For a long time Rose was widely disregarded and considered to be little more than an industrial by-product, too many pin-stripes in search of heavy reds. Which seems a little unfair given it’s popularity dates back all the way to the Romans. That’s right Toga parties with Provencal pink were the height of fashion when the Coliseum was new.
Then it all changed and even in Provence the wine we know and love became something flung at tourists. Winemakers obsessed with trying to please the pin stripe brigade drained juice from the red grapes to increase the colour and intensity of their wines. Waste not want not the drained juice was turned into a lovely refreshing pink wine ideal for quaffing sur la plage!
As Americans arrived in Provence having previously only drunk Mateus or Sutters white Zin they were blown away by this elegant dry fruity nectar. However it still took that most modern of marketing tools the celebrity couple to get the world hooked, Brangelina and Miraval was the springboard to an achievable super-glam lifestyle for some. The photogenic not too stuffy nature of Rose which turns off some of the snobby (yeah pin-stripes I’m talking about you) element made this an appealing and exciting way for lots of new wine lovers to find something they loved.
Nowadays Rose accounts for almost 90% of the wine production in Provence and the wines are made to strict standards with real care and dedication. The wines are given only a few hours contact with the skins to allow minimal tannin and colour to transfer while fruit and freshness are intensified by the fermentation process and strict temperature control. Rose is a technically exacting wine to make and requires sensitive handling to produce balanced wines with finesse.
So here are our favourite industrial by products for you to drink this summer.
La Grande Bauquiere
At the foot of Montagne Sainte-Victoire near the Provence hotspot of Aix, lies a vineyard which produces a wine that we spent seven years searching for. Provencal rose of such beguiling beauty and balance that it was actually worth the money it would cost on the shelf. Whispering Angel and indeed Miraval are lovely wines but they are not in the same league as this slightly more expensive but worth every penny example. Serve this with scallops, sea-bass or sunshine.
Sans Pretention Cotes du Luberon
Sandwiched neatly between the Rhone Village of Ventoux and Aix en Provence lies the beautiful region of Luberon where vineyards and orchards still benefit from Roman watercourses ensuring plentiful ripe produce. It is the Syrah grapes here which provide the delicate pink hued wines with a touch more intensity than some of the neighbouring wines of Provence. Sans pretention is a fine example of the slightly herbal wild strawberry flavours which make these wines so prized. Perfect with Char Grilled Chicken and green salad.
Maison Boutinot Cotes de Thau
Near the idyllic port city of Sete at the foot of the ancient Agde Volcano vineyards benefit from the unique microclimate and soils to produce near perfect fruit. Sourced from a carefully selected group of growers this is an object lesson in elegance. Presented in a stylish bottle and with only 4,000 bottles available for the UK we have managed to grab the last few bottles of this exquisite wine which is now available only in Magnum's for extr WOW!
This is just a sample of our ever changing selection or rose wines we also stock Sancerre, Pinot Grigio rose, white Zinfandel, Tempranillo blush and Rhone Rose so whatever your preference we should have something to tickle your fancy.