Having last compared these in July 2011, we decided to go back for another round, but this time limiting our entries to the 2015 vintage. Overall, these were friendly, pleasing wines, ones that Kristin described as being able to "go with the party".
While they all had similar flavor profiles, our top two wines stood out for their smoother textures and overall balance. None were very expensive.
Big thanks go out to Andy for being the night's photographer.
First Place: Château La Gordonne Rosé Tête de Cuvée 2015 (Côtes de Provence). Tasters found scents of citrus rind, apricots, oranges, bubble gum, and dried herbs. Delicate, with really nice texture, and a smooth/buttery feel, but with plenty of acidity and cherry flavors. Everyone's favorite except for Kristin. Received 31 points. JC's bottle. About $19.
Second Place: Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé 2015 (Côtes de Provence). Notions of soft cheese, ham, raspberries, blackberries, and limestone on the nose. Slightly darker in profile, with flavors of river rock and raisins, but with solid acidity and balance. Kristin's favorite. Received 23 points. David's bottle. About $22.
Third Place: Fleur de Mer Rosé 2015 (Côtes de Provence). Aromas of rose hips and chalk, with a pretty, bright and vibrant quality. Mark was reminded of "ladies who lunch in the Hamptons". Tasted green, with notions of watermelon and white peaches. Earthy finish. Received 17 points. Ali's bottle. About $16.
Beiler Père & Fils Rosé 2015 (Coteaux d'Aix en Provence). Unfiltered. A feminine nose, with hints of roses, raspberries, and verbena. Ali found "cooked cranberries", with David describing it as "harmonious". Great silky, texture with a lavender note. Mark felt that it was "fun in the mouth". Received 12 points. Mark's bottle. About $13.
Domaine Houchart Rosé 2015 (Côtes de Provence). Looks unfiltered, having scents of wet mowed grass, green herbs, dirt, watermelon, and rubber band/balloon. Ali was reminded of a "French landscaper", while JC found "wet hay in a barn". Almost effervescent, with cranberry-apple juice and strawberries on the palate. David was a bit disappointed in it for being "too obviously fruity". Most felt it was too sweet. Received 1 point. Kristin's bottle. About $11.
Les Voiles Rosé 2015 (Côtes de Provence). Funky nose reminiscent of cheese, candles, and white mushrooms. David found a "stinky French guy", while Ali noted "Ivory soap". Green herbs on the palate, with good texture, and a bitter olive pit note on the finish. JC felt that it "tastes better than it smells". No points. Andy's bottle. About $16.