In many cases, rosé wines are made of a mix of grape varieties to yield a balanced outcome. However, there are a few grapes in particular that don’t need a helping hand to shine their best. Grenache—the workhorse grape of the Southern Rhône—is one of these grapes
Grenache rosés are typically dry in style, with a broad, rich palate of watermelon, strawberry and lemon flavors. Many examples can be found in California, Oregon and Washington, where the grape is commonly grown for varietal and blended bottlings.
Clementine Carter 2019 Rosé of Grenache (Santa Barbara County); $38, 93 points. A clean and precise nose, this Grenache-based rosé begins with aromas of strawberry and light citrus. It’s quite delicate on the palate, where a wet rock minerality frames flavors of light strawberry candy and brisk citrus spray. —Matt Kettmann
Clif Family 2019 Rosé of Grenache (Mendocino); $26, 92 points. This wine is a very pale salmon in color, and bright, light and refreshing in taste. It offers mouthwatering, crisp citrus flavors and lively minty, piney, herbaceous aromas. The acidity is especially brisk and appetizing. Editors’ Choice. —Jim Gordon
Beckmen 2019 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Rosé of Grenache (Ballard Canyon); $26, 91 points. Showing an orange-tinted shade of pink, this bottling begins with strawberry, cotton candy and steely aromas. There is great zip to the sip, where chalky earth flavors are surrounded by edges of strawberry cream. The texture lasts deep into the finish. —M.K.
Grosgrain 2019 Blush Angiolina Farm Grenache Rosé (Yakima Valley); $20, 91 points. This wine is all Grenache, fermented and aged in concrete. So pale in color it could easily pass for a white wine, the aromas are reserved at present, while the palate is expressive, fuller in feel, with strawberry and pink-grapefruit flavors framed by zippy, lemony acidity. It’s still settling in but has excellent stuffing. Give it a short decant. —Sean P. Sullivan
Kokomo 2019 Pauline’s Vineyard Rosé of Grenache (Dry Creek Valley); $26, 91 points. A perennially delicious expression of the Rhône grape, this wine has great acidity and texture, supple and fresh. Tart grapefruit, lemon and lime lead to a finishing touch of wild strawberry and cream. —Virginie Boone
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
Summerland 2019 Grenache Rosé (Central Coast); $16, 91 points. Pink-peach, light strawberry, grapefruit peel 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.
Abacela 2019 Grenache Rosé (Umpqua Valley); $19, 90 points. This is a powerful fruit-driven wine. Flavors of ripe grapefruit, crisp apple and hints of lemon peel combine in a lovely bottle that would be a perfect companion to cold chicken. Editors’ Choice. —P.G.
San Simeon 2019 Stefano Vineyard Grenache Rosé (Paso Robles); $25, 90 points. Clean lines of cantaloupe rind and guava peel show on the nose of this bottling. The palate hits with a steely tension, offering brisk lemon and pink-fruit flavors. —M.K.
Published: August 12, 2020