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.
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!