It's been about four months since I last visited rose, touting it as the perfect pick for spring and summer. Since then, dozens more have hit the market, and with the warm weather still hanging in there, those oh-so-refreshing pink wines are still my top choice. Here are the panel's top picks in the second wave of roses:
2014 Les Rochelles Cabernet d'Anjou Demi-Sec, $15
With its bright apple nose colored by savory spice and arugula, this 50/50 blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc promises a lot—and it delivers. True to the demi-sec label, there's a touch of sweetness, but it's in the form of ripe strawberry and apple fruit. Round, rich and creamy, crisp acidity throughout adds balance.
2014 Loimer Rosé vom Zweigelt, $17
I love Austrian Zweigelt roses, so when this one came in, I bought the first bottle. It was a disappointment, but what a difference a couple of months in the bottle can make. This was my No. 1 pick. Strawberry rhubarb aromas lead off with hints of ginger and citrus. Beautifully balanced on the palate, you get ripe citrus and melon flavors and refreshing, crisp acidity. Finishes long and lively.
2014 Mattes-Sabran Corbieres Rosé, Duc de Narbonne, $15
From the Corbieres appellation of the Languedoc in the south of France, this is the darkest pour of the trio. There's an herbal component to the soft watermelon aromas along with touches of mushroom and bacon. It's a bit bigger bodied than most roses, with raspberry fruit flavors, backed by plum and mango. Delicious now, it will make a great transition wine as we segue into fall.