Lodi Rosé: Pick a Variety

It seems Rosé is hitting the marketplace earlier than in the past. We used to be hard-pressed to find new vintages by May. That’s when the weather warms and we begin spending happy hour outside on the patio. But it is currently the end of April and we have already been to two Rosé tastings at a local wine shop. The timing was perfect for us, as we were down to our last bottle or two from last year.

We recently received a couple of rosés as tasting samples produced in the Lodi AVA (American Viticultural Area). Thank you, LoCA. One is from the 2017 vintage, the other is 2016. We added one more to the mix that we tasted recently and purchased at a Lodi winery. As luck would have it four grape varieties are represented in this Rosé tasting. The more the merrier!

2016 Peltier Rouge Rosétranslucent cranberry color in the glass with aromas of tart red fruit. Flavors include ripe boysenberries, cherries, dusty earth and hints of cedar. The drying sensation of tannins linger along with the flavors. 12% abv. SRP $18

According to the technical sheet, this brightly-hued wine is sourced from estate vineyards within the Lodi AVA. Peltier Winery & Vineyards‘ winemaker, Susy Rodriguez Vasquez, told me in a phone conversation that the 2016 vintage is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with just a bit (10%) of Pinot Noir blended in. The Cabernet Sauvignon was picked early for this rosé and pressed off as with a white wine would be. The blend may vary slightly by vintage as it is the goal to maintain a consistent flavor profile. “We like the personality of this wine,” Susy told me.

The dark color, generous flavors and tannins are intended to attract male, as well as female, wine drinkers. From comments made in their tasting room, she has gathered many men do not appreciate a lightly-colored rosé. This is one for them. This wine is certified sustainable by Lodi RulesTM.

This rosé would be a good match for grilled chicken and pasta salad. It has plenty of flavor and a sensation of tannins too.

dart White Barbera2017 d’Art White Barberadelicate, translucent copper in the glass with a bit of struck match initially (it blows off and wasn’t evident by day 2) and tropical fruit aromas. Flavors of blackberries, bananas and damp earth follow with nice acidity and a citrus pith finish. 14.1% abv. SRP $20

This 100% Barbera from the Mokelumne River AVA in Lodi was hand picked in October at 27º Brix. It was whole-cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel. Sip this dry rosé from d’Art Wines on a warm afternoon and you will soon be chillin’.

2017 Oak Farm Vineyards Rosé, Shinn Farmsdelicate, ballet slipper pink with generous aromas of roses and ripe berries. Complex flavors of ripe blackberries, raspberries and white flowers combine with citrusy acidity for a lively, bright wine. There is a hint of sweetness, but plenty of acid for a clean, medium-length finish. 12.79% abv. $24. Purchased at the winery.

We had the opportunity to visit Oak Farm Vineyards last week to preview their new tasting experience. That tasting included this rosé sourced from Shinn Farms and assistant winemaker, Sierra Zeiter, shared the production details with us.

Sierra – assist winemaker and rosé lover.
This is Oak Farm Vineyards’ first rosé and the first Sierra has made at the winery since joining the winemaking team in July 2017. There was a bit of handwringing involved in the making of this 100% Grenache related to the color of the wine. The Grenache was picked early, at about 22º Brix, for this intentional rose. The first batch was pressed off, as with a white wine, resulting in near-colorless juice. The team wanted a bit more color in the finished wine.

The second batch was crushed to tank and then they waited (but for how long?) for the juice to develop color from skin-contact. After 24 hours the color looked right and grapes were pressed. The two batches were blended resulting in an absolutely gorgeous color. This wine is also certified sustainable according to Lodi RulesTM.

The team is very happy with their first rosé and learned a lot from the process of making it. You might even see a rosé of Sangiovese in addition to Grenache rosé for 2018. Yay!

As always with wine, Lodi has lots to offer in terms of variety and varieties. Our rosé-drinking season is off to a grand start thanks to these three wines.



  1. Looking forward to trying the d’Art white Barbera which I have waiting. Haven’t tried a rosé of that variety yet.

  2. Michelle Williams

    I completely agree. I think the season begins now in February. Ha!