The 10 Best Summer Wines in 2023

By Dirk Smits

The Best Wines for Summer Sipping

The quest to unearth the best summer wines began and ended at one of America’s premiere epicurean events — the 35th Anniversary Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, where hundreds upon hundreds of the world’s finest winemakers converged to showcase their wares. And while selecting just ten great bottles of wine was a near impossible task, as the great T.S. Eliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” This one goes to ten. Cheers!

1. Anaba, Rosé of Grenache 2021 | Sonoma, California

Origin: Sonoma, California, USA
Varietal: 100% Grenache
Price: $38.00
ABV: 13%

Anaba Wines, named for the anabatic winds that soar through its vineyards, creates classic, elegant wines borne by the wind. The 16-acre estate sits in the western part of the Los Carneros appellation where cool Pacific breezes flow up its gently sloping vineyards, slowing down the ripening process and allowing the grapes to develop robust flavors and distinctive varietal characteristics. These weather conditions first attracted founder John Sweazey and his wife, Kathleen, to this region known for Burgundian and Rhône varietals.

This is a light colored rosé with alluring aromas of strawberry, pink grapefruit and floral. The silky mouthfeel delivers notes of candied peel, spice, salinity and an appetizing chewiness.

> For more information, visit Anaba Wines official website.

2. Château de Berne, Romance, Rosé, Méditerranée IGP 2022 | Provence, France

Origin: Provence, France
Varietals: 15% Syrah, 40% Grenache Noir, 30% Cinsault, 15% Merlot
Price: $16.99
ABV: 12.5%

The history of Château de Berne dates back to the 18th century, when the property was first established as a farmstead. The current owners, the Lurton family, acquired the property in the 1990s and restored the historic buildings, including the château, which dates back to the 18th century. Today, the estate includes 1,200 acres of vineyards, olive groves, and lavender fields, as well as a luxury hotel and spa.

The wine shows a vibrant pink color. Aromas of melon, raspberries, roses and spices fill the nose. The flavor profile is marked by red berries, mandarin and a touch of mineral. Vibrant acidity keeps the palate going into a long, elegant finish.

> For more information, visit Château de Berne official website.

3. Daou, Discovery Rosé 2022 | Paso Robles, California

Origin: Paso Robles, California, USA
Varietals: 100% Grenache
Price: $24.00
ABV: 14.1%

Brothers Georges and Daniel Daou set forth across the globe to find an unrivaled terroir for producing great wines, a quest that led them to a place of greatness: Daou Mountain in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles. Situated on a 212-acre hilltop estate, their remarkable geology, favorable microclimate, and 2,200 feet elevation were once described by renowned California winemaker André Tchelistcheff as a “jewel of ecological elements.”

This rosé displays a pale flamingo hue, a bouquet of strawberry, guava, crème brûlée and honeysuckle. The well-balanced palate shows flavors of ripe strawberry, papaya, nectarine and mandarin orange.

> For more information, visit Daou Vineyards official website.

4. Gamble, Rosé 2021 | Napa Valley, California

Origin: Napa Valley, California, USA
Varietals: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 1% Petite Syrah
Price: $22.00
ABV: 13.6%

Founded in 2005 by third-generation Napa farmer, Tom Gamble, Gamble Family Vineyards farms approximately 175 acres of prime estate vineyards from Napa Valley’s most respected AVAs – Oakville, Yountville, Mount Veeder and Rutherford. Set in an isolated nook off of Highway 29 in the heart of Napa Valley’s Oakville District, the winery, open to guests by invitation, has a quiet and bucolic presence. Tom Gamble’s mission is to carry on the heritage of quality farming that his ancestors sowed when they came to Napa as farmers and ranchers in 1916.

The 2021 Gamble Rosé has a beautiful pale salmon color. The nose shows aromas of red berries, pear and red currant. The palate is bright with flavors of watermelon, raspberries and spice, finishing bone dry and flashing zappy acidity.

> For more information, visit Gamble Family Vineyards official website.

5. King Estate, Rosé of Pinot Noir 2021 | Willamette Valley, Oregon

Origin: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Price: $20.00
ABV: 13.5%

King Estate was founded in 1991 by the King family with a deep commitment to sustainable farming. Their uniquely integrated ecosystem of vineyard and woodland, grasslands and wetlands, orchards and culinary gardens located in Oregon’s prestigious Willamette Valley, led them to first obtain certified organic status followed by the biodynamic standard in 2016. Today, King Estate is the largest certified biodynamic vineyard in North America.

Pale pink is coloring the wine. Aromas of cherry, cranberry and lemon zest are unfolding in the nose. The bright palate reveals the same red fruit, with some mineral in addition, all wrapped up in fresh acidity, evolving in a mouthwatering finish.

> For more information, visit King Estate official website.

6. Lynmar, Rosé of Pinot Noir 2022 | Russian River Valley, California

Origin: Sonoma, California, USA
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Price: $35.00
ABV: 14.1%

Located in the heart of Russian River Valley, Lynmar Estate is a preeminent producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. Resident proprietors Lynn and Anisya Fritz are intimately woven into daily operations, sharing overarching values of sustainability, world-class winemaking, locally sourced food and community. Always more than the sum of its parts, Lynmar Estate is comprised of four touchstone vineyard parcels in Russian River Valley, beginning with Quail Hill Vineyard established by the family in 1980.

This rosé displays a beautiful pink color. The nose offers aromas of strawberry, orange and flowers. Complex flavors of orange zest, fleshy peach, cranberry and some mineral emerge on the palate, all evolving in a long, juicy finish.

> For more information, visit Lynmar Estate official website.

7. Jean-Luc Colombo, Cape Bleue Rosé 2021 | Provence, France

Origin: Provence, France
Varietals: 67% Syrah, 33% Mourvèdre
Price: $15.00
ABV: 12%

Innovation, passion and dedication are what drives Jean-Luc and Anne Colombo, whose contributions to Rhône and Provence winemaking is unparalleled. Jean-Luc Colombo’s wines express the typicity of their terroir with elegance and character, from the Côte-Rôtie in the northern Rhône to his Provençal rosés.

This rosé has a light pink color. The nose expresses aromas of raspberry, peach and watermelon. The mouth offers juicy red berries infused with energetic orange peel, spice and mineral freshness.

> For more information, visit Jean-Luc Colombo official website.

8. The Pale, Vin de Pays du Var Rosé 2021 | Provence, France

Origin: Provence, France
Varietals: mostly Grenache with Cinsault, Rolle and Syrah
Price: $15.50
ABV: 12.5%

Named after its transparent, pink color, The Pale by Sacha Lichine (creator of the iconic Provence rosé Whispering Angel) embodies all the characteristics of an authentic Rosé from Provence. The Pale’s design-forward label, inspired by early illustrations from The New Yorker and that period, evokes the vibrant design and intriguing glamour of the Roaring Twenties.

This rosé has an intriguing grey-light-orange color with light fruit notes, orange peel and flowers on the nose. The palate offers a sweet fruitiness, juicy acidity, a touch of minerality and a flowery finish.

> For more information, visit The Pale official website.

9. La Petite Perrière, Vin de France 2021 | Loire Valley, France

Origin: Loire Valley, France
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Price: $14.00
ABV: 12%

In 1790, the Saget family embarked upon a long history dedicated to vines and wine, firmly placing Saget among just a handful of estates that can enjoy their third successive century of business. Generations of the family have worked to create their signature Saget La Petite Perrière wines, melding the perfect balance, a blend of richness and elegance via the meticulous selection of grapes, expertly crafted by their skilled winemakers for the La Perrière wines. The new designation of Vin de France offered them the opportunity to explore and discover the ideal balance between the fruitiness of those varietals grown in the south and their acidity when produced in the northern region (Loire) and thus La Petite Perrière wines were created. La Petite Perrière Pinot Noir is largely sourced from their own estate vineyards in Touraine (Loire Valley) and a part of the blend is sourced from the South of France through their long-term partners.

This bright rosé offers notes of sour cherry, raspberry and savory spices. It has good weight and structure and delivers a long finish with good minerality and juicy acidity.

> For more information, visit La Perrière official website.

10. Saracina, Rosé of Grenache 2022 | Mendocino County, California

Origin: Hopland, California, USA
Varietal: 100% Grenache
Price: $22.99
ABV: 12.5%

Saracina, a 250-acre ranch which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year old olive trees, vegetable gardens, bee hives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County. This Rosé of Grenache was sourced from the Lake View Vineyard located along the Russian River in classic gravel and alluvial soil.

This 2022 Rosé of Grenache shows a bright pink color with aromas of red berries, savory spices and mineral. The palate delivers more red fruit, watermelon and juicy acidity, pure springtime freshness.

> For more information, visit Saracina official website.