5 Fantastic Sparkling Rosés

rosé-birds&bubbles-vertical-crdt-carolyn-fongIn the May/June 2015 issue, contributor Robert Simonson takes an in-depth look at how sparkling rosé has transformed its image in recent years to become a respected wine that’s “no longer just a novelty trotted our for Valentine’s Day.” Wondering which rosés are a good bet? Here are five of our current favorites.

Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne Les Terroirs Brut Rosé
If you’re looking for a delicious bang for your buck, try this French Brut made of 100% Côte Chalonnaise Pinot Noir grapes. It undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle, creating a more natural bubble and pop with a fresh, sweet strawberry flavor. The finish is appropriately dry and ever-so-slightly bitter. $12, grandsbourgognes.com

Pierre Breton “La Ritournelle” Anjou Rosé
The darling grape of the wine-geek set, Cabernet Franc, sets out on its own in this subtle sparkler from beloved Loire Valley producer, Pierre Breton. Farmed under organic and biodynamic principles and bottled with just enough sulfur to stabilize, the freshness and purity of the fruit shines through with each progressive sip. Expect flavors of ripe, red raspberries, white pepper and a bouquet of dried herbs on the finish—perfect for uncapping alongside a summery spread of greens and salty cheeses and an afternoon in the sun. $23, astorwines.com —Tracy Howard

Camille Braun Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé
Made entirely of Pinot Noir grapes, this elegant crémant from Alsace has a texture that balances between sharp and juicy, along with plenty of sparkly bite. Flavors oscillate between subtle strawberry and dry blackberry. The most enjoyable part? An almost creamy finish that lingers without cloying sweetness as the bubbles pop and fizz into memory. It’s a rare treat that deserves slow savoring. $25, binnys.com

Roederer Estate Brut Rosé Multi Vintage
Pinot Noir shares the stage with Chardonnay in this multi-vintage cuvée from California’s esteemed Roederer Estate. A healthy tart acidity and fresh fruitiness fronts each sip, evolving into a slightly salty, herbal flavor from the 40 percent contribution of Chardonnay grapes. Oak-aged reserve wines from the estate’s cellar make up a small 10-20% of the blend, creating just enough roundness and depth to anchor the otherwise tangy personality. $25-36, bevmo.com

Laurent-Perrier “Cuvée Rosé” 
For those extra-special occasions that warrant a bit of an extra splurge, reach for this vivid salmon-hued cuvée made from Pinot Noir grapes from across Champagne. It boasts a delicate body with ample snappy carbonation and bracing acidity, meaning it works excellently as a pre-dinner aperitif. After aging in the Laurant-Perrier cellars for four years, the final bottled product also offers big blackberry, cherry and vanilla notes that swim through the palate, with a distinct black currant finish that’s softly sweet for a wine as a Brut. $68, klwines.com