Americans are crazy about rosé, as is just about every culture in the civilized world. The refreshing pink drink has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, with many quality products coming to the fore.
The origins of this trend are open to debate, but it has deep roots. South Florida and New York have been consuming rosé for decades. Restaurants in Palm Beach, Miami and Boca Raton have been pouring it by the glass for years.
It has long been believed that the best rosé originates in France, specifically from the Côtes de Provence appellation. But is that true? Today, excellent rosé is being discovered from other parts of France, Italy, Spain and the United States, including New York.
Here are a few old favorites and quality newcomers that are must-haves on board.
Summer in a Bottle / 2019
Wölffer Estate, Long Island, N.Y.
Christian Wölffer founded Wölffer Estate in 1988. Today, his children and his winemaker run the property. The grapes benefit from proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and from the loamy soils. The packaging for Summer in a Bottle also helps to make it a top seller. The wine is made from 40 percent merlot, 22 percent chardonnay, 12 percent cabernet sauvignon, 7 percent gewürztraminer, 6 percent cabernet franc, 4 percent pinot meunier, 4 percent pinot blanc, 3 percent riesling and 2 percent sauvignon blanc. It is a hodgepodge of grapes resulting in sheer genius. $25
Whispering Angel / 2019
Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence
Château d’Esclans has a history dating back to the 1200s. The building on some of its labels was built in the mid-19th century. The estate passed through many owners before falling into the hands of Sacha Lichine, an experienced vigneron from Bordeaux, in 2006. He launched one of the most widely recognized rosés of all time: Whispering Angel, which has sold millions of bottles. Made from grenache, cinsault, syrah, carignan and vermentino, the wine is light, airy and no fuss. $19
Rosé Secret / 2019
Château Léoube, Côtes de Provence
With 168 acres of vines located between the sea and the hills of St. Tropéz, France, this family-owned winery farms all of its grapes organically. The lineup of rosé ranges from the entry-level Love to the top-flight Le Secret. Each wine is delicious, but Le Secret is special. Made from grenache, cinsault and cabernet sauvignon, the wine is made and aged in stainless steel. Bright, fruity and delicious, this is one rosé not to be missed (when you can find it). $40
Scalabrone / 2019
Tenuta Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri
Along the upper Maremma coast off Tuscany, Italy, lies the coastal and hilly town of Bolgheri, facing the gorgeous views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Tenuta Guado al Tasso was established in 1990 and is known for producing one of the top Super Tuscan wines in the world. With grapes so expensive, it is shocking they make a rosé at all, and Scalabrone is a real stunner. Made from cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah, this rosato (rosé is called rosato in Italy) is darker, more powerful and more structured. With hints of flowers, it still has a gentle elegance, allowing one to drink it with or without food. $20
Château Romassan / 2019
Domaines Ott, Bandol
The story goes that in 1896, after a tour of France’s many vineyards, Marcel Ott, a young graduate in agronomy engineering from Alsace, finally found an estate that inspired him in Provence. More than 120 years later, the winery is still run in conjunction with family members, and still uses a signature “genie style” bottle that René Ott created in 1930, saying it reminded him of the cypress trees and vines surrounding the vineyard. Château Romassan is considered one of the best rosé wines on the planet. Made from 60 percent mourvèdre, 25 percent cinsault and 15 percent grenache, the wine is aged in neutral barrels for six to eight months. The wine is refined and elegant, yet structured at the same time. $53
This article was originally published in the Summer 2020 issue.