On a warm night this past week, 40 VinePair readers gathered at our offices for our most highly anticipated tasting panel yet – Rosé. Over the past few years Rosé has become more popular than ever and it seems everyone has pink wine in their glass when the weather starts to warm. Due to this craze, readers were clamoring for a chance to help us decide which Rosés we should all be drinking this summer, and we believe you’ll see they did an excellent job.
As with our past panels, we issued an open call to brands, marketers and publicists requesting that they submit Rosé wines for the panel. All wines that were submitted were tasted by everyone. We began these panels last December with the goal of giving actual consumers a voice in the reviewing process. It’s easy for a bunch of editors to sit around a table and discuss wine, but what happens when a diverse set of tastes and experiences – who are only united by their passion for wine – are gathered together instead? We think the results are much more honest and useful.
We asked our attendees to rate the wines on a scale of 1-10 on both taste as well as on the bottle’s packaging. More consumers buy based on packaging and brand recognition than anything else, so we wanted to know what packaging and brands they were most attracted to.
When we initially conceived of the tasting, we have to admit we had some preconceived notions as to how we felt the wines would all shake out, but after both witnessing events in the room as well as reviewing the data post-mortem, many of our predictions were incorrect. One of the most surprising revelations was how wines from Provence, the much hailed Queen region of Rosé, fared. We assumed going into the tasting that the wines from this region would be at or near the top of our tasters preferences, simply because Provence Rosé is so popular. But when tasted along with all of the other bottles, these Rosés actually received the lowest average rating – a score of only 5.84. The most popular Rosé wine region overall was the small Rhone region of Tavel, with an average score of 6.8. Perhaps this proves it’s worth expanding your Rosé horizons in order to find what you like.
While Rhone wines did the best overall, the top bottle of the tasting was the Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé from South Africa with a score of 7.76, followed closely behind by Viña Real Rioja Rosé with a score of 7.69.
In terms of packaging, South African wines also carried the category, with readers favorite being Demorgenzon DMZ, awarding it a score of 8. Close behind was Earthshaker Pinot Noir – made by the same people who make 90+ wines – with a score of 7.89. In both instances readers commented on how the label drew them in and caused them to want to know more. Both had a modern look and readers commented that while that look might not be what they were looking for if they were bringing over a bottle of red to a dinner party, this was Rosé and it was supposed to be fun – meaning hip, modern labels worked well.
We also tasted sparkling Rosés, though these offerings were much less well-received. The average score for these bottles overall was 5, so we hesitate to recommend any of them, but out of the bunch Luca Paretti Rosa Spumante was the favorite both for taste and for appearance. It seems when it comes to pink wine, most of our readers want it in still form.
Here are all of the wines we tasted, along with their scores both for taste as well as packaging.
|Viva Diva Moscato Rosé||4.11||3.40|
|Valdo Marca Oro||4.92||4.75|
|Dopff & Irion||4.02||5.54|
|Juliette, Domaine De La Sangliere||6.03||6.60|
|Breezette, Domaine De La Sangliere||5.62||5.52|
|Ninety+ Cellars Provence Rosé||6.39||6.38|
|Domaine Les Aphillanthes||6.21||6.56|
|Alain Jaume & Fils, Reserve Grand Veneur||5.80||5.88|
|Domaine Duseigneur Lirac||5.55||6.63|
|Domaine De la Petite Cassagne||6.02||5.89|
|Domaine Du Tariquet Rosé De Pressee||7.17||4.85|
|La Petite Perriere||6.00||5.28|
|Domaine De La Ferme Saint Martin||5.34||6.44|
|Prieure de Montezargues||7.22||6.95|
|Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine||6.26||5.50|
|La Dame Rousse Domaine de la Mordoree||6.73||6.53|
|Chateau De Lancrye Pic Saint Loup||7.08||5.29|
|Earthshaker Rosé de Pinot Noir||6.50||7.89|
|Ninety+ Cellars Lot 33||6.61||7.37|
|Vinha da DEFESA||6.55||7.17|
|Boschendal The Rose Garden||6.17||3.97|
|Tommy LaLa Summer Water||5.63||6.47|
|One Hope Rosé||5.16||N/A|
|Balletto Pinot Noir||7.39||4.30|
|Gary Farrell, Rosé of Pinot Noir||7.30||4.67|