The 2017 rosés have been trickling in for a few weeks or so, and one of the early standouts is not from Provence or the Rhône Valley in France, two bastions of pink wine, but from California’s Mendocino County — Bonterra’s Rosé 2017.
Bonterra, an affiliate of Fetzer, bills itself as “America’s No. 1 organic wine” and “America’s favorite organic wine.” It’s also the country’s biggest producer of wines made from organic grapes, almost all of them under $20. “Organic,” as you might have guessed by now, is the foundation of Bonterra’s marketing, and the company has seen impressive growth in recent years.
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Beyond the appeal of organic growing, most of Bonterra’s bottles are solid — if somewhat generic — California wines. The 2017 Grenache-based rosé, on the other hand, rises well above that category.
With a suggested retail price of $16, this is an impressive dry rosé that delivers unusual complexity. With hints of ripe red fruit on the nose, the wine explodes on the palate with notes of strawberry, pomegranate, and watermelon. The fruit is accented by touches of exotic spice and a flinty minerality on the finish. There’s subtlety here — from a winery that churns out close to 500,000 cases a year.
Try serving this one blind and having your friends guess where it’s from. It will rival the best of the countless rosés about to flood stores shelves — the impending pink deluge that has become the wine world’s ’s rite of spring.