Rosé blind tasting – Best wine is?

Rosé wines are hot right now. Hot in terms of popularity. New and old wine drinkers alike are discovering them. The San Francisco Chronicle (hard print only) recently featured a comprehensive and informative article on the various types of Rosé wines. K&L Wines in Redwood City currently has an entire shelf devoted to Rosé wines from all around the world. So it was very timely that Rosé wines were the theme at this week’s by-monthly Vintage Wine Tasters blind tasting event. Rosé wines go hand-in-hand with sunshine and outdoor activities. It was so appropriate that I conducted the Rosé wine tasting on my outdoor deck in beautiful sunlit conditions.

I decided to do a broad spectrum of six Rosé wines selecting one from the Loire Valley and one from the Rhone Valley in France, two from California, one from Spain, and one from Argentina. The prices ranged from $9 to $25. Each Rosé wine was a different varietal or blend. Of the nine Vintage Wine Tasters present, only three of us are big Rosé fans. The others admitted that they seldom choose a Rosé wine and some indicated they had a negative bias from drinking sweet Rosé wines back in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Rosé wines in the blind tasting

Rosé wines in the blind tasting

Rosé blind tasting results

Here are the six Rosé wines we blind tasted in the order they ranked in the results.

  • Tapiz Malbec Rosé 2011 – BevMo $9.95
  • Avaniel Tempranillo Rosado Ribera del Duero – Weimax $11.99
  • Montemaggiore 2010 Syrah Rosé – $25 at the winery
  • Cave de Tavel “Lauzeraies” Tavel 2012 – KL Wines $13.99
  • Carol Shelton 2012 Rendezvous Rosé – Safeway $11.99
  • 2012 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon Rosé – KL Wines $16.99

The top five wines were close in scoring but the Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon Rosé scored far below the others. I have a theory why the Tapiz was the top choice and the Chinon Rosé was at the bottom, and what may have influenced the Vintage Tasters. The Tapiz was the highest in alcohol and had the most intense color of the six wines. The Chinon was very pale in color compared to the other five wines, and that may have changed the mindset dramatically.

Tapiz Rose

Tapiz Rosé

The Tapiz Rosé has been a favorite of mine since my trip to Argentina in 2009, but it was not my top choice. I ranked the Montemaggiore on top. The Tapiz is a very enjoyable wine, refreshing and full of red fruit characteristics. When we were in Argentina, we toured the Tapiz winery in Mendoza and met the winemaker, Fabian Valenzuela. Fabian informed us the winery had just made an agreement to sell their entry label of Tapiz wines to Beverages & More. It was late March in Mendoza and with the warm weather, the Tapiz Rosé was very refreshing and delightful. Perhaps it is those memories that keep bringing me back to BevMo for the Tapiz Rosé. The price for the Tapiz at BevMo varies depending on the ongoing sale. Currently it is $9.55, and that is about $2 less than it costs in a Mendoza wine shop or restaurant.

If you like, you can read more about our adventures at the Tapiz winery in this blog report.

Final words of wisdom, go out and buy yourself a couple of Rosé wines and see if they refresh the soul.


  1. All were well made wines. They make an individual statement and that reflects the varietal and how they were made. That being said all were quite good and pleasant to drink. Just looking at them brings a smile when you see such pretty color and then the flavors that run onto your palate finish the deal. Personally I would not pay more than $15 for a bottle of Rose. You get all you want from the majority of producers.

  2. I agree with Michael – all are very good wines. I think Rose´s are capable of such variety that it’s difficult to make many genuine qualitative comparisons, especially among a variety of individual preferences. While the Tavel is my personal favorite, I would enjoy a glass of any of these wines.

  3. I LOVE the Quinson Files bargain at Trader Joe’s for $ 5,99 (last year it was $ 4,99) Dry fruity. Crisp flavors with a splash of acidity on the back end, light pink in color. Only the most minimal aromas and flavors. If this wine were entered into a blind beverage tasting, I wouldn’t be surprised if many did not recognize it as wine.

  4. I think a must-try ( if not a bit pricey at $22.99 at Safeway Burlingame ) is the Virage rose of Cabernet franc from napa. At a production of only 126 cases, it is a rare treat and just received 90 points WS.

  5. Just tasted an unreal Rose from Austria that was purchased from Weimax. Wild berry flavors and bold rose color the label did not list the grape but it might be Spatburgunder.. Anyway it was really impressive.

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