A Rose by any other name

By on June 25, 2015

Rose Wines are Hot for the Summer of 2015

Is just a ragin’ Rose to drink this summer.  The new favorite among the cognoscenti,  you just gotta try it.roseglass sonoma county

Love Rose?

Join fellow Rose wine fans for Rose Rendezvous at SIMI Winery in Healdsburg celebrating the Gold Medal winning wines from The Rose Competition.


August 1st from 2:00 – 5:00 PM

It will be an afternoon of fun, food and delicious Gold Medal winning Rose wines.  Guests can enjoy more than 25 Gold Medal winning Rose wines, meet some winemakers and celebrate all things Rose on the glorious SIMI Winery patio.  SIMI’s Executive Chef Kolin Vazzoler will be cooking up tasty noshes while music will be provided by the eclectic band, Full Chizel.

$35.00 per person includes all sips, bites plus a custom souvenir Rose glass to take home.

See the link to register: http://roserendezvous.bpt.me/

SIMI Winery is located at 16275 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, California, a few miles north of downtown.

Help spread the word – and Think Rose!

For further information contact: Bob Ecker

Director: Rose Rendezvous

(707) 421-1701

Want the full list of Rose winners this summer?  Keep reading.rose bottle shot simi

Article: The Rosé Competition & Rose Rendezvous

By Bob Ecker 2015

Word Count: 895

Includes Full Award List


Years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Provence and enjoyed many fine, pale, fragrant rosé wines in the cafes of Arles, Uzes, and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence among other delightful spots.  The balanced Bandol and other rosé wines were perfect for warm or hot afternoons – just like in California.  It was like drinking sunshine in a glass.  When I returned home I sought out American rosés and found a very few “modern” wines, that is, good dry crisp and tasty rosés unlike the preponderance of sweet, weak and mass produced “blush” wines of the past.  One of the first excellent dry rosés I encountered was from SIMI Winery in Healdsburg.  Others of note came from Napa’s Peju, Bouchaine and the Hess Collection.  Sola Rosa Rosé of Sangiovese and Miner Family Vineyards were also producing noteworthy rosés.  Then in 2007 I discovered AZUR, a new wine produced here in Napa by a Julien Fayard, a young French winemaker.  Wow, what an excellent and expressive rosé!  It seemed that domestic rosé wines had finally graduated to respectability.

After wine judging in numerous competitions I started seeing – and tasting more and more worthy domestic rosés.  Then I had an idea, and in 2013 created the very first ever Rosé Wine Competition in the United States.  Held at Napa’s Meritage Resort & Spa, we only invited Rosé producers from California and received 89 entries.  Many outstanding wines were awarded Gold Medals and the competition was well received.  Every year now, rosé wines have been increasing as a category and were up 43% in the last year alone, according to statistics published by Nielsen.  So I began working on a new, larger Rosé Competition to see how these wines are doing.  This time The Rosé Competition 2015 invited rosé wine producers from across the United States.  The competition was held on March 25th at SIMI Winery in Healdsburg, Sonoma County.  There were only two categories, “Dry” and “A Little Sweet.”  Although the majority of submitted wines were from Northern California, 192 total entries were received from 20 different states.  Besides California they were from: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.  Prominent wine judges for The Rosé Competition included Christopher Sawyer, Denise Gill, Debra Del Fiorentino, Sue Straight, Debra Parker Wong, Rick Fraga and Ray Johnson.


A gala public Rosé Wine event celebrating the Gold Medal winning wines from The Rosé Wine Competition will be held at SIMI Winery in Healdsburg on August 1st.  Tickets and other information can be found at: http://roserendezvous.bpt.me/

During the competition, the flights kept coming out, usually 10 at a time as the judges looked, smelled, swirled, sampled and spit, then wrote down comments and scores.  The colors in this type of wine competition were particularly fun to observe, as glasses ran the gamut from almost clear to pale ocher, apricot, rust, copper, peachy, pink, orange, rouge, fire engine red, magenta and even…dark purple.  (Yes, that was an odd one)  “I was impressed by the number of Rosé wines entered this year.  I knew that they had returned to California in a big way over the past few years, but it is obvious that winemakers from across the US are joining in to the pink wine craze,” said Judge Rick Fraga.


For those of you who have never been involved in such an endeavor, running a wine competition is extremely complicated.  All the statistics need to be inputted but are often are wrong or omitted.  There were some wines that showed up without any registration information at all.  On the other hand some wineries registered properly, but forget to send the actual wine bottles.  Many frantic phone calls and email preceded the judging to sort things out; ultimately only one wine was a no-show.  Then to make certain everything is judged blind, wines must be carefully marked, arranged and stored and poured to avoid any mistakes.  And they also had to be served at the correct temperature.  Fortunately the staff at SIMI did a fantastic job behind the scenes and the tasting went well.  It’s so much easier simply judging!


The “Dry” category was the larger one with 159 wines judged and a total of 11 Double Gold Medals awarded.  All 11 were brought back for the Best of Class (B.O.C.) finals.  One interesting element was how all of the wines given double gold medals had a similar salmon colored hue.  The judges went back and forth; the final winner had to go to a tiebreaker three times until the deadlock was finally broken.   What emerged as The Best of Class was a lovely rosé from Martin Ray Vineyards and Winery, 2014, from Santa Rosa.  “As a category, Rose is on fire and consumers can’t go wrong with the variety of styles that medaled in this competition,” remarked judge Deborah Parker Wong.  In the “A Little Sweet” category the Best of Class was awarded to a delicious rosé from Truett Hurst 2014 of Cloverdale.


I would like to thank all the participating wineries, gift sponsors, judges, volunteers and staff at SIMI Winery for helping to put on a great competition.  And for rosé lovers, consider attending the event at SIMI on May 30.  “I look forward to coming back next year and seeing how the wines progress.  This was a great event,” said Fraga.

Total number of wines judged = 192

38 Gold Medals (includes 11 Double Golds)

69 Silver Medals

48 Bronze Medals

Total number of awards given = 155

List of winners:

(GG indicates Double Gold)

(Items in parenthesis when more than one wine was submitted)

The “DRY” Category


  • G Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg CA
  • GG Atwater Estate Vineyards, Burdett, NY (Rose of Merlot)
  • GG Azur Wines, Napa, CA
  • GG Blakeslee Vineyard Estate, Sherwood, OR
  • GG Blue Sky Vineyard, Makanda, IL
  • G Cache Creek Vineyards, Clearlake Oaks, CA
  • G Canyon Wind Cellars, Palisade, CO
  • G Cass Winery, Paso Robles, CA
  • G Chateau Morrisette Winery, Floyd, VA
  • G Deerfield Ranch Winery, Glen Ellen, CA
  • G Ellipsis Wine Company, Healdsburg, CA (2013)
  • GG Ellipsis Wine Company, Healdsburg, CA (2014)
  • GG Epiphany, Los Olivos, CA
  • G Gustafson Family Vineyards, Healdsburg CA
  • G Endless Crush, Inman Family Wines, Healdsburg, CA
  • GG HammerSky Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA
  • G Julia’s Dazzle-Long Shadows Vintners, Walla Walla, WA
  • G Kaella Winery, Woodinville WA
  • G Kamiak Winery-Gordon Brothers, Pasco, WA
  • GG Rickards Winery, Cloverdale, CA
  • GG Lange Twins Family Winery, Acampo CA
  • G Ledson Winery and Vineyards, Kenwood, CA
  • GG Martin Ray Winery, Santa Rosa, CA (BEST OF CLASS WINNER)
  • GG McPherson Cellars, Lubbock, TX
  • G Mill Creek Vineyards, Healdsburg CA
  • G Moshin Vineyards, Healdsburg, CA
  • G Quady North, Jacksonville, OR
  • G Paper Planes, Los Angeles CA
  • G Renegade Wine Company, Walla Walla, WA
  • G Provincial Vineyards, Forest Grove, OR
  • G Smiling Dogs Ranch-Apocalypse Wines, Kelseyville, CA
  • G Terra d’ Oro Winery, Trinchero Family Wines, Plymouth, CA (2014)
  • G Van Duzer Vineyards, Dallas, OR


  • S Acquiesce Winery, Acampo, CA
  • S Acrobat-King Estate Winery, Eugene, OR
  • S Angles and Cowboys-Cannon Ball Wine Company, Healdsburg, CA
  • S Agnitio-Atlas Wine Company, Napa, CA
  • S Argus-Deardren Wines, Napa, CA
  • S Atwater Estate Vineyards, Burdett, NY (Cab Franc)
  • S Bray Vineyards, Plymouth, CA
  • S Blackbird Vineyards, Napa CA
  • S Bonny Doon Vineyard, Santa Cruz, CA
  • S Brennan Vineyards, Comanche TX
  • S Broken Earth Winery, Paso Robles, CA
  • S Carol Shelton Wines, Santa Rosa CA
  • S Chacewater, Kelseyville, CA
  • S Cellardoor Winery, Lincolnville, ME
  • S Don Ernesto-Hagafen Cellars, Napa CA
  • S En Garde Winery, Kenwood, CA
  • S Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Los Olivos, CA
  • S Fritz Winery, Cloverdale, CA
  • S Gordon Wines, Pasco, WA
  • S Hamlet Vineyards, Bassett, VA
  • S Handley Cellars, Philo CA
  • S Harts Desires Wines, Healdsburg CA
  • S High Valley Vineyards-Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, Clearlake Oaks, CA
  • S HKG Estate Wines-Hop Kiln Vineyards, Healdsburg CA
  • S Left Coast Cellars, Rickreall, OR
  • S Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards, Solvang, CA
  • S Keuka Spring Vineyards, Penn Yan, NY
  • S Klinkerbrick, Lodi, CA (2104)
  • S Kokomo Winery, Healdsburg, CA (Dry Creek)
  • S Kokomo Winery, Healdsburg, CA (North Coast)
  • S Merlo Family Estate Vineyards, Redding, CA
  • S Muscardini Cellars, Kenwood, CA (Alice’s Vineyard Sonoma Valley)
  • S Muscardini Cellars, Kenwood, CA, (Kenwood)
  • S Mystic Hills Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA
  • S Nellcote, Napa, CA
  • S Niner Wine Estates, Paso Robles
  • S Peju Province Winery, Rutherford, CA
  • S Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, Templeton CA
  • S Poseidon Vineyard, Sonoma, CA
  • S Rainstorm Winery, Portland, OR
  • S Rucksack Cellars, Camino, CA
  • S San Pasqual Winery, La Mesa, CA
  • S Seebass Family Wines, Ukiah, CA
  • S Sheldrake Point Winery, Ovid, NY
  • S SIMI Winery, Healdsburg, CA
  • S Silver Trident Winery, St. Helena, CA
  • S Swanson Vineyards, Rutherford, CA
  • S Terra d’ Oro Winery-Trinchero Family Estates, Plymouth, CA (2013)
  • S Thirsty Owl Wine Company, Ovid, NY
  • S Toad Hollow Vineyards, Sonoma CA
  • S Toca Madera Winery, Madera, CA
  • S Tolosa Winery, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • S Trentadue Winery, Geyserville CA
  • S Vaughn Duffy Wines, Fulton, CA
  • S Vino Yes-Everyday Wine Cellars, Healdsburg, CA
  • S Whitecliff Vineyard, Gardiner, NY
  • S Rousseau Wines, Napa, CA
  • S Zina Hyde Cunningham, Sonoma, CA


  • B Agate Ridge Vineyard, Eagle Point, OR
  • B Bonny Doon Vineyards, Santa Cruz, CA
  • B Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Traverse City, MI
  • B Bryter Estates Winery, Sonoma, CA
  • B Camaraderie Cellars, Port Angeles, WA
  • B Chehalem, Newberg, OR
  • B Clambake, RipeLife Wines, New York, NY
  • B Coral Wines, Issaquah, WA
  • B Fox Run Vineyards, Penn Yan, NY
  • B Gianelli Vineyards, Jamestown, CA
  • B Hanna Winery, Healdsburg, CA
  • B Hayes Valley-Clos LaChance Wines, San Martin CA
  • B Ideology Cellars, Napa, CA
  • B Inspire Moore, Naples, NY
  • B Locus Wines, Seattle, WA
  • B Mathis Wine, Sonoma, CA
  • B Merriam Vineyards, Healdsburg, CA
  • B Midsummer Cellars, St. Helena, CA
  • B Monticello Vineyards-Corley Family, Napa, CA
  • B Mueller Winery, Healdsburg, CA
  • B OS Winery, Seattle WA
  • B Popie Wines, Placer County, CA (2013 Bianca di Barbera)
  • B Pech Merle Winery, Cloverdale, CA
  • B Pedroncelli Winery, Geyserville CA
  • B Presquile Vineyards, Santa Maria, CA
  • B Red Newt Cellars/Kelby James Russell Wines, Hector, NY
  • B Spicewood Vineyards, Spicewood, TX
  • B Selby Winery, Healdsburg, CA
  • B Sobon Estate, Plymouth CA
  • B Sera Fina Cellars, Plymouth, CA
  • B 6 Mile Cellars Winery, Erie, PA
  • B Sleight of Hand Cellars, Walla Walla, WA
  • B Steele Wines, Kelseyville CA
  • B 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery, Medford, OR
  • B Uproot Wines, St. Helena, CA
  • B Whidbey Island Winery, Langley, WA
  • B William Chris Vineyards, Hye, TX

The “A LITTLE SWEET” Category


  • G Bugay Wines, Santa Rosa CA
  • G Bella Rosa-Tesoaria Vineyard & Winery, Roseburg, OR (2014 Rose of Old Vine)
  • G Menage a Trois, Trinchero Family Wines, St. Helena, CA (2013)
  • G Tassel Ridge Winery, Leighton, IA (Steuben)
  • G Truett Hurst Winery, Healdsburg CA (BEST OF CLASS WINNER)


  • S Brookside Winery, Rancho Santa Fe, CA
  • S Captains Walk Winery, Green Bay, WI (2013)
  • S Captains Walk Winery, Green Bay, WI (2014)
  • S Drytown Cellars, Drytown, CA
  • S Maryhill Winery, Goldendale, WA
  • S Menage a Trois, Trinchero Family Estates, St. Helena (2014)
  • S Mercer Estates, Prosser, WA
  • S Palencia Winery, Walla Walla, WA
  • S Rio Vista Wines, Chelan WA
  • S Ruby Magdalena Vineyards, Zillah WA
  • S Tassel Ridge Winery, Leighton, IA (Iowa St. Croix)


  • B Birdstone Winery-K House Estate, Madera, CA
  • B Callaway Vineyard & Winery, Temecula, CA
  • B Define Wines, Napa, CA
  • B French Lick Winery, French Lick, IN
  • B Martinez & Martinez Winery, Prosser, WA
  • B Mount Palomar Winery, Temecula, CA
  • B Popie Wines, Placer County, CA (2014 Barbera Rosato)
  • B Ruby Magdalena Vineyards, Zillah, WA
  • B Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery, Oskaloosa, IA
  • B Wild Mountain Winery, Taylors Falls, MN
  • B von Stiehl Winery, St. Algoma, WI


Come to the Rose Rendezvous at the lovely SIMI Winery in Healdsburg, August 1st to enjoy many Gold Medal winning wines!

See the link to register: http://roserendezvous.bpt.me/

About Bob Ecker