2021 Experience Rosé Wine Competition Winners

Experience Rosé, a wine competition that focuses exclusively on expressions of pink wine — sweet, dry, and sparkling — has announced results of the 2021 contest. Taking top prize this year is Naked Wines’ W. Donaldson 2018 Sonoma Rosé from famed sparkling winemaker Wayne Donaldson (former head winemaker for Domaine Chandon). Judges’ praise included: “Ranier cherry”; “Brioche!” “Orange zest”; “Pretty on palate”; “Fresh-lush at same time”; Hibiscus.” In addition to Best of Show, the wine also took honors as Best Domestic Sparkling.

Mathis Wine’s 2020 Rosé de Grenache was awarded Best Domestic Dry; judges described the estate single-vineyard wine as “Plush wild berry”; “Celery salt”; “Red apple.” Best International Dry honors went to Wayne Gretzky Estates Okanagan Rosé. Judges notes included: “Fun, lots of flavor”; “Expressive raspberry”; “Tart cherry”; “Rose petal”; “Bright palate.”

Now in its fourth year, Experience Rosé was founded to help curious consumers confidently explore this emergent fine wine category. “I was really impressed,” says Spreti Valente, a sommelier and wine consultant who sat on a judges’ panel this year. “The range of colors, varietals, and styles was so wide — it was fun to sample through them all. The quality of the wines entered proves that rosé is a style to no longer be ignored.”

Eligibility for this competition is open to any wine (U.S. or international) with the word “rosé” clearly included on its front or back labeling. Judges includes winemakers, sommeliers, retail buyers, wine educators, and journalists.

Valente continues: “This competition proves that wineries are taking the time to produce good, quality rosé wines for every palate.”

A full list of sweepstakes finalists can be found below. Visit www.winecompetitions.com for more information.




2021 Experience Rosé Winners

Best of Show, Best Domestic Sparkling

Naked Wines 2018 Sonoma Rosé; Sonoma Coast, Calif.

(69% Pinot Noir, 16% Pinot Meunier, 15% Chardonnay)


Best Domestic Dry

Mathis Wine 2020 Rosé de Grenache; Sonoma Valley, Calif.

(100% Grenache)


Best International Dry

Wayne Gretzky Estates 2020 Okanagan Rosé; Okanagan Valley, B.C.

(54% Cabernet Franc, 27% Chardonnay, 8% Pinot Gris, 6% Kerner, 2% Rotberger, 2% Gamay Noir, 1% Pinot Noir)


2021 Experience Rosé Sweepstakes Finalists

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2020 Rosé of Sangiovese; Sonoma County, Calif.

(100% Sangiovese)

Judges: Rich flavor with beautiful acidity. Tart cherry and some earthiness. Hibiscus/cherry. Nice weight.


Von Stiehl Winery Captain’s Walk Winery 7 Seas NV; Wisc.

(32% Chardonnay, 29% Marechal Foch, 18% Traminette, 12% Gewürztraminer, 7% Muscat Canelli, 1% Frontenac Gris, 1% Vignoles)

Judges: Super fun summertime wine. Spicy and delicious. Spot on winemaking.


Trinchero Family Estates 2020 Charles & Charles Rosé; Columbia Valley, Wash.

(64% Syrah, 26% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre)

Judges: Complexity. Beautiful balance between flavors. White cherry, spice. Peach. Delicate beautiful color.


Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery 2020 Dry Rosé; Sonoma County, Calif.

(81% Sangiovese; 12.5% Grenache; 2.6% Syrah; 1.2% Barbara; 2.7% Other)

Judges: Strawberry. Jammy and floral. Light tannins, fun.


Mahoney Vineyards 2020 Fleur de California Pinot Noir Rosé; Sonoma Coast, Calif.

(100% Pinot Noir)

Judges: Cherry. Strawberry. Creamy, expressive. Great texture and acid. Watermelon.


Risata Wines NV Sparkling Rosé; Veneto, Italy

(70% Chardonnay; 30% Pinot Noir)

Judges: Delightful. Freesia. Juicy honey crisp apple. Lots of berries. Floral. Refreshing, lively.


SMAK Wines 2020 Fall / Winter Rosé; Columbia Valley, Wash.

(100% Syrah)

Judges: Crisp, clean, mineral, purple flowers.


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