On the hunt for the best summer rosé
Not so long ago, rosé was still suffering from a bad reputation, scaring drinkers away. Yet, its production reached a record in 2018 with a 31 percent increase to a total of 293 million cases. The credit for this surge goes to the influence of the pale, dry and delicate wines hailing from the Provence region. They have changed the perception of pink wine and consumers are thirsty for them. Provence’s popularity has been so important that it led to copycats all over the world. But why imitate when you can be unique and conquer with your own personality? The beauty about the wine world is the arrays of expression one can explore. Below are 10 dry summer rosés I recommend to discover many shades of pink. (And you will find more rosé tasting notes in my article in the fall issue of Quench.)
Domaine La Négly Astérides, Pays d’Oc IGP 2019, France ($16.95)
70% Grenache, 30% Syrah. Fruity, expressive and slightly meaty with savoury notes of garrigues, wild strawberries and orange zest. The bright acidity and slight bitterness make your mouth water. Full body with a slight rustic edge, Astérides is a delicious companion with sausages on the grill.
Clos Bellane, Altitude 2019 Côtes du Rhône AOC, France ($21.10)
Stéphane Vedeau is an incredibly talented winemaker; I usually sing his praise with his whites and reds. But did he ever managed to win my heart with his 2019 rosé! Think of a tightrope walker; precise and delicate with bright acid, this 100% grenache has lovely nuances of wild strawberries, white peaches, pink grapefruit with a pleasant salty character that lingers. Pure elegance. And the 11.5% is a bonus. Ideal at the apéro or with salmon gravlax salad.
Château de Minière Cabernet Franc 2019, Bourgeuil AOC, France ($25)
Right from the time you put your nose in the glass the notes of cassis leaves, bright raspberries and slight herbaceous tone bring you to Cabernet France in the Loire Valley. Delicate yet full of personality, this refreshing Bourgeuil is the perfect match with asparagus salad served with poached eggs.
Joseph Mellot le Rabault 2019, Sancerre AOC, France ($26.80)
100% Pinot Noir. Bright juicy notes of red cherries, rhubarb and strawberries with fresh acid and a silky texture. A beautiful expression of Pinot Noir rosé! Lip smacking with grilled salmon.
Quail’s Gate Rosé 2019, Okanagan Valley British Columbia ($19.95)
50% Gamay, 40% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Gris 10%. Fresh with a beautiful expressive aromatic profile with notes of peach, cherry, guava and flower, and a pleasant salty tang. Slightly tannic giving structure. A natural with Asian food.
Domaine du Gros’ Noré 2019, Bandol AOC, France ($35.50)
50% Mourvèdre, 35% Cinsault, 15% Grenache. Full body with delicate tannins and generous sunny notes of blood orange, dried herbs and pink grapefruit. Complex with great texture. The acidity and mineral finish make this 14% ABV rosé still refreshing. Fabulous to drink now with piri-piri prawn or merguez sausage. But you will be amazed at the complexity it develops after two to four years in the cellar. Yes, rosé can age too!
Château La Lieue 2019 Coteaux Varois en Provence, France ($18.20)
70% Cinsault, 30% Grenache. A long-time favourite, this organic wine has all of the qualities that makes you fall in love with Provence rosé. Light, delicate and pure with pleasant salty and mineral notes that mingle with grapefruit zest. Dangerously easy to drink on its own or a great match with scallop ceviche or shrimp salad.
Ktima Driopi Agiorgitiko 2019, Péloponèse IGP, Grèce ($17.55)
Don’t let the dark coral colour scare you. Agiorgitiko, the grape used to make this wine, is the only one responsible for it. The wine is dry and full of personality! This is the ideal bottle to choose when you are not sure whether you want a red or a white. Full body with light tannins and explosive notes of sour cherries, raspberries and rhubarb with a touch of dried herb. I was charmed with its savoury character and its flamboyance. Delicious with grilled lamb or steak tartare. Yamas!
Laguna de Nava Tempranillo Rosado 2019, Valdepenas, Spain ($11.85)
100% Tempranillo. Fresh with notes of grapefruit and cherries. This wine is simple but still displays some personality. Fantastic value and easy to drink, I quickly reached for a second glass. Mix the Italian and Spanish culture and enjoy with Panzanella.
La Cantina Vallée d’Oka 2019, Québec ($16)
72% Triomphe d’Alsace, 12% Frontenac Gris, 8% Acadie, 8% Vidal. Beautiful coral colour with a pretty aromatic nose. Notes of white flowers, sour cherries and raspberries mingle. Tangy acid makes your mouth salivates and refreshes you during those hot summer days. Simple but well-made and great value. Good on its own or with any summer salad made with fruit. I enjoyed my bottle with a bowl of local strawberries.