When it comes to elegant roses, the south of France rules. The wines are typically made by a method known as saignee, a French term meaning "bled." A certain amount of juice from just-crushed, dark-skinned grapes is run off after a short maceration. It's a wonderfully symbiotic relationship, resulting in both a refreshingly dry pink wine on the one hand and a more concentrated red on the other. A tie for third left us with four top picks.
2009 Domaine de Couron, $9.99
This wine opens with delicate aromas highlighted by strawberry and melon with intriguing hints of cucumber, fennel and herb. Made completely from grenache grapes, the rich, ripe strawberry fruit flavors are balanced by lively citrus, with touches of mineral and spice coming through on the finish.
2009 Mas Carlot, $9.99
This blend dominated by grenache with syrah and a dollop of mouvedre results in a wine with juicy raspberry, crisp cranberry and sweet, spicy apple aromas. Creamy berry and cherry fruit flavors dominate the palate, but they're nicely balanced by fresh citrus on the back side.
2009 Mas de la Dame, $10.99
From Provence, this is an enticing blend of grenache, syrah and cinsault that offers floral rose petal, clover and creamy red fruit aromas. The flavors are crisp and lively with tangy citrus and lightly tart cherry fruit. This well-balanced wine comes with a lively finish that lingers nicely.
2009 Mas des Bressades, $10.99
Made with equal parts of old vine grenache and syrah, the aromas are filled with pretty peach, pomegranate, strawberry and lime. On the richer side of the flavor spectrum, it's loaded with dark berry fruit and touches of spice, and a nice hit of lemon zest comes through on the bright finish.