottled cuvee of 100% Pinot Noir (from a a single site called La Cote aux Lièvres) Rosé that is fermented in small stainless steel tanks with 12 to 24 hours of skin contact and allowed a full malo-lactic fermentation. Given three years on the yeasts and dosed to 8 grams-per-liter. Offers more color (a vivid pink-red) and depth than most Rosé Champagne with lots of almost sweet tred fruit and just enough citrus to go with some mineral earth and toasty richness. Excellent food Champagne for drinking all the way through a meal. BearScore: 94.
CHARLES HEIDSIECK Brut Reserve Rosé Champagne NV ($73.99)
80% base of 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier (selected from 60 plots) along with 20% Reserve Wines of 1/2 Chardonnay and 1/2 Pinot Noir. 5% red wine from Les Riceys in the Aube. Aged at least 5 years on its yeasts. This is a lovely rich food friendly very wine-like Sparkling Rosé offering more red fruit with a bit of citrus and more toast and mineral earth. Textured and dimensional in the mouth. The most vinous of all the Rosés listed here. BearScore: 95+.
BARONS de ROTHSCHILD Brut Rosé Champagne NV ($94.99)
85% Grand Cru Chardonnay from the Cote du Blanc villages of Avize, Cramant, Mesnil-Sur-Oger, Oger and Vertus with 15% still red Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims. 40% Reserve Wine. Aged at least 3 years on its yeasts. Salmon-orange in color; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and very light phenolics. Richer with more red fruit. Lots of fruit and lots of toasty richness with enough chalky minerality to keep it elegant. Long and again, quite food friendly. This is Champagne to keep. Better every time I drink it. BearScore: 95.