2016 Rosés: Tis the Season and What a Season It Is!

The 2016 rosés are indeed very special


The 2016 rosés began to appear in the US market earlier this year. At first it was only a trickle including the California rosés and now the campaign is in full swing with many new wines arriving almost daily. Without question, rosés are very popular now in the US with the amount sold increasing steadily each year. In recent years rosé sales growth has been in double digits as more consumers discover rosés and more rosé consumers drink more rosés. In addition, there is a trend to trade up to higher priced rosés. This is not new news to me. For years I have been a big fan of rosés. Here in our Mediterranean climate we drink a lot of rosé on a year-round basis and have been doing so for many years. And, I always cellar some of the current year wines to drink later. That way all through the year I can drink young and old rosés.

For some time now I have been tasting and drinking 2016 rosés. So far the number is probably 50 or so and I have many more to taste as more wines arrive. I hope to have my first article with tasting notes out very soon. But, what I can say now is this. Every year is a vintage year for rosé. And, yes there are subtle differences year to year, but every year produces a lot of great rosés. Here is a comment from an earlier article explaining the reason for so many wonderful rosés each year:

As I have said many times, I have never found a year where there were not an abundance of wonderful rosés. The reason is simple. Rosés mostly come from warm climate areas, and the grapes are nearly always harvested under favorable conditions. Add to this that in the old world areas that specialize in rosé, the wines historically have been made to accompany food. Therefore, they are not overly extracted or over the top (to read my article on that subject click here).Today increasingly, rosés from the new world are following that model. In California, it took consumers a while to catch on to the fact that rosé is not the same as white zinfandel. And, that is a good thing! Now we have some really nice domestic rosés as well as the classic ones that are primarily from France and some other countries such as Spain and Italy.

And, having said that, I can also say that even in that context, 2016 is very special with many great rosés. A recent article on new Tablas Creek Vineyard releases contained a note on the best California rosé I can ever remember tasting, the 2016 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé Paso Robles (click here to read about it). Furthermore, I can also say that I have already tasted some other 2016 rosés that are among the best I have ever tasted. (HINT: They include Château Trinquevedel Tavel, Clos Beylesse Cotes de Provence, and Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix en Provence). So stay tuned! But, in the meantime, if you have not already started, get in the swing and start tasting some of your favorite rosés and try some new ones as well. I think you will soon agree with me that the 2016 rosés are indeed very special.

In Vino Veritas,

John Tilson


This article was originally published in The Underground Wineletter on May 12, 2017.