While rosé doesn’t have an off season in my book, it sure is exciting to see this year’s new releases. I love this time of year when we exchange our rain boots for sandals and enjoy life outdoors again. No wine is more perfect for al fresco sipping than a chilled glass of rosé. I’ve rounded up a list of my top pink wines coming from Napa Valley wine producers to be enjoyed this spring and summer – happy sipping!
Elizabeth Spencer | 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir
The husband and wife team, Spencer Graham and Elizabeth Pressler, brings you this Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir. Working with prestigious grape growers from every AVA in Napa Valley and beyond, Elizabeth Spencer has been consistently crafting inspired wines since their first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1998. Today, the winery has extended its grape sourcing to Sonoma and Mendocino County where a cooler climate allows for fresh and elegant wines.
This 100% varietal wine offers a nose of strawberries and cherry blossom complemented by a crisp wave of acidity from start to finish. Tropical and citrus flavors mingle nicely together on the palate, making it the perfect summer sipper.
This wine is currently being showcased in the winery’s Charter Tasting, offered daily from 11:00 am to 5:30pm in their relaxed courtyard at their Rutherford Tasting Room. The 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir is also available for purchase online. Don’t wait to stock up for summer, as their 2016 vintage rosé sold out before May last year. Bottle: $36
Frog’s Leap | 2017 La Grenouille Rouganté
This family owned winery is dedicated to sustainable practices and producing wines that respect their sense of place. Their 200 acres of estate vineyards have been organically farmed without irrigation since 1988. Since their inaugural wine vintage in 1981, Frog’s Leap has earned a reputation for high quality and visionary winemaking. What I love most about this brand is they never take themselves too seriously. The winery’s motto perfectly embodies that sentiment: “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”
The Frog’s Leap 2017 La Grenouille Rouganté goes hand in hand with the winery’s playful spirit. Even its French name is full of whimsy, fittingly called “the Blushing Frog”. Crafted in a classical Provençal style, this rosé is a blend of 92% Carignane and 8% Valdiguié, a native grape of the Languedoc-Roussillon commonly referred to as Napa Gamay in California. Bright and floral on the nose, this pale pink rosé integrates acidity and light weight into a bone-dry and flavorful finish. Beware of the ease with which this wine will vanish in the glass (and bottle).
Released in February 2018, the 2017 La Grenouille Rouganté is available for tasting at the Frog’s Leap Winery in Rutherford. Non-locals can easily purchase a bottle online to enjoy at home. Bottle: $20
Blackbird Vineyards | 2017 Arriviste
Based in the Oak Knoll AVA and with a tasting room in downtown Napa, Blackbird Vineyards draws its winemaking inspiration from Bordeaux’s Right Bank. Similar to the great wines of Saint-Émilion, Blackbird uses Merlot as the base for many of their wines. Their affinity for Merlot is evident in their Bordeaux red blends, but also in their rosé.
The 2017 Arriviste Rosé owes its name to the French term, meaning to find fame and fortune overnight – a rightful title for a bottle making such a name for itself. It’s a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. The 2017 Arriviste offers a little bit of everything on the palate. Perfumed aromas of strawberry, peach, and cherry blossom meet fresh minerality, while the palate is framed by flavors of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
This rosé was recently released and is currently being poured at RiverHouse, Blackbird’s tasting room along the Napa River. For those who want to kick start summer early, Blackbird just introduced their new Summer Membership which will ship you 3, 6, 12, or 24 bottles of Arriviste monthly from May through September! Bottle: $28
Tamber Bey Vineyards | 2017 Fore Family Vineyard Rosé
While most wineries in Napa Valley are surrounded by vineyards, Tamber Bey Winery is surrounded by a ranch full of horses. Located at a world-class equestrian facility dedicated to training top performance horses, Tamber Bey is the perfect setting for wine and animal lovers.
Coming from the Red Hills Lake County Appellation, the 2017 Tamber Bey Rosé is a unique blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Grenache, making it equal parts complex and approachable. Brilliant ruby hued in the glass, this rosé shows aromas of rhubarb, hibiscus, and wild strawberry. Ripe fruit flavors of watermelon and peach continue through the palate which is balanced by a crisp acidity and dry finish.
If you’re visiting the Napa Valley this season, I highly recommend a visit at Tamber Bey. Have a splash of their 2017 Rosé before strolling the grounds to meet the horses. Can’t make it? Bring the fun to your home by shopping online. Be sure to check out their new wine labels! Bottle: $32
Luna Vineyards | 2017 Minuet Sangiovese Rosé
Luna Vineyards was founded on a passion for Italian varietals and old world wine styles. Winemaker, Shawna Miller, was drawn to Luna because of her deep admiration for Sangiovese and high quality, unique blends. Today, the winery crafts four distinct Sangiovese based wines ranging from rosé to a Super Tuscan blend.
With a bright copper red color in the glass that sparkles in the sunlight, this rosé combines grapefruit and lemon for a memorable savory first sip. Tantalizing acidity complements notes of rose petals and fresh mint on the palate – the perfect thirst quencher for hot summer days.
Luna released their 2017 Minuet Sangiovese Rosé in their tasting room and online in mid-April. It is currently poured as a ‘surprise and delight’ during their Estate Tasting. Shop for this wine now, only 100 cases were produced in 2017. Bottle: $32
Long Meadow Ranch | 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir
Spread across five properties: three in Napa Valley, one in Anderson Valley, and one in West Marin, Long Meadow Ranch is just about involved in everything agriculture, food, wine, and hospitality related as possible. Their fascinating history dates back to the Post Civil War Era with a land patent from President Ulysses S. Grant for 640 acres. Today, the family-owned company has a collection of vineyards, olive groves, fruit and vegetable gardens, cattle ranch, beehives, and the list goes on. The one thing in common with all their endeavors is high quality, sustainable and organic farming.
The Long Meadow Ranch 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir comes from 100% Estate grown fruit in Anderson Valley. Their vineyards are planted near the Navarro River and Pacific Ocean where natural fog layers allow their Burgundian varietals to ripen slowly and delicately. The resulting wine is crisp and elegant, demonstrating notes of ripe raspberry and fragrant jasmine. The palate is light and clean and finishes dry. I would love to pair this delicate wine with a fresh goat cheese salad this season!
This rosé is newly released and available to taste at the Long Meadow Ranch General Store in St. Helena, California. It is also available by the glass or bottle at their amazing farm to table restaurant, Farmstead. Can’t make it? Enjoy your own bottle at home by shopping online. Bottle: $25