California

Rose Wine

Study Guides > Varieties > Rose Wine

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:

  • Dryness/Residual Sugar

    Rose Wine: 50 percent on a scale from Dry to Sweet of Dryness/Residual Sugar.

  • Acid (potential)

    Rose Wine: 60 percent on a scale from Low to High of Acid (potential).

  • Alcohol (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).

Signature Styles
Production Methods
Saignée (bleeding), skin contact, blending (small amounts of red wine into white wine)
Styles
Single grape (e.g. White Zinfandel), vin gris (Pinot Noir-based), Rhône blends, Italian, Iberian, proprietary, sparkling (rosé cuvées)
Texture
Lean/tart to round and smooth
Ageability
1-3 years, and in some instances longer
Varieties Used by Style
Single Grape
Primarily Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Grenache, etc.
Rhône Blends
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, etc.
Italianate
Sangiovese, Barbera, etc.
Iberian
Primarily Tempranillo
Proprietary
Many and varied varieties and combinations are used

Flavors

    Age
  • Red Fruit

    Fruit/Vegetable

    Red 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
  • Red Floral

    Floral/Herbal

    Rose, jasmine, orange blossom, violet, bay leaf, chamomile, verbena
  • Red Earth

    Earth

    Mineral, chalk, salinity
  • Red Other

    Other

    Nut (chestnut, almond, hazelnut), bubblegum, marmalade, jelly