In these days of cancelled holidays and postponed continental jaunts it’s good…
WHERE TO FIND
In these days of cancelled holidays and postponed continental jaunts it’s good to have a wine that instantly offers you a dose of sunshine, whatever the weather, and can transport you in your imagination to a Mediterranean café or an alfresco beachside meal.
Rosé does that with its chilled combination of white wine elegance married to a red wine fruitiness. Delightfully fruity, yet impeccably honed by crisp acidity (and sometimes tangy minerality), rosés from south of France are often considered the top in their category.
While usually made from a mix of red grapes—the roster can include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvèdre—some bottlings can even include the white grape Vermentino, or Rolle, as it’s called locally.
Rosé wines are now produced everywhere from Adelaide Hills to Beechworth, but for this round-up, we’re looking at its spiritual home, the south of France, and more bias toward the pale salmon-pink rosés of Côtes de Provence (France).
Chêne Bleu 2019 Le Rosé Crestet, Vaucluse, France
The wordsmiths at Chêne Bleu describe this blend of Syrah and Grenache—a product of skin contact, not the traditional saignée method whereby some juice is quickly siphoned off the skins, to concentrate a red wine—as “fresh but disciplined.”
It’s a satisfyingly fleshy vintage, with texture and weight in the mouth. The nose is both floral and slightly briny, with herbal notes wrapped around watermelon, followed by bright Rainier cherry, grapefruit and lemon dancing through a very long finish.
Château Saint-Maur excellence Côtes de Provence rosé 2019
A top of the range rosé from a vineyard that nestles in the oak tree-covered hillsides of Cogolin just 10km from St Tropez.
A blend of grenache, tibouren (an indigenous Provençal grape), cinsault, and syrah, it’s the product of the ambition of French industrialist Roger Zannier who took up the challenge of making Château Saint-Maur into one of Provence’s finest vineyards.
His son-in-law, Marc Monrose, was entrusted with that task and if this superb rosé is anything to go by, he appears to have achieved that aim. Fresh and appealing with notes of citrus fruit, white peach and apricot, it’s the ideal drink for the end of a long summer's day.
Château Peyrassol 2019 Rosé Côtes de Provence
A blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Ugni Blanc and Rolle from estate fruit, Peyrassol's 2019 Cotes de Provence Rose is a strident, intense rosé that demands attention. It hints at passion fruit at first, then broadens out to include notes of pink grapefruit, red currant and even a touch of peach, but it always retains a sinewy structure and bright acidity. It's medium-bodied, with a silky texture in the mouth and a long, mouthwatering finish.
Miravel Côtes de Provence rosé 2018
No round-up of Côtes de Provence rosés would be complete without a sample of the most celebrity starred of them all – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Miraval. Many may have felt that the stars’ involvement in French winemaking was simply a promotional gimmick taken too far.
But with the help of inspired winemaker Marc Perrin they produced a dazzling and exhilarating rosé that matched its owners' star quality. The 2019 vintage doesn’t disappoint, with fresh, tongue-tingling fruitiness and an exuberant minerality.
Château Vignelaure 2019 Rosé
This rosé is sourced from vines grown in limestone and clay mixed with gravel. It undergoes partial malolactic fermentation and is aged on the lees for three months before bottling. Look for a mineral-driven wine with rhubarb, concentrated red fruit and some spice. Chill and sip, or enjoy with warm olives.
L'Hydropathe élite rosé Sainte Victoire domaine de diables 2019
A striking bottle from the “devil’s domain” – vineyards owned and run by Guillaume and Virginie Philip at the foot of Mont Saint-Victoire. Regular award winners, its wines are produced in a sustainable, eco-friendly way with the grapes harvested at night or early in the morning to save energy and protect from oxidation with dry ice, reducing the need for added sulphites.
This top of the range rosé is complex and structured with a cascade of intense red fruit, peach and strawberry flavours with floral and herb notes. It seems the devil not only has the best tunes but the best wines too.
Château Minuty 2019 “281” Rosé Côtes de Provence
Château Minuty 281 Côtes de Provence Rosé is the estates iconic rosé style wine produced only in very small quantities and is the quintessence of Provence. Cultivated from Grenache (90%) vines that are on average 25 years old, with additions of Cinsault and Syrah making up the remainder of the blend, 281 is the Pantone reference number for the Royal Blue colour which cascades down the side of the bottle.
The pale hue and translucent reflections of this rosé herald a delicate wine with an intense and complex bouquet. The fineness of white fruit aromas is disclosed through iodine notes, giving it a unique character. The palate has great depth with wonderful mineral structure.