Rosé Wine – Provence
Recently Rosé Wine has become immensely popular making their way onto wine lists and in wine shops everywhere. Articles are repeatably written about premium rosé wines with the help of celebrity advertisement to brand them as the in thing, but why the love? An article in a recent issue of Wine Enthusiast peaked my interest because honestly I have never been a fan. Rosé Champagne is one thing, but the stigma attached to rosé wine is based on a not so great first impression long ago causing my reluctance and resistance to giving them another try. Lets face it, sugary god awful white Zinfandel passed off as an example of rosé will leave you with a horrible impression.
I decided to go on of a fact finding mission and chose three selections recommended by Wine Enthusiast that my favorite local shop had in stock. I was curious to discover if I was actually missing something all these years. These wines were nothing like the high quality premium wines produced in arguably the best region for rosé in the world Provence.
What is Rosé Wine?
Rosé typically is made during one of three methods; Maceration, Siagnee or Blending. Maceration is the most widely used process and the one used in Provence. The red grapes are allowed to rest in the juice of the rosé wine. Saignee Method basically involves taking a portion of newly crushed red wine juice and reserving it for rosé production. Lastly, the Blending Method is exactly that, red wine is blended with white wine. The beauty of making rosé is that because it is essentially staining from skins of red wine grapes over a period of hours the types of grapes used to make rosé are endless. Therefore, taste, color, style differ dramatically.
Provence has a massively rich history of making rosé wine. This wine is treated with such reverence, respect and as an equal to red wine production. Provence is the epicenter of rosé wine production in the world. The French love this stuff and for good reason. The connection between food and wine for the French is deep and they seek to pair one with the other. The light to medium body, crisp acid, fresh fruit characteristics of rosé make it endlessly pair able with a massive amount of food. It’s extremely versatile and even so it outsells white wine in France.
My Review of Three Rosé Recommended from Wine Enthusiast
2015 Château Vignelaure La Source Rosé
Château Vignelaure has a sterling reputation in Provence as an exceptional wine producer and one of the most famous in the region. La Source Rosé is first off extremely inexpensive at around $15 a bottle. The wine is crisp with wonderful acidity, clean citrus and raspberry notes. It was extremely refreshing with the ripen fruit, but I think lacks some finesse on the back end. At this price point, it is a pretty great wine and something that can easily pair with a wide range of food. Amazing Value.
2015 Domaine Saint André Rosé Confidentielle
This wine is a family affair from start to finish. The entire operation is hands on with the Combard family and three of their adult children. You can taste the love and care that goes into this wine. This is good stuff. From the first sip I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity, lively acid, fruit and freshness. There is a mineral quality that I just love and then layers of melon, berries and some floral notes. I could easily see myself pairing this with some grilled seafood or seared salmon. Great Wine and Great Buy at around $25.
2015 Domaine des Carteresses Tavel Rosé
Tavel is different from the previous two wines right off the bat. The color is darker, the wine had completely different fruit notes beyond the raspberry. There is grapefruit, cherry, watermelon and spice. The acidity is right there with the other two making it a complex and refreshing wine. You could pair this with anything or enjoy by it’s self on a warm summer night. At around $18 a bottle you cannot go wrong with this wine. Great Wine, Interesting and Great Value.
I wish that I had a more opened mind about trying Rosé Wines and not brushing the entire style off as inferior. When done correctly and with care, these wines can be remarkably delicious, refreshing and amazing to pair with food, while staying within a reasonable affordable price point. Start with some Rose from Provence as a reference point as to what good rose should be.
For a Great resource on Provence wines check out ProvenceWineUsa.com This is a great source for a ton of information on Rosé and the region.
More Information on the Rosé wine making process from WineFolly.com and What Is Rose Wine?