Here are the first of my rosé picks for summer. I'll be adding more on the blog Daily Dish as the summer progresses. Most of these hover in the $20 range, but there's one standout bargain tucked in this list too. To find any of these bottles, check winesearcher.com.
It's hot out there. Time to start chilling those bottles down.
2013 Dragonette Cellars Rosé (Santa Barbara)
A southern French-inspired blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre with just a dab of Syrah from the Vogelzang vineyard in Happy Canyon, one of Santa Barbara's newest AVAs. A lovely pale onionskin in color with flashes of coral, it carries the scent of strawberries and melon. The taste is clean and bright, with a mineral tang. It's impossible to take a sip and not notice this rosé. It has a presence and a mouthwatering finish that urges you to take another sip. About $20.
2013 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé (Provence, France)
The second vintage from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's wine estate in southeast France is a spectacular rosé from an unspectacular year. Made by the Perrin family of the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate Château de Beaucastel, the 2013 Château Miraval rosé is elegant and fresh, with a scent of wild strawberries. I could drink this very serious rosé all summer long. From $20 to $25.
2013 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Vin Gris of Pinot Noir Los Carneros (Napa Valley)
Year after year, Robert Sinskey turns out carefully crafted rosé from a dedicated block of organic Pinot Noir. Dry and crisp, his vin gris has a refreshing tartness reminiscent of rhubarb. Best experienced well chilled and with food, even if it's just a bowl of olives or a dark purple smear of tapenade on croutons. From $25 to $29.
2012 Charles & Charles Rosé (Columbia Valley, Wash.)
A gorgeous pink, the Charles & Charles rosé from Columbia Valley in Washington State is scented with rose petals and cherry. This blend of mostly Syrah with Mourvèdre and tiny amounts of Cinsault and Grenache is ripe and smooth on the palate, very fresh and harmonious. It's also quite the bargain. About $10.
2013 Tercero Mourvèdre Rosé (Santa Barbara)
Keep an eye out for Tercero's elegant 2013 Mourvèdre rosé from grapes grown in Happy Canyon's Vogelzang vineyard. Winemaker Larry Schaffer stomped the grapes himself. Just released, it's on the wine-by-the-glass list at the new Faith & Flower in downtown Los Angeles. You can also buy it at the Tercero tasting room in Los Olivos. It should be hitting the shelves of other local wine shops soon. $20.
2013 Lioco Indica Rosé (Mendocino County)
A Riesling lover turned me on to this rosé from Mendocino County, from former Spago sommelier Kevin O'Connor and his partner Matt Licklider at Lioco. Lots to love about this example made from dry-farmed Carignan, with its pretty floral nose and bright red fruit flavor tempered with lime and notes of mineral. From $16 to $18.
Justin Vineyards Rosé (Paso Robles)
Not convinced about rosé? Try this Cabernet Sauvignon rosé from Justin Vineyards. It's pale salmon in color, and it has the structure and punch to hold its own against bold flavors. Dry and crisp, with a cleansing tartness, it would even work with salumi or charcuterie. And it could go straight to the table too.