MW Sheri Morano and MW Mary Gorman-McAdams
My Third TEXSOM conference
Masters of Wine Mary Gorman-McAdams and Sheri Morano led a discussion and tasting about the aging rosé wines and the fundamental question if these wines are made to age. This was one of the many seminars I attended at TEXSOM, one of the most prominent and influential sommelier education conference in the world, which just celebrated its fifteenth year.
If you look in my cellar, my aged rosé wines are accidental versus intentional. I pray that they won’t be horrible, but I am not expecting much. This is a tough subject because rosé is such a subjective topic and everyone appears to have an opinion. Just look at the popular “rosé all day” movements where people cannot seem to get enough and it’s hard to figure out what is a good rosé. Pink wines were dismissed for a long time and I admit, I did not like the first rosé wines that I tried. My evolution occurred over time until I had an epiphany. And, then you had the blessing and curse of White Zinfandel.
So what is a good rosé? Fruity? Pale? Easy drinking? Dry? Is this type of wine capable of aging? Let’s consider.
A wine that can age has structure, acidity, complexity, balance, variety and terroir. Rosé is produced in several ways — skin contact, saignée or blending red and white wines. You also have producers who age rosé wines before they produce them (not many), but some.
Here was our line-up and I have to say I have an opinion on some (champagne always works, some rosé wines do, some don’t. Lessons learned for me, is to open the ones that should have been opened and see what happened). They were very diverse styles for a reason as we were all meant to come to our own opinion.
2016 Ravenoros| Blanc, “De Nit,” Rose, Conca de Riu Anoia
NV Taittinger, “Prestige,” Rosé, Brut, Champagne
2006 Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Brut Rosé, Champagne
2017 The Eyrie Vineyards, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
2013 Sandhi, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills
2016 Tablas Creek Vineyard, “Dianthis,” Adealaida District, Paso Robles
2015 Domaine de Chevalieé, “Rosé de Chevalier,” Bordeaux
2016 Domaine OTT, “By Ott, Rosé, Côtes de Provence
2016 Châuteau Musar, Rosé, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
2017 Domaine de Terre Brune, Rosé, Tavel
2017 Chateau d’Esclans, “Garrus,” Cötes de Provence
2017 Clos Cibonne, Cuvëe Spéciales des Vignettes,” Tibouren, Rosé, Cötes de Provence
Having sat through this session, I can’t tell you I can answer the question. Can you age rosé wines? Will they improve with age? There are wines that will. There are wines that will disappoint.
Winemakers are making wines that can age and there are rosé wines you need to open today. Of the wines listed above, the rosé champagnes definitely make my list of those I would age. There are qualities you should look for in a wine that ages not matter what the variety and that holds true for rosé as well.