Exploring the best damn Sonoma County rosé wines

Sonoma County rose winesRosés are my “thing” in summer (well, anytime, actually) but great wines aren’t just going to land in my lap — research is needed. And foresight, since the best Sonoma County rosé wines sell out quickly. I already missed the window at some wineries, like Cartographe Wines in Healdsburg, but maybe I can glom on to someone else’s forethought to buy some of theirs? Here’s hoping!

On my journey to find the tastiest Sonoma County rosés, I did not want for incredibly fruit-forward, bone dry, well-balanced pink stuff in my ‘hood. I tasted my way through eight or so wineries (I could have gone to a lot more but I ran out of space in my wine racks and wallet) and uncovered many summer-worthy finds. But here’s the rub… you generally won’t find any of these on wine shelves, except maybe around Sonoma County, so you’ll need to order direct from the source.

My Fave 2015 Sonoma County Rosé Wines

Unti Vineyards 2015 Rosé, Dry Creek Valley. This stellar, pink Rhône blend is crafted from 55% Grenache, 45% Mourvedre. Very French-style with a delicate body and fruit-forward yet not in-your-face. I’m a fan for life. $26. More info. While it lasts.

Sanglier Cellars 2015 Sun Tusque Rosé, Sonoma County. A little heftier than the others I tasted but offers up full frontal strawberry and plenty of acid. It’s a blend of 54% Syrah, 34% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre. $24. Buy it here.

Banshee Wines 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Mendocino County. This winery sources their Pinot from Mendocino County, a cooler area which lends itself to higher acid in the grapes. This bottle of heaven is so good, it already sold out online for this year. Bummer, but try giving them a call — it might be so low in inventory that they had to take it off the internet. And know that next year, it will likely be as tasty. $24.

J. Rickards 2015 Rosé of Aleatico, Sonoma Valley. Aleatico is an obscure Italian grape I had never heard of before stumbling onto this refreshing grog. (Sonoma County is filled with random grape varieties and you’ll often hear of vineyards growing small plots of rare fruit, which makes exploring here so much fun.) J. Rickards is a family-owned and -run winery tucked away in northern Sonoma County, specializing in rich Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignons. This rosé is very unique and floral and offers up juicy fruit like watermelon and raspberries. $24. Buy it here.

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  1. I love the new style of rosé wines! Less sweet, more fruit, much more flexible for food pairing. The Aleatico grape is getting some attention from Sonoma and Livermore winemakers. Fun!

    Thanks for another great article, cheers!

  2. Cheers!

  3. Hi Taylor. I dont know if you remember me but we met when you lived in Tampa. I am in town and headed to the Sonoma winesfest on Saturday. Will you be there?


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