The Top 10 Texas Rosés
The best pink wines for summer 2016.
To borrow the food-writing cliché, rosé is having a bit of a moment. Last year, dozens of articles pointed out the rise of rosé, including this info-packed piece from WinePair.com (America drinks 13 percent of the world’s rose, second only behind France) and this it-borders-on-parody post from GQ on the “Brosé” trend. No sense of how much influence Brad and Angelina’s Miraval Provence label, launched a couple of years ago, has had on the market.
And so the trend continues, and, in fact, extends to Texas. As the Telegraph in the U.K. points out, in England “rosé is drunk winter and summer and goes stratospheric every time the sun shines.” Considering the propensity for sunshine in Texas, it’s only fitting that we do our part to follow suit.
It’s believed that early versions of rosé wine have been around since winemaking in general with specific examples of grayish pink or pale red in Champagne until the seventeenth century when the Champenois learned how to more effectively separate the red grape skins from the meat to make yellowish/white wines. Today most rosés are by the “skin contact method,” in which the freshly-pressed pale juice from red-skinned grapes is allowed to rest for a short period of time on the dark red grape skins, which add color and some flavor to the juice; other versions are made by blending a small amount of finished red wine into finished white wine for color and depth of flavor. Often brimming with bright red fruits balanced with crisp citrus acidity, it’s an ideal wine to bridge the gap between red wine and white wine lovers.
There are varying levels of sweetness for these wines, with dry rosés often being associated with France, particularly the Provence region in Southern France, which is largely devoted to the production of rosé. But while there are countless examples of excellent and affordable Provençal rosés, it’s worth noting that this style of wine is expertly made all over the world from Spain and Italy, to Oregon, Argentina, and New Zealand.
Texas plays pretty well in the field as well. I recently tasted through nearly forty Texas rosés and found a broad spectrum of style and quality, and a number worth sharing. Below are ten of the best rosé wines in Texas for this summer.
Brennan Vineyards 2015 Dry Rosé
With a peachy salmon hue, this delicate rosé is brimming with aromas of jasmine and ambrosia fruit followed by ripe strawberry and teasingly tart pomegranate on the palate, with a quenchy summer peach and lemon zest finish. This is a pretty wine to bring home to mama—just be sure you keep a bottle for yourself.
Duchman Family Winery 2015 Rosé of Grenache
Made from 100 percent Grenache that is grown on the Salt Lick Vineyards in Driftwood, this wine is a remarkable find—and will be nearly impossible to get considering there were only about 25 cases made. As they say, some of the best things in the world are hard to come by. Made from With an initial whiff, you’re greeted with a rush of floral and lush ripe strawberry, watermelon and a faint note of saltwater taffy. This beautifully round palate finishes with hints of ripe raspberry and summer lemonade.
Grape Creek 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese
Deep blush pink and pleasantly refreshing, this wine is made from Sangiovese—an Italian native grape known most notably for Tuscan wines—grown in the High Plains near Lubbock by Andy Timmons of Lost Draw Vineyards. Aromas of red fruit salad capture the senses with ripe raspberry, cherry and pomegranate laced with rose petals. On the palate, this wine has a lot of body and flourish of juicy ruby red grapefruit. An excellent complement to a juicy burger.
Lewis Wines 2015 Rosé of Mourvèdre
The handiwork of Doug Lewis and Duncan McNabb, this rosé is even better than the last vintage and is the first of three summer rosés from Lewis Wines. (Look forward to the next releases in the coming months.) This wine is a picnic basket of raspberry and lemon with a creamy clafoutis to finish. It is both elegant and perky, with bright acidity balanced by structure and a refreshing finish.
Llano Estacado 2015 Signature Rosé
A friendly rose with a price just as appealing. This blend of Southern Rhône varieties Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan delivers a bright and refreshing wine that hits high marks from every angle with notes of raspberry and strawberry Jolly Rancher, lemon zest and juicy watermelon on the nose and a palate-lifting minerality on the palate. This is a wine that is elegant to the finish and leaves you wanting more.
Lost Draw Cellars 2015 Arroyo Rosé
From winemaker Spencer Igo of McPherson Cellars, this vibrantly pink lip smacker is a complete palate pleaser and the highest rated in this year’s tasting. Aromas of ripe strawberry and juicy watermelon mingle with enticing notes of herbes de Provence and white lily. Enjoy with grilled meats or pork carnitas on the patio.
Lost Oak Winery 2015 Dry Rosé
A pale and as delicate as Chantilly lace, this pretty rosé is a fragrant wine brimming with abundant florality of pink, yellow, and white flowers. Ripe cherry and watermelon dominate the fruity characters with a silken whisper of lemon zest. The blend of 58 percent Blanc du Bois and 5 percent Muscat Canelli deliver an alluring perfume, while the remaining 37 percent Merlot adds structure and the hint of pink.
McPherson Cellars 2015 Les Copains Rosé
A beautiful shade of rose, this blend of Southern Rhone varieties Cinsault, Carignan, and Rolle (Vermentino) offers aromas of raspberry cream and lemonade balanced with a crisp, clean palate that finishes with the faintest hint of sweetness. An excellent pairing for grilled fish or simply a breezy spot on the back porch.
Tatum Cellars 2015 Rosé
Barely pink, blush, or bashful, the only real thing that distinguishes this wine as a rosé is the blend of grapes that make it: 60 percent Grenache and 40 percent Mourvèdre. But even if there’s only a whisper of pink in the glass, aromas of white peach, early strawberry and roses. Tart strawberries and lemon zest greet the palate and linger into a long, rounded finish.
William Chris Vineyards 2015 Rosé of Cinsault
A lovely primrose pink, if velvet had an aroma, this wine would describe it. Raspberry coulis, lemon pulp and wet limestone lead with an elegant structure and a good night kiss of ripe strawberry on the finish. Enjoy with charcuterie and fresh cheeses.
Stay tuned for a list of our top summer red and white wines in June!