While Grenache is one of the major grapes of the south of France, where it's used to make world-famous rosé, it's quite rare on the North Coast. But when local rosé is made from this scarce grape, it can compare very favorably, indeed.
Mathis 2015 Sonoma Valley Rosé de Grenache ($20) What is a former winemaker and general manager of Ravenswood Winery, famed for the slogan "No wimpy wines," doing with light, pink wine? Great things. "It's as close to perfect as I've ever made," says Peter Mathis. Long smitten by Grenache, Mathis planted seven acres on a hillside above Sonoma. Like a dollop of sorbet on the tongue, good, pink Grenache like this cools the palate, while lingering long, despite sizzling, pink grapefruit acidity. A Bohemian staff favorite.
Davis 2015 Cote Rosé Russian River Valley Rosé ($25) You can have your crushed rock and macerated wild strawberries—we'll have this pink bubblegum-scented, pale wine made from whole-cluster pressed Grenache, Syrah and Viognier. Crisp, tart and lightly flavored of raspberry and cherry, this wine typically sells out early in the summer.
Quivira 2015 Dry Creek Valley Rosé ($22) Made from biodynamically farmed grapes—if that energizes your crystal—this radiant pink rosé is aged on the lees, and shows toasty notes of unbuttered popcorn with a vinous hint of red wine and orange oil. It's 55 percent Grenache, with classic partners like Mourvèdre, Syrah and Counoise.
Clif Family 2015 Mendocino Rosé of Grenache ($24) Just add a plate of local artisan cheese: the palest of pinks, this wine has the fruit plate covered, with citrusy flavors of pink grapefruit, cool tones of nectarine plucked from the ice chest and a scent of pink rose for decor.
Grande Récolte 2015 Côtes de Provence Rosé ($19.90) Offered in an outrageously heavy, square-sided bottle, this light pink blend of Grenache and Cinsault plays up nectarine aromas and flavors, while creamy, leesy notes soften and sweeten the finish.
Benziger 2015 Sonoma Mountain Syrah Rosé ($26) With more Syrah comes more color, and confectionary, red raspberry and cherry aromas and flavors that Bohemian tasters split on. Deliciously crisp and dry, but not as fleshy as some of the paler, Grenache-based rosés here.
Perle de Margüi 2015 Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé ($25) Hardly pinker than a Pinot Grigio, this leans on Cinsault, with 35 percent Grenache, and is certified bio (European organic). The subtle fruit aromas entice, and watermelon, strawberry and nectarine flavors linger cool and long.