Signature Styles & Characteristics
The best rosé wines are made from individual grapes or blends of several varieties, ranging from Pinot Noir (vin gris style) to red Rhône grapes (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, etc.), Iberian varieties (Tempranillo), Italian (e.g. Sangiovese) and so many more. The range is indeed part of the category’s charm. Although any grape can be interpreted in innovative and at times, outlying styles, the below chart/graphic represents the preponderance of what you will find in California:
Rose Wine: 50 percent on a scale from Dry to Sweet of Dryness/Residual Sugar.
Rose Wine: 60 percent on a scale from Low to High of Acid (potential).
Rose Wine: 60 percent on a scale from Low to High of Alcohol (potential).
Body (weight on palate)
Rose Wine: 60 percent on a scale from Low to High of Body (weight on palate).
- Production Methods
- Saignée (bleeding), skin contact, blending (small amounts of red wine into white wine)
- Single grape (e.g. White Zinfandel), vin gris (Pinot Noir-based), Rhône blends, Italian, Iberian, proprietary, sparkling (rosé cuvées)
- Lean/tart to round and smooth
- 1-3 years, and in some instances longer
- Single Grape
- Primarily Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Grenache, etc.
- Rhône Blends
- Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, etc.
- Sangiovese, Barbera, etc.
- Primarily Tempranillo
- Many and varied varieties and combinations are used
Fruit/VegetableRed currant, red/black plum, cranberry, raspberry, grape, cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, pink grapefruit, tangerine, orange, apricot, nectarine, persimmon, peach, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, red/yellow pepper, mushroom, beet, rhubarb
Floral/HerbalRose, jasmine, orange blossom, violet, bay leaf, chamomile, verbena
EarthMineral, chalk, salinity
OtherNut (chestnut, almond, hazelnut), bubblegum, marmalade, jelly