A Select Tasting of Fine Rosés, Decanter 2013

With summer finally here, although don’t shout too loud because you might scare it away, many people are reaching for a glass of something refreshing and light to enjoy and what better than a glass of rosé. And by rosé I don’t mean something sickly sweet or with Zinfandel on the label or that you buy by the ¼ litre glass in Weatherspoons. I mean something with character, refreshing acidity, and I’ll allow it to be off-dry (just not something you could drizzle over ice-cream). And there were plenty of these available at the Decanter French Fine Wine Encounter 2013.

Held in the lovely air-conditioned and relaxing Discovery Theatre at the Landmark Hotel, the Select Tasting of Fine Rosés event was hosted by Sandrine Audegond and Natasha Hughes.

A Select Tasting of Fine Rosés

Wines we tasted

Laroche Rosé de la Chevaliére, Pays d’Oc 2012 – 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah. This wine comes from a very old site that is at high altitude. The wine has big red fruit aromas and flavours – raspberries, strawberries and has medium plus acidity.

Vignobles Jeanjean, Domainele Pive, Gris, Sable de Camargue 2012 – 30% Merlot, 30% Grenache Noir, 30% Grenache Gris, 10% Cabernet Franc. A rosé specialist. The vineyard is influenced by the sea. A great aperitif wine; it has ripe raspberry and strawberry aromas with a hint of blackcurrant leaf. It smells like a true Provencal rosé.

Cazes, Les Clos de Paulilles, Rosé, Collioure 2012 – 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre. Amazing Barbie pink colour, it stood out in the glasses as you entered the room. Full of sweet red fruit, good body and acidity – but it all goes back to the amazing bubble-gum colour.

Ogier, Notre Dame de Cousignac, Rosé, Côtes du Vivarais 2011 – 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Carignan. This wine comes from a vineyard that is hard to work and is naturally organic. Plums and strawberries on the nose, rich, round and smooth in the mouth.

Château Gassier, 946 Rosé, Côtes de Provence-Ste-Victoire 2012 – 45% Grenache, 45% Syrah, 10% Rolle. My favourite of the session. This wine is a blend of three base wines with one of the wines spending time in 500l barrels so it has a slight spice. A beautifully coloured wine with citrus, peach and rose aromas and flavours.

Rigal, L’Instant, Safran Malbec Rosé, Côtes du Lot 2012 – 100% Malbec. Upper terraces of the vineyard, limestone soil. Rich, sweet red fruit with crisp acidity and good length. A vivid pink colour.

Gassier, Domaine du Valdaray, Rosé, Bandol, 2012 – 57% Mourvèdre, 22% Cinsault, 14% Grenache, 7% Carignan. A super premium rosé. A delicately coloured wine filled with wild strawberries, spice and grapefruit.

So rather than grabbing a glass of something sweet and dull why don’t you try one of these fab rosés while you celebrate summer finally arriving!

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