Still rosé has been one of the fastest growing wine styles for nearly 20 years. We pulled in 30 entries from around the world so our judges could see what all the fuss is about.

Trends come and go, but two wine styles have gone crazy since the millennium: prosecco and rosé. The latter has grown from a tiny fraction of the market to over 10% of all the bottles sold in the UK now – and as I’m sure most of our members would agree, it’s no longer just for summer.

The big winner has been Provence – it’s pale, dry style has become the template for producers everywhere. But one of the interesting features of this tasting was the sheer range of wines that we got in from all over the world. Provence might be the go-to region, but on this evidence it’s not the only name in town.

Some pink contenders lined up and ready to go. Lots of different bottle types and closures…

Results 2022

ScoreProducerWineRegionCountryImporter (Price)Tasting note
84Castel FreresMas Fleurey 2021Côtes de ProvenceFranceCastel Freres (£8.78)Good for the price.' IS; 'Melon and slate with a silky texture, but the alcohol seems a touch high.'
85ChakanaNuna 2021Lujan de CuyoArgentinaFells (£9.85)Lovely colour and a bright nose of strawberry fruit. Modern, clean and balanced.' JP; 'Good flavours, but quite sharp acidity. Would work well with food.' MB
86Lyme Bay WineryPinot Noir Rosé 2019Crouch Valley, EssexUKLBW Drinks (£10.82)Raspberry and herbal characters. Quite intense and exciting.' DT; 'Secondary characters with a long finish. Off-dry.' KK
86Bodega de SarríaViñedo Cinco Rosado Garnacha Viñas Viejas 2021NavarraSpainBoutinot (£8.20)Vibrant deep pink, with a squashy red fruit palate, but could do with more depth.' JP; 'Full flavoured with morello cherry flavours and nice grippy tannins.' GS
86Chateau KsaraNuance 2021Bekka ValleyLebanonBerkmann Wine Cellars (£11.00)Closed nose, but quite full flavoured blackcurrant leaf on tha palate. Grippy and spicy.' GS; 'Fruity and quite zesty, with a long finish.' SP
87Feudi di San GregorioVisione 2020CampaniaItalyHallgarten & Novum Wines (£14.89)Pale copper colour, subtle stone fruit and floral notes with a distinct minerality. Would be good on a preservation system.' JP; 'Oakier, more oxidised notes in here. Quite high acidity, but good length.' GS
87Chateau PigoudetPremiere Rosé 2020Coteaux d'Aix en ProvenceFranceCastelnau Wine Agencies (£9.34)Clear and bright with raspberry nose and palate - decent length.' GS; 'Pale pink, fresh fruits. It's balanced, but with a slightly short finish.' KK
87Bodega de SarríaSeñorio de Sarría RosŽ Garnacha & Graciano 2021NavarraSpainBoutinot (£7.50)Bright pink, with plenty of fresh fruit and good intensity. Quite complex.' KK; 'Raspberry, liquorice and herbs, but acidity on the finish is quite sharp.' DT
87Bodega ArgentoOrganic Fairtrade Rose 2021MendozaArgentinaMatthew Clark Bibendum (£8.00)Easy drinking with good depth and great value. I'd be keen to list something like this by the glass.' IS; 'Mellow palate - fruity and velvety with nice acidity. Good value.' DT
88Marchesi FrescobaldiAttems Pinot Grigio Ramato 2021Friuli Venezia GiuliaItalyWaddesdon Wine (£11.42)Pale, delicate and harmonious. Very refreshing and moreish.' JP; 'Very pale, subdued nose with a zesty, citrussy palate.' GS
88Chateau d'AstrosAmour 2021ProvenceFranceMatthew Clark - Bibendum (£8.50)Very appealing salmon pink colour, with beautiful luminosity. A subtle nose, but lovely mouthfeel - this would be good by the glass.' JP; 'Good bouquet with strawberries, lychees and pears. Nice mouthfeel.' SP
88Maison GutowskiM-G Grande Cuvée 2020Côtes de ProvenceFranceTop Selection (£15.37)Garrigue notes, herbaceous and spicy.' GS; 'Savoury and fuller-bodied. This needs to be balanced with food.' MB
89SauskaRosé 2021VillanyHungaryEnotria&Coe (£9.19)Pale salmon with a discreet nose. Clean, steely and modern. Nice florality on the finish.' JP; 'Cherry/raspberry fruit with a hint of minerality. Nice freshness.' GS
89Bodega InurrietaInurrieta Coral 2021NavarraSpainBodegas Inurrieta (£9.99)Very pale, with an elegant peachy character. Unusual for Spain.' JP; 'Subtle, with a slight pithiness. Very enjoyable.' GS
89Domaine LafageMiraflors Rosé 2021RoussillonFranceBibendum (£9.00)Appealing bright colour. Subtle, with a hint of strawberry and a steely attack.' JP; 'Good fruit, well balanced. Easy drinking.' SP
89Levin WinesGamay Rosé - Bio certifié 2017Val de LoireFranceGreat Wine Estates (£8.20)Bright, pronounced fruit with a long finish.' KK; 'Deep colour, fruity and well rounded.' SP
89Susana BalboSignature Rose 2021Uco ValleyArgentinaEnotria&Coe (£13.90)Nice light blueberry nose with good creamy complexity.' IS; 'Fresh, citrus and mineral. This is well-structured, though pricey.' GS
89Chateau Grand BoiseSainte Victoire 2021Côtes de ProvenceFranceHallgarten & Novum Wines (£14.93)Nose is subtle with a hint of fruit and a touch of bitterness on the palate. Perhaps needs food.' JP; 'Fairly high acidity with a bit of tannic grip.' GS
90FiguièreMagali Signature RoséŽ 2020Côtes de ProvenceFranceSaint Andre de Figuiere (£10.72)Well rounded and nicely balanced, with good acidity.' SP; 'Blossom and raspberries. Well balanced, with decent acidity.' DT; 'Lovely bright, pale salmon pink. Creamy palate with good mouthfeel.' JP
90Bodega InurrietaInurrieta Mediodia 2021NavarraSpainBodegas Inurrieta (£8.99)Hot pink colour, with a rich, fruit salad attack. This would work well with charred meats. Ideal party/BBQ wine.' JP; 'Intense colour, and an interesting fruity nose full of candied cherries. Dry palate with high acidity.' DT; 'Fruity but balanced, and I like the finish.' KK
90Olivier CosteRosé Stars 2021Pays d'OcFranceHallgarten & Novum (£10.62)Nutty and textural, but also fresh and easy drinking. Delivers well for the money.' IS; 'Floral, elegant, pretty and fruit-forward. A crowd pleaser - good for by the glass.' MB; 'Only just pink. Subtle and delicate, but still with good length.' JP
90Chateau KsaraGris de Gris 2021Bekka ValleyLebanonBerkmann Wine Cellars (£9.00)Mouth-filling and mellow, with salinity on the finish. Excellent food wine.' JP; 'Powerful nose of herbs, apple blossom and candy. Quite high acidity.' DT
90Rumor RoséŽRumor Rosé 2021Côtes de ProvenceFranceBibendum (£17.50)Very aromatic with gooseberries, grass and tropical fruits.' MB; 'Creamy soft-fruit attack, but some bitterness on the finish.' JP; 'Fruity and herbal with a long finish.' DT
91J. Chivite Family EstatesLas Fincas Rosado 2021IGP 3 RiberasSpainEnotria&Coe (£17.95)Floral and balanced with a long finish. Price could be an issue, but it's very well made.' KK; 'Tart raspberries and cranberries with good structure. This would be great with food.' MB Well made, though the price could be an issue.' IS;
91Chateau La MascaronneRosé 2021Côtes de ProvenceFranceNew Generation Wines (£13.40)Pale, with a candied fruit nose and nice acidity. This would be good for Group Dining.' DT; 'Bright, crunchy red fruit. Good for food-pairing.' MB; 'Strawberry sorbet with a long finish.' SP
92Chateau BelliniRosé 2020Côtes de ProvenceFranceNew Generation Wines (£12.90)Appley, with an appealing hint of spritz on the palate.' JP; 'Well rounded and well balanced with nice acidity.' SP; 'Floral, elegant and delicate with good structure. A crowd pleaser!'MB
93San MarzanoTramari 2020ApuliaItalyHallgarten & Novum Wines (£9.51)Interesting nose - sherbert and pink lemonade. Lots to discover in the glass.' MB; 'Complex and fresh, with a long finish.' KK; 'Great value warmer-climate rosŽ. Would be good by the glass.' DT
95Guerrieri RizzardiKeya Bardolino Classico Chiaretto DOC 2020BardolinoItalyNew Generation Wines (£8.86)Copper meets salmon colour, so could spark debate in a good way! Harmonious, with good length.' JP; ; 'Fruity and zesty, with minerality and a long finish.' SP; 'Good complexity and great flavours. So interesting. Really overdelivers for the price.' IS
96LalombaRosado Finca Lalinde 2020Rioja DOCaSpainEnotria&Coe (£17.99)Pale copper colour, very appealing attack with flavours of white peach, apricot and orange blossom that really linger.' JP; 'Beautiful nose, this is delicate but with amazing structure and a long finish. Outstanding. It's expensive but worth it for the complexity.' IS; 'Apricots and peach blossom, this is delicate but complex, with a long finish.' MB

After analysing the scores, prices and judges’ feedback from our Rosé Awards tasting, here are our five key take-away facts.

  1. Perhaps what sets Provence aside is its consistency. Nearly all our entries here were gathered between 88 and 92 points, which is pretty impressive. The best-scoring wines balanced bright accessibility and complexity brilliantly.
  2. If Provence has a vulnerability, it’s that everywhere else tended to be around 30% cheaper. So if you find a wine you like from another region, it could give you some nice opportunities to beef up your margins. And as we said earlier, there are lots of places trying to make wine in the Provence style now.
  3. On this evidence, Spain and Italy in particular are definitely worthy of further exploration. Some of their wines are Provence look-alikes (and often very good), while others are different, but not scarily so.
  4. The overall standard of pinks is far better than it used to be. The most common criticism was either a flicker of alcohol spoiling the finish of an otherwise nicely-made wine, or rather hard acidity sticking out on the palate.
  5. We had one or two older vintages of rosé – and they were really interesting. They divided the tasting panels, so scores were usually moderate, but they could be an interesting option for a tasting menu or preservation system.

In conclusion, this was a stimulating tasting with some surprising findings, so feel free to use the results to call in some samples to see whether you agree with our panellists.

Graeme Sutherland and James Payne
Konstantinos Katridis and Shashi Prakash
Molly Buesnel, Davide Traverso and Isobel Salomon

Judges’ Recommendations

At the end of each tasting, we ask our judges to nominate their favourite wine.

It can be any price, any style. And it doesn’t matter how the rest of the tasters on the day rated it. It just has to be something that really spoke to them.

We do this because we know that as professional sommeliers you are always keen to know what your fellow members like. So read on to find out who liked what when it came to rosé.

Molly Buesnel

San Marzano Tramari 2020, Puglia

I really liked the palate on this wine. It had such a range of well-defined flavours and it left me constantly wanting to retry it: sherbet, pink lemonade, blood orange, pomegranate, pink grapefruit. There was great balance of acidity and fruit.

It would be great with ceviche or other light fish dishes, or as an aperitif.

£9.51 ex-VAT, Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Graeme Sutherland

Lalomba Rosado Finca Lalinde 2020, Rioja

This was the most expensive wine we tried today, but for me it was also the most enjoyable. It was savoury, with wonderfully balanced acidity. Textural and grippy, with a length that just kept on building.

It’s a lovely onion-skin/copper colour with a slight briney minerality and delicate fruit on the nose. The palate builds into a crescendo of acidity, grippy tannins, and integrated cherry and strawberry fruit. It’s very much a premium up-sell, but it would be great with sardines done a la plancha; the oily texture would work wonders.

£17.99 ex-VAT, Enotria & Coe

James Payne

Maison Gutowski M-G Grande Cuvée 2020, Provence

This wine delivers a flavour intensity and harmony that, to me, underlines Provence’s ability to produce the best rosé. There’s a beautiful pale pink hue, and subtle summer fruit on the nose; to drink, it’s creamy and mellow with an elegant balance that delivers right to the finish.

I’d consider using this in a preservation system as part of a premium flight or maybe a premium wine flight with a spring/summer tasting menu.

£15.37 ex-VAT, Top Selection

Shashi Prakash

Lalomba Rosado Finca Lalinde 2020, Rioja

This is an intense wine. There’s generous fruit, but a freshness, too. It’s generous in terms of its fruit flavour, but there’s a lovely mellowness to it as well. Big respect for the winemaker!

It’s expensive, yes, but if you have a customer who is looking for a really serious rosé, then this could be it.

£17.99 ex-VAT, Enotria & Coe

Davide Traverso

San Marzano Tramari 2020, Puglia

This is a really enjoyable wine. A crowd-pleaser. There’s plenty of fruit on the nose but it’s really well balanced, too; there’s a lightness to the palate that, to me, suggests sandy soil. I think it was one of the best-value wines we tried today.

It would be great with oily fish, where the acidity would cut through; or sitting outside on a hot afternoon.

£9.51 ex-VAT, Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Konstantinos Katridis

Rumor Rosé 2021, Cotes de Provence

This was one of the more expensive wines we tried, but I still think it’s good value for money at around £70 a bottle on the list. It’s really pleasant on both nose and palate and there’s lot of potential for pairing options. I’d be happy to put it on a preservation system too for around £11 a glass.

£17.50 ex-VAT, Rumor Rosé

Isobel Salamon

Lalomba Rosado Finca Lalinde 2020, Rioja

I loved the structure of this wine. It had such an outstanding finish. Food wise, I’d try this with partridge or even venison, and it would be great with fresh white cheese, stewed peach thyme and a sprinkle of brown sugar. But I want to experiment with it with so many dishes!

It had sea-breeze minerality, and flavours of white peach and apricot kernel. It was a really beautiful rosé and very much excited me.

£17.99 ex-VAT, Enotria & Coe

The Awards tasting was a chance for our members to be waited on for a change…

List Champions

One of the things that makes our Awards tastings unique is that they’re totally focused on the on-trade. Not just because they’re judged by sommeliers, but also because we ask our tasters to select wines for very specific restaurant list roles.

These include Best for By The GlassBest for Group Dining and Best for Preservation System. But we also give out an award for the best overall wine in the tasting (Best in Class) and for the wine with the best score to price ratio – Best Value.

They’re a bit different – certainly we don’t know of any other competition that has an award system like this. But these awards are highly practical – designed to reward wines whose style, price and quality all make them perfect for the job.

Either way, we hope you like them and find them useful.

And many congratulations to our winners, who have come through three rounds of judging to pick up these awards.

Provence is still the region to beat – but on this evidence others have plenty to offer, too. Pic Francois Millo, CIVP

Best in Class

Lalomba Rosado Finca Lalinde 2020, Rioja

£17.99 ex-VAT, Enotria & Coe

This award goes to the wine from our tasting with the best overall score. We were surprised that it wasn’t a Provence – though stylistically this wasn’t far away.

In case you have doubts about the whole idea of a pricey Spanish rosado, this was the favourite wine of the day for half of our judges, with several of them saying that even though it was undeniably expensive, it still overdelivered for the price.

So if you have the clientele, this is well worth a look.

‘Pale copper colour, very appealing attack with flavours of white peach, apricot and orange blossom that really linger.’ James Payne

‘Beautiful nose, this is delicate but with amazing structure and a long finish. Outstanding. It’s expensive but worth it for the complexity.’ Isobel Salamon

‘Apricots and peach blossom, this is delicate but complex, with a long finish.’ Molly Buesnel

Best Value for Money

San Marzano Tramari 2020, Puglia

£9.51 ex-VAT, Hallgarten & Novum Wines

The Value for Money award is pretty straightforward – it goes to the wine in the tasting that delivers (broadly speaking) the most points per pound spent. So it isn’t necessarily the cheapest wine overall, but the one that gives you the most bang for your buck, while still being undeniably affordable.

San Marzano have a good track record of producing well-priced winners, and this was no exception. A joyful – but not simple – quaffing rosé that could work in many types of venue.

‘Interesting nose – sherbet and pink lemonade. Lots to discover in the glass.’ Molly Buesnel

‘Complex and fresh, with a long finish.’ Konstantinos Katridis

‘Great value warmer-climate rosé. Would be good by the glass.’ Davide Traverso

Best for By The Glass

Guerrieri Rizzardi Keya Bardolino Classico Chiaretto DOC 2020, Bardolino

£8.86 ex-VAT, New Generation Wines

By The Glass, obviously, is all about approachability and sheer, enjoyable drinkability. And given just how much of the pink stuff gets drunk on terraces and at the bar pre-dinner, this is a really crucial List Champion award to pick up.

The Keya was terrific. Not one judge scored it below 91 points, and several were significantly higher. Which for a sub-£10 wine is quite an achievement. It’s a touch darker in colour than your typical Provence, but don’t let that put you off – it can be a point for discussion!

‘Copper meets salmon colour, so could spark debate in a good way! Harmonious, with good length.’ James Payne

‘Fruity and zesty, with minerality and a long finish.’ Shashi Prakash

‘Good complexity and great flavours. So interesting… Really overdelivers for the price.’ Isobel Salamon

Best for Group Dining

Figuière Magali Signature Rosé 2020, Côtes de Provence

£10.72 ex-VAT, Jascots

When it comes to the Group Dining award, our judges are looking for something that’s a couple of steps up from By The Glass, but has crowd-pleasing characteristics; something that will appeal to those looking for a simple quaffer, and those after something with a little more (but not too much) complexity.

It’s a wine that needs to feel a bit special without being too left-field. Even for rosé, our tasters wanted a wine that could work well with simple food as well.

It is, in other words, quite a tough slot to fill. But the Figuière Magali did all of this at exactly the right price. Our judges wouldn’t know this, since it was tasted blind, but it looks good, too!

‘Well rounded and nicely balanced, with good acidity.’ Shashi Prakash

‘Blossom and raspberries. Well balanced, with decent acidity.’ Davide Traverso

‘Lovely bright, pale salmon pink. Creamy palate with good mouthfeel.’ James Payne

Best for Preservation System

Lalomba Rosado Finca Lalinde 2020, Rioja

£17.99 ex-VAT, Enotria & Coe

Lalomba rounded off a superb tasting by just pipping a Provence to the ‘Best for Preservation System’ award. In fact, it’s been a good couple of months for this Riojan estate. They got 93 points for their (pricey) Finca Valhonta in our Rioja Reserva tasting last time out.

This is the kind of rosé that could make a good alternative to certain other sought-after, big-name pink; a really good upsell that’s as intriguing as it is classy.

As one judge put it, ‘I could upsell anyone into this, and they wouldn’t complain.’

‘Intense, complex nose. Herbal and floral, but with fruit on the palate, too. Elegant and mineral with an intense finish.’ Davide Traverso

‘Floral and fruity with some tertiary aromas and a long finish.’ Konstantinos Katridis

‘Onion skin colour with a savoury, olive-brine note on the palate. Builds a lovely textural mouthfeel.’ Graeme Sutherland

Thanks to Graeme Sutherland and the team at Good Brothers in Edinburgh for hosting the tasting, taking delivery of all the wines and providing us with great food and banter. Like the Terminator, we’ll be back…

Many thanks to our Collective members who judged on the day – some of whom came several hours to be there. In alphabetical order: Molly Buesnel, WineKraft; Konstantinos Katridis, Condita; Graeme Sutherland, Good Brothers; James Payne, Douneside House; Shashi Prakash, Fonab Castle; Isobel Salamon, Eden Lock Hotel; Davide Traverso, Divino

Many shades of pink and shades of opinion later, we had our winners…