less expensive rosé
*This article has been updated August 2018

Nancy gathered a group of women in Maine for a few days and I put them to work – tasting rosé wines of various prices.  We had heard that Domaine Ott was the queen of rosés, but we had also been told that many less expensive rosés were delicious.  Here are the results of our ‘less than scientific’ research.

Our approach

Our first surprise was how many choices we had.  I asked three different wine merchants to recommend their favorite rosés.  I uncorked four bottles the first night and three the second night.

Preferences

We did not have unanimity about what constituted great flavor.  Most of us preferred a light, crisp, young, dry, ‘not too sweet’ rosé with little tannin.   We were unanimous in rejecting the wines which had a metallic or lingering after taste.  For us, rosés are lighthearted wines to be enjoyed in sunny places and not the focus of the meal. We all preferred the wine cold, some added ice cubes.

Hue?

We did some research and experts say that the color of a rosé is not an indication of its quality.  The deeper pink rosés have had the red grape skins left in contact with the juice longer than the lighter ones.

Distinguished lineage?

Rosé wines are made in countries around the world and come from many different varietals of grape.  Called rosé in France, Italy and California, these wines are called Rosado in Spain and Portugal.  Country of origin is not a reliable predictor of quality.

Our findings

inexpensive rosé

Our favorite rosé was Château Minuty 2013 Prestige Rosé (Côtes de Provence)
Wine Enthusiast suggests that it is about $40/bottle.

Our second favorite is Domaines Ott 2013 Château Romassan Rosé (Bandol).  About $49/bottle.

The pleasant surprises poured out of the next three bottles.  They are less expensive rosés and they are delicious!

delicious less expensive wine

Whispering Angel, Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel 2013 is about $16 a bottle and we all loved it.

inexpensive rosé wine

Chateau Minuty ‘M de Minuty’ Rosé 2013 is Minuty’s lower priced option and it is very good for about $19 a bottle.  Domaines Ott 2013 Château de Selle Rosé (Côtes de Provence) is about $30/bottle. It is light and fresh.  This is the lower priced offering from Ott.

Rosé wine

The well-known rosé which all three merchants suggested was Jolie-Pitt & Perrin ‘Miraval’ Rosé 2013.  Yes, that is Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.  We knew that the wine had star power and yet we did not like it as much as the others.  It sells for about $20 a bottle.  Robert Parker gives this a rating of 90 and describes it as clean, refreshing and classy – so you might want to give it a try.

Bottom line:

Château Minuty 2013 Prestige Rosé for $40 was our favorite. 

Whispering Angel,  at $16 is close enough that you’ll be drinking that at our houses this summer.

less expensive wine

One of our favorite interior designers, Bunny Williams, told the Wall Street Journal that she drinks Whispering Angel Rosé while listening to Maria Callas!

Bonus suggestions

Terry, from Horseneck Wines, suggested that we try Bouvet Brut Rosé Excellence, a sparkling rosé.  We loved it and it gives a lot of enjoyment for about $16/bottle.

Rachel Ray has her own picks for the under $15 range.

Try a lighter version with a rosé spritzer.

* Some of the photos are not of the exact vintages referred to in this article