Dry, Sophisticated—And Pink

By Robert Parker

Sales of rosé have been climbing over the past few years as consumers discover that pink wine can be crisp and dry, not just sugary plonk. Chilled to between 55F and 60F, most rosés generally are food-friendly but equally enjoyable as aperitifs. They're meant to be drunk in their first 6 to 12 months, so the recommendations below are all from the 2006 vintage.

Dominio de Eguren Protocolo Rosado

88 points.

A knockout Spanish rosé with a bouquet of cranberries and raspberries, the wine is equal parts bobal and tempranillo. It's light in body, hot pink in color, and a terrific value. $6

Celler de Capçanes Mas Donís Rosado

89 points.

This rosé from Spain, a blend of 80% garnacha, 10% syrah, and 10% merlot, is a medium-pink color. It offers gobs of ripe cherry flavor buttressed by excellent acidity for a great price. $9

Hugues de Beauvignac Syrah Rose Vin de Pays

87 points.

This 100% syrah from France's Languedoc region shows a light-pink color and an excellent nose of sweet cherry and heady strawberry notes with some pepper and flowers. Dry and silky but wonderfully fresh, this is a delightful wine at an unbelievable price. $9

Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosado

90 points.

This is one of Spain's best rosés, showing wonderful sweet cherry notes with some flowers and touches of lavender and Provençal herbs. While light in color, the wine has intense flavors that will stand up to an assortment of foods. $10

Château Grande Cassagne Rosé Costières de Nîmes

87 points.

A perennial favorite of mine, this rosé from France has a deep-pink color and a big, exuberant nose of kir (white wine mixed with crème de cassis), strawberry, and raspberry. It's dry, medium-bodied, and flavorful, with a quintessential finish. "Pretty" and "elegant" are the operative words here. $12

Iron Horse Rosato di Sangiovese Alexander Valley

88 points.

This California winery makes a delicious rosé from the sangiovese grape. It is herbal, earthy, and spicy in character, and has good acidity and a long finish. $15

André Neveu Sancerre Rosé

89 points.

The color is delicate, almost a watery pink, but don't let that fool you. This wine from France's Loire Valley has beautifully perfumed strawberry and raspberry notes and more flavor intensity than one might suspect. It is a dry, refreshing, nuanced, and high-class rosé for those with sophisticated palates. $18

Mitolo Sangiovese Jester Rosé

89 points.

This bone-dry, medium-bodied Australian rosé exhibits an atypically dark color. It has elegant sweet cherry and currant flavors mixed with hints of saddle leather and earth. $18

Domaine de la Mordorée Côtes du Rhône Rosé La Dame Rousse

88 points.

From one of the southern Rhône Valley's great producers, this is a blend of grenache, syrah, cinsault, carignan, and mourvèdre. It displays a slight pink/orange hue and an excellent nose of orange rind, licorice, sweet cherries, and strawberry jam. $18

Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good.

Robert Parker is the world's most influential wine critic. Visit www.eRobertParker.com to see tens of thousands of tasting notes, buy his books, or subscribe to his newsletter, The Wine Advocate.

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