Finding the right roséOf THE dozen-and-a-half rosés I tasted for this article, here are the ones I liked the best, listed in alphabetical order. All of them will prove terrific drinking through the summer.
2007 St. André de Figuière "Cuvee Magali." Elegant and well-knit, this Côtes de Provence rosé has red, ripe fruit flavors that are richer than those of Bandol rosés; otherwise, it resembles them quite a bit. Made from Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. About $17 at Wine House in West Los Angeles (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, www.whwc.com.
www.klwines.com; Wally's Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, www.wallywine.com; Wine House; and Woodland Hills Wine Co.
2007 Commanderie de Peyrassol. This is another Provençal rosé that edges toward the Bandol camp. It's probably the classiest of the bunch -- extremely elegant and nicely structured with hints of rosé petal in the nose and fresh tastes of ripe peaches and berries balanced by just a touch of orange-peel bitterness. About $16 at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, www.hitimewine.net; Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese, (323) 856-8699; Silverlake Wine in Los Angeles, (323) 662-9024, www.silverlakewine.com; Wine Country in Signal Hill, (562) 597-8303, www.thewinecountry.com; and Wine House.
2007 Mas de Gourgonnier. Mostly Grenache-based, this Provençal wine has well-balanced spicy strawberry-raspberry fruit with a creamy texture and a lingering finish. It is one of the prettier of the strawberry group. About $17 at Bristol Farms stores, www.bristolfarms.com; Du Vin Wine & Spirits in West Hollywood, (310) 855-1161, www.du-vin.net; Green Jug in Woodland Hills, (818) 887-9463; Hi-Time Wine Cellars; Liquid Wine & Spirits in Chatsworth, (818) 709-5019; Wally's Wine & Spirits; Wine Country; and Wine House.
2007 Villa Wolf Rosé de Pinot Noir. Made by German wine genius Ernst Loosen, this wine is just off-dry, making it perfect for picnics and swimming pools. It's also surprisingly complex for the price. The flavors are of red fruit, strawberries, raspberries and cherries, with a nice, tart, spicy finish. About $11 at Topline Wine & Spirits in Glendale, (818) 500-9670; and Wine House.
2007 Zaca Mesa Estate "Z Gris." If you want a big rosé, this is a very good choice. It's Grenache-based and full of strawberries and melons with bracing acidity and a creamy texture. There is a little heat in the finish, due to the 13.5% alcohol. About $16 at Bristol Farms and Wine Country.
-- Russ Parsons