International Wine Cellar Reviews Ros├ęs

By Josh Raynolds
2011 Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé Willamette Valley
88 points

($15) Light, bright orange. Discreet aromas of strawberry, orange zest and white flowers, with slow-building spiciness. Dry and focused on the palate, with lively red fruit flavors and a slightly bitter citrus element. Finishes with good clarity and cut, leaving a floral note behind.


The Best New Roses: 2012
By Josh Raynolds

Americans seem to have finally become comfortable with the fact that rose wines aren't just for summer drinking. They also seem to be realizing that a great rose--and there are more than a few--is a truly great wine, with no apologies for being pink. They're even coming around slowly to the realization that the best roses can actually last and improve with a little time in bottle, or even a lot of it in the case of some bottlings. Those of us who have lost a bottle of rose in the cellar and popped it a few years later, expecting the worst, can often vouch for that but I doubt that many wine lovers are going to make a habit of laying down pink wines for the grandkids, nor do I recommend it.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of rose: the classic version is in a delicate style made from the juice of red grapes that are pressed and and then left to macerate briefly together, which usually imparts a pale pink color. The second style is made by the saignee method, where juice is drawn off of fermenting red wine, which typically means darker color, richer flavors and more weight. The paler versions are well-suited to drinking by themselves or with lighter foods while the saignee renditions are usually better with food, and in many cases they can even stand in for red wines at the table.

I tasted a large number of excellent roses this year and due to the sheer volume of them we are only publishing full notes on those that I rated 88 points or above. Those wines that scored 87 points are in the "Also recommended" section of this article, along with those that rated 86 and 85 points. In many cases these wines sell for somewhere in the $10 range, which makes them seriously good values, so don't hesitate to try these too. Note that there are no Spanish roses in this year's rose article as they will be included in our annual Spanish coverage, which will be published in the next issue of the IWC.

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