Wine Tasting Dinner: 2012 Rosé from Around the World



By Kori ~ September 11th, 2013.

Summer is the time of year when we turn our attention to rosé wines. In fact, many wineries only make small quantities of rosé wines to be released during the summer months. Rosé is French for “pink” and is used to describe wines of that color. Rosés are generally made from red grapes; however, unlike typical red wine production, the skins are removed from the juice after only a couple of days. This limited skin contact gives rosé its light pink color and is the reason that rosés are lighter-bodied than most red wines. Rosés can run the gamut from dry to sweet. Too many people think pink wines are all sweet. Not so. For me, the dry rosés are more serious and interesting.

Trying to hold on to the last bit of summer here in Seattle, we featured six rosé wines from around the world at our wine tasting dinner last Friday. It was another fabulous evening of good wine, the company of wonderful friends, and excellent food. Our good friend and next-door neighbor, Eric, served as the guest chef for the evening and made his wonderful paella. The wines paired extremely well with our entire meal which included bacon wrapped dates stuffed with Serrano pepper and cream cheese spread with pepper jelly on crackers for appetizers, ensalada mixta and the paella for the main dish, and fresh strawberries garnished with simple syrup and black pepper served with a scoop of orange sherbet for dessert.

The consensus favorite was the 2012 Domaine Saint Aix Rosé. This wine is produced in the Provence region of France but is easy to find across the United States, especially this time of year. It is great as a sipper and gets even better with food.

When the sun is shining and you’re looking for a refreshing beverage to enjoy on the deck or in the backyard, don’t forget to give rosé wine a shot. In addition to the paella we had at this dinner, two other foods that pair very well with rosé are grilled salmon and hot dogs.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2012 Domaine Saint Aix Rosé (Provence, France): Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. Very pale salmon color. Beautiful nose with floral and citrus aromas. Citrus fruit, watermelon, and a touch of spice come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a very long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $15; Available elsewhere, $15 to $17

2012 Viu Manent Estate Collection Reserva Malbec Rosé (Colchagua Valley, Chile): 94% Malbec and 6% Syrah. Pale to medium pink. Aromatic with strawberry, watermelon, and citrus peel on the nose. More strawberry, cherry, and floral notes come through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $7; Available elsewhere, $7 to $11

2012 Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Rosé (Western Cape, South Africa): 51% Syrah, 28% Cinsault, and 21% Grenache. Medium pink. Aromatic with strawberry, cherry, and spice on both the nose and palate. Off-dry and medium-bodied with lively acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $10; Available elsewhere, $9 to $12

2012 La Vieille Ferme Ventoux Rosé (Rhone Valley, France): Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah. Medium pink. Nice nose with strawberry and floral aromas. Cherry and strawberry come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $9; Available elsewhere, $6 to $10

2012 Chateau La Mascaronne Quat’saisons Rosé (Provence, France): Grenache, Cinsault, and Mourvedre. Very pale salmon color. Aromatic with citrus and floral aromas. Meyer lemon, watermelon, and pink grapefruit come through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $15; Available elsewhere, $13 to $21

2012 Robert Ramsay Rosé (Columbia Valley, Washington): 45% Grenache, 45% Cinsault, and 10% Viognier. Pale to medium salmon color. Nice nose with orange peel and strawberry aromas. Strawberry and citrus fruit comes through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $18


Filed under: American Wine, Chilean Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, French Wine, Rose Wine, South African Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. John | September 11th, 2013 at 7:47 am

    While the 2012 Robert Ramsay Rose’ did not fare as well in this tasting, it was still a good wine; and the 2011 Robert Ramsay Rose’ was our favorite of that vintage, hands down!

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