American Rosés That Stand Toe-to-Toe with Classic French Offerings | Wine Enthusiast
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American Rosés That Stand Toe-to-Toe with Classic French Offerings

France dominates the conversation when it comes to rosé, but there is a plethora of domestic offerings worthy of seeking out. American rosés are the refreshing wines of summer that offer crisp acidity and fresh fruit flavors, enjoyable while enjoying a bright sunny day or a quiet night at home.

American winemakers have taken full advantage of the diversity of rosé, from impossibly delicate Pinot Noir offerings to richly flavored versions made from Sangiovese or Grenache. It’s a playful wine style from the cellar to the bottle, that inspires kooky labels and pop culture references. Yet, it can be produced in the most serious of ways from the West Coast to the East Coast.

Balletto 2019 Estate Grown Estate Bottled Rosé of Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $20, 92 points. Opening in gorgeously effusive aromas of jasmine and cherry blossom, this impressively light, bright wine is layered in grapefruit, blood orange and cherry on the palate. A lingering taste of wet stone emphasizes its mineral component and lends to an enduring freshness. —Virginie Boone

Summer Water 2019 Rosé (Central Coast); $20, 92 points. A pale salmon-pink color in the glass, this widely available bottling of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah delivers a fantastic nose of melon, bubblegum and soft rose petals. It’s clean and chalky on the palate, with a light cantaloupe flavor and a surprisingly long finish. Editors’ Choice. —Matt Kettmann

Hosmer 2019 Dry Rosé of Cabernet Franc (Cayuga Lake); $16, 91 points. This watermelon-hued rosé offers impressively vibrant aromas of freshly squeezed Montmorency cherry and blood orange peel, mixed with a light crushed-stone accent on the nose. The palate is juicy and fruity, with pulsing acidity pushing along the tart cherry flavor. Tart red fruit skins and stone offer grip, with a gentle bit of tannins lending a firm feel. Editors’ Choice. —Alexander Peartree

Quady North 2019 Dry Rosé of Grenache (Applegate Valley); $16, 91 points. Don’t let the pale copper shade dissuade you—this wine is bursting with aromas of wildflowers, and rich flavors of strawberries and melon. It’s everything a young rosé should be: juicy and full flavored, with complexity beyond simple young fruit. —Paul Gregutt

Rodney Strong 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $25, 92 points. This wine continues to impress year after year. It’s a stainless-steel, cold-fermented bottle of fruity goodness, with complexity to spare. Fresh and lively, it shines in clean, focused flavors of wild strawberry, melon and pineapple, retaining citrus-driven acidity throughout. Editors’ Choice. —V.B.

Summerland 2019 Grenache Rosé (Central Coast); $16, 91 points. Pink-peach, light strawberry, grapefruitpeel and wet clay aromas show on the nose of this crisp rosé. There’s a compelling wet chalk minerality to the sip, where crisp cherry and raspberry fruit flavors compete for attention. —M.K.

Underground Wine Project 2019 And why am I Mr. Pink? Rosé (Columbia Valley); $15, 91 points. This Sangiovese-Syrah dominant wine is a pale pink, almost bronze color. Vibrant aromas of sour cherry, yellow strawberry, herb and watermelon rind lead to a medium-bodied, flavorful palate balanced by lively, puckering acidity. Best Buy. —Sean P. Sullivan

Aspen Peak 2019 Dry Rosé (Colorado); $19, 90 points. Bright, summery aromas of strawberry and freshly cut watermelon are wrapped in white blossoms. Juicy and delightful flavors of watermelon and fresh strawberry move to tart green apple and Key lime on a tangy finish. It is a lovely, if surprising, evolution that yearns for poolside sipping and ceviche. —Fiona Adams

Effingham Manor 2018 Rosé (Virginia); $29, 90 points. This is fruity and delightful—a classic salmon color in the glass. The aroma offers fresh strawberry and watermelon rind, with accents of Canary melon and grass. Strawberry and watermelon flavors are sunny and charming, while lemony acidity lends a juicy vibe. The finish blends yellow cherry and lemon pith, adding a lightly drying sensation while remaining ripe in flavor. —F.A.

Llano Estacado 2018 Signature Rosé (Texas); $11, 90 points. This rosé is immediately appealing in its cherry lollipop color, though the quiet aroma may cast doubts, offering strawberry leaves, cherry pits and potting soil. The palate surprises in apple and lemon juice—an absolute juice bomb that is entirely chuggable, with lemon-lime acidity keeping it bright and energetic. A delicious cherry and watermelon note lingers endlessly, leaving you begging for more. Best Buy. —F.A.