A ROSE IS A ROSE, IS A ROSE, IS A ROSE…BUT A ROSÉ IS A ROSÉ
Just in time for the warm weather of summer, the 2010 Rosés are here. For me, there is nothing better than a well-chilled Rosé on a warm day. In Mediterranean climates there are many warm days. So it should come as no surprise that the best Rosés come from these areas where the wines are made to go with the regional food. These include primarily Rosés from France with others from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Australia, and increasingly California.
Each year, for the past 30 or so years that I have been drinking Rosé, there are many terrific Rosés from which to choose. So, for me, I pay very little attention to the year and just buy the wines that I like the most, making sure to try a lot of new ones each year to find even more favorites. Vintage after vintage, there are always many fabulous Rosés that represent some of the greatest values in the wine world. Years ago, many people would dismiss my comments about how much I loved Rosé, how well it went with food, etc. Today there are many converts who have joined the parade. And, as the wines have become more and more popular in the U.S., the number of wines available each year continues to increase. This is great! Now having said that, once in awhile a vintage comes along that seems to be particularly blessed. That is 2010. Across the board, from one country and area to another, the 2010s have that extra zip to go with the fruit that really makes them sing. If you have not yet tried Rosé, and like to enjoy a really nice glass of wine with lighter foods, you need to get with the program. Rosés are very versatile and go with all the great foods of summer – vegetables, fruits, grilled fish and meat, salads, lighter pastas dishes, and cold foods including fish, meats, and vegetables. The list goes on and on. And they are balanced, easy to drink, and are relatively low in alcohol (generally between 10-14% with most around 13%).
And, although summer is the time that most people think of Rosé that is a shame. I like to drink Rosé when the weather is warm and where I live that includes all seasons of the year. I also like to enjoy Rosé when I am enjoying lighter foods which are a major part of our diet at Casa Tilson. Finally, after summer is gone most merchants discount their remaining Rosé inventory and most importers do not bring in any more until the next spring when the new vintage is available. This is a great time for you to stock up because the prices are really attractive and the wines can keep well beyond one season.
In choosing your Rosés, let me offer a few suggestions. First, in the case of Rosé, color can be of great importance to you if you are not familiar with the wines. Not like red wines, where some mistakenly think that dark is better (more on that at another time), but just as an indication of the degree to which the fruit dominates the wine. For me, generally the darker colored Rosés – shades of red, rather than pink – are fruitier and go best with food that is the most flavorful such as grilled salmon or meat. The lighter colored Rosés – shades of pink or pale red – often show less obvious fruit and offer finesse and complexity. I like each style depending on what I am eating, but it is the Rosés with finesse and complexity that really stand out for me. Along with Champagne, I think that Rosés are, without question, some of the most versatile and food-friendly wines in the world. And, in each category, they also just happen to represent some of the greatest wine values on the planet.
Below are my first notes on 2010 Rosés. Later I will follow up with more notes as the wines arrive. Be adventuresome. These are wines to Buy! And, if you buy too many, don’t fret. Well-cellared, most Rosés keep very well and can be consumed over a few years. Some such as the Sancerre Rosés (Pinot Noir), Tavel Roses and Bandol Rosés can actually benefit from additional bottle age and most of these can be kept for many years. (Stay tuned. To illustrate this, I will publish notes in a future article on Rosés that I have enjoyed years after their vintage dates.) And if you would like more background and information on 2009 Rosés that were reviewed last year just follow these links
Rosé in California used to be just an after thought. Something that was bled off from red grapes to make a bigger red wine, or to make a light red wine aged in wood, and even just something to make if there was nothing else to do with the grapes. Thankfully, that is all changing big time now and California is making some beautiful food-friendly Rosés that have no other mission in life but to be Rosé. How cool is that? Here is a great example from one of the California pioneers in making balanced food friendly wines.
2010 Verdad Grenache Rosé Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard Edna Valley.
This is another offshoot of Qupé and true to the style, this is a delicious, food friendly Rosé with class and breed. It is light salmon pink in color and the perfume is lovely with floral, strawberry notes. It has the same strawberry, floral tinged fruit on the palate and the wine is balanced and finesseful with a nice crisp finish – Outstanding. $15.99
France is certainly the world leader in making great Rosé wines. Rosés are made in virtually all of the wine growing areas of France and most are made from grapes grown specifically to produce only Rosé as compared with many Rosés that are a by product of Red Wine production. There are many sub-regions of France. The notes below are arranged by region.
Bandol is a small appellation of some 2700 acres near Toulon facing the Mediterranean Sea in the South of France. Vineyards here date back to the 5th century BC. Bandol is known for the production of Red, Rosé, and White wines. Some 70% of the wine made here is red and Mouvèdre must account for at least 50% of the red and rosé wines. Cinsault and Grenache are the other major red grape varieties used. Bandol Rosés are capable of aging very well.
2010 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rosé.
Very light salmon pink in color with a faint golden hue and a golden edge this Rosé has a lovely floral, peach tinged perfume with a very faint smoky nuance. With lovely flavors showing floral, herbal, peach nuances, the wine is balanced, with good backbone and structure and is flavorful and rounded with a nice crispness on the finish – Outstanding. Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY $26.00
2010 Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rosé.
Pale salmon pink in color this wine has a stunning perfume of apricot and peach with faint floral, spice nuances. It has gorgeous fruit and flavor with hints of peach, citrus and almond accented with a very faint floral spice note. This a fabulous rosé with great style, balance, finesse, and flavor – Outstanding Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $27.00 Best Buy
2010 Domaine du Gros Noré Bandol Rosé.
This estate consists of some 36 acres of 30-year-old vines. For many years Alain Pascal and his father sold their fruit to Domaine Ott and Chateau di Pibarnon. After his father’s death, Alain named the estate for his father, Honoré Gros Noré, which means Big Honoré with the name Honoré shortened to Noré. Honore was a giant of a man and Pascal is cut from the same mold. The first wines were made here beginning with the 1997 vintage. Having said that, the Domaine has already established itself as one of the best and most consistent producers of Bandol Rosé. This 2010 is a terrific example. It is pale salmon pink in color and has a complex berry perfume with floral undertones and a very faint tinge of herbs and a smokiness. On the palate there are complex flavors of peach and citrus with floral and herbal nuances. This is a complex, balanced wine with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $27.00 Best Buy
2010 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé.
This property has been owned by the Tempier family since 1834. They won their first gold medal in 1885 so they have a long track record of excellence. And, year in and year out for as long as I can remember, their Rosé is superb. It combines complexity with finesse and flavor in a way that defines the very best Rosés. And, it ages very well and after a few years develops even more complexity. This 2010 is simply great. I am not going to make comparisons here, but let me just say that I do not ever recall having a young Bandol Rosé better than this. It is pale salmon pink in color and has an absolutely stunning perfume. Peach and floral nuances are followed by a faint intermingling of exotic fruits. Pineapple, kiwi fruit and a faint hint of orange blossoms and smokiness are balanced by hints of peach in a very subtle and finesseful way on the palate. It is rounded and lush but with a bright underlying crispness. The end result is a wine of complexity, balance, and breed. And, oh yes, I should say that it is so delicious that glass after glass has a way of disappearing very quickly. You will need restraint to resist this beauty for any length of time — Extraordinary. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $33.30 Best Buy
2010 Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rosé.
The Portalis family has owned this property since before the French Revolution. This 2010 Rosé is lovely, if a bit more restrained and tight than the 2009. Light salmon pink in color, the wine has a lovely perfume of citrus and pear with a faint floral nuance. It has lovely fruit with subtle flavors of citrus and pear and is rounded with a nice, crisp finish – Highly Recommended. Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchant, New York, NY $25.00
Bordeaux is one of the best known wines in the world. Most people think of Bordeaux as red wine which is, of course, true. But, there is also some white dry wine made in Bordeaux as well as the great sweet white wines of Sauternes and Barsac. But Rosé has mostly been not been so visible. But that is changing as more and more Chateaux are making Rosé as a side line to their red wine production. I do not have much experience with Bordeaux Rosé, but what I have tasted are clean and fresh, but not terribly exciting. Having said that, the 2010 L’Ecuyer de Couronneau Bordeaux Rosé reviewed below is an exception in that it has complexity, flavor and finesse and is a great buy.
2010 Lafon-Roset Le Rosé De Lafon-Rochet.
This rosé is pale salmon pink in color with a golden hue. It has a very faint perfume and is restrained with a tinge of citrus and a crisp finish. $10.99 Misa Imports, Inc. Dallas, TX
2010 L’Ecuyer de Couronneau Bordeaux Rosé.
Pale orange pink in color with a golden hue, this rosé has a lovely perfume with floral and citrus nuances. It is balanced with great finesse and flavors that show hints of cherries and citrus and the finish is crisp. This is a delicious, light rosé – Highly Recommended. Imported by Wine House Limited San Francisco, CA and Shipped by Jeanne-Marie De Champs Beaune, France $10.19 Best Buy
This region which spans the Mediterranean coastline from the French border with Spain to the region of Provence is the biggest wine producing region in the world and accounts for over one third of France’s total wine production. The area is the sunniest region in France and has very little rainfall. A wide variety of Rosés are produced here. Areas with specific appellations are under the strictest control with respect to grape varieties, area, yields, and percentages of grapes used, etc. The region of Languedoc-Roussillon includes the appellations of Corbières, Coteaux du Languedoc, Faugères, Minervois, Roussillon, and Saint Chinian. But, most of the wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region is marketed as Vin de Pays d’Oc or country wine which are wines that must be from the region and contain only certain grape varieties. Often these wines will also take the name of an area.
Corbières is the largest appellation within the Languedoc-Roussillon region accounting for nearly 50% of the regions production. Red wine accounts for 95%, White wine 2.5%, and Rosé 3.5%.
2010 Domaine De Fontsainte Gris de Gris Corbières Rosé.
The first vineyards at Domaine de Fonsainte were planted by the Romans over 2000 years ago. And the same family has been making wine here since the 17th century! That says something for staying power!! This Gris de Gris is a saignee Rosé made from Grenache Gris. It is consistently a really delicious Rosé. This 2010 is light salmon pink in color and has a gorgeous floral tinged perfume. It is silky and balanced with subtle floral and citrus nuances and a lovely crisp finish – Highly Recommended Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA $13.45 Best Buy
Coteaux du Languedoc
The Coteaux du Languedoc is a large diverse area within the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
2010 Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé.
This Rosé is made from a blend of 40% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, and 30% Grenache. It is complex and delicious. The color is a light golden orange with a golden hue. The perfume shows spice, berries, and peach with a faint floral undertone. Similar flavors follow through on the palate and the wine is balanced and tasty with a nice crispness on the finish – Highly Recommended Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $ 14.40 Best Buy
2010 Chateau St. Martin De La Garrigue Tradition Rosé Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé.
Made from Grenache and Cinsault this is a gorgeous Rosé. It is pale pink in color with a lovely perfume showing faint hints of rose petals and cherries. It is finesseful, very appealing and delicious with floral, cherry and citrus nuances, great balance, and a lovely crisp finish – Outstanding. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA $11.65 Best Buy
2010 Domaine D’Aupilhac Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé.
This domaine has been in the same family for 5 generations. The rosé is made from 39% Grenache, 39% Cinsault, 30% Mouvèdre, and 10% Carignane. It is light red in color with a faint golden edge and has a lovely raspberry and cherry perfume. Offering great fruit, this wine is very bright and crisp. The raspberry and cherry fruit flavors are intermingled with a faint floral undertone and the finish has a lovely crispness. This is a gorgeous fruit-driven rosé – Highly Recommended Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $14.40
Minervois is an appellation of the Languedoc-Roussillon. Grapes used here are Cinsault, Grenache, Lladone Pelut, Mouvèdre, and Syrah.
2010 Chateau du Donjon Minervois Rosé.
This estate has been in the same family for some 500 years. The wine is 40% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 30% Syrah. It is light reddish orange in color with a golden edge and a lovely strawberry-tinged perfume. It is very fruity, rounded, and supple with a subtle strawberry and spice nuance and a very nice finish – Highly Recommended. Hand Picked Selections, Inc., Warrentown, VA $14.50
Pic Saint Loup
Pic Saint Loup is a mountainous sub-region of the Coteaux du Languedoc.
2010 Chateau de Lancyre Pic Saint Loup Rosé.
This is a delicious rosé with flavor and finesse. It is made with 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Cinsault. The color is pale orange pink with a golden edge and the perfume is lovely with subtle hints of raspberries and spice with a faint rose petal, mineral undertone. There is a delicate intermingling of flavors on the palate showing raspberry, citrus, spice, floral and mint nuances and the finish is bright and crisp – Outstanding. Hand Picked Selections Inc., Warrenton, VA $18 Best Buy
2010 Chateaux Fontanes Pic Saint Loup Rosé.
Pale orange pink in color this wine has a very nice perfume with hints of peach and citrus. It is light and has nice citrus tinged peach fruit and a crisp finish – Recommended Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $13.45
2010 Chateau La Roque Pic Saint Loup Rosé.
Light reddish pink in color with a golden edge this Rosé has a lovely perfume with floral, raspberry, citrus notes. The wine is crisp and there is lovely fruit with hints of cherries and raspberries and a faint citrus, floral undertone – Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA $13.50
2010 Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup Rosé.
Light salmon pink in color with a faint orange hue this Rosé has a floral and herbal perfume with hints of berry fruit. On the palate there is the same floral and herbal quality with berry fruit underneath. The wine finishes with a nice crispness – Recommended. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $13.50
Saint Chinian is a region within the Languedoc-Roussillon facing the sea. Vines were first planted here in the 9th century.
2010 Mas Campart Saint-Chinian Rosé.
Pale pink in color this wine has a floral perfume with a hint of cherries. It is finesseful and subtle with cherry and floral undertones and is rounded and tasty with a crisp finish – Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $14.40
Vin Pays D’ Oc
This is a designation within the Languedoc-Roussillon region for wines that are from the region and made with specific designated grape varieties. Within this classification there are also specific department and local areas.
2010 Boudinaud Grange des Rouquette Pays D’ Oc Rosé.
This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mouvèdre. It is light reddish pink in color with a golden edge and a lovely perfume of berry and cherry fruit with a faint floral nuance. It is very fruity and tasty with berry and cherry fruit followed by a bright, crisp citrus-tinged finish – Highly Recommended Plus. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington D.C. $10.19 Best Buy
2010 Cuvée de Pena Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes Rosé.
This wine comes from a cooperative winery in the small village of Cases de Pena in the Cotes Catalanes area of Roussillon in Southern France. It is composed of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. The color is very light orange red with a golden hue and golden edge. There is a lovely perfume hinting of berries, spice and herbs with a faint floral nuance. This is a very nice rounded Rosé with tinges of berry fruit and a faint floral spice undertone – Highly Recommended. Imported by Hand Picked Selections, Inc., Warrenton, Va. $10 Best Buy
2010 Domaine de Malavieille Charmille Pays D’ Oc Rosé.
This wine comes from the Terrasses De Larzac which is a district within the Coteaux de Languedoc. The property has been in the family of Mirielle Bertrand for 6 generations. There are 6 different grapes in the blend: 50% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Mouvèdre, 10% Cinsault, and 5% Carignane. Pale orange in color with a golden hue this wine has a lovely perfume with hints of spice-tinged berry fruit and a faint floral nuance. It has gorgeous balance and is rounded with subtle floral, berry, and spice flavors and finishes with a nice crisp, citrus tinge – Highly Recommended Plus. Hand Picked Selections, Inc., Warrenton, VA $15.50
2010 Domaine de Saint-Antoine Vin Pays du Gard Rosé.
This wine is from an emerging area close to the Rhone Valley and shares some characteristics of that region. It is pale reddish pink in color with a golden edge and has a lovely floral perfume with hints of berries and citrus. The wine is fresh, bright, and fruity with cherry, floral nuances and a nice crisp finish – Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington D.C. $8.92 Best Buy
2010 Domaine du Poujol Pays de L’Herault Rosé.
Pale golden orange in color with a golden edge this rosé has a nice floral perfume with a kiss of spice. It is well balanced with a lovely floral and citrus tinged flavor and a very nice crisp finish – Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $14.40
2010 Domaine Massamier La Mignarde Cuvée des Olivers Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Peyrac Rosé.
Located between Narbonne and the ancient walled city of Carcassonne, this property has been in the Venes Family for more than 150 years. The wine is made from a blend of 80% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, and 10% Grenache. It is pale salmon pink in color with a faint orange hue and a golden edge and has a gorgeous perfume showing floral hints and subtle spice, smoke, and berry nuances. This is a delicate yet flavorful rosé with lovely fruit and an underlying floral, spice complexity – Highly Recommended Plus. Hand Picked Selections, Inc., Warrenton, VA $12.50 Best Buy
2010 Le Cirque Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes Rosé.
This is a gorgeous fruit-driven Rosé that is made from 50% Grenache Noir, 40% Syrah, and 10% Grenache Gris. It has a light reddish pink color with a golden edge and a lovely strawberry-tinged perfume with a faintly floral nuance. The wine is brimming with bright fruit flavors of strawberry and melon with a faint floral and citrus undertone. With great finesse and flavor this is really delicious – Outstanding. Hand Picked Selections Inc., Warrenton, VA $13 Best Buy
2010 Villa des Anges Vin de Pays Old Vines Cinsault Rosé.
This is a somewhat unusual rosé made 100% from old vines Cinsault. It is lovely with a very pale amber pink color and a very nice floral and spice tinged perfume. The wine has nice fruit showing hints of peach and citrus and is light, crisp, and bright with finesse and a nice finish – Highly Recommended. Hand Picked Selections, Warrenton, VA $12.50
The Loire Valley is a 170 mile long stretch along the Loire River in Central France. Red, White and Rosé wines are produced. The primary grapes are Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir.
2010 Eric Chevalier Pinot Noir Vin de Pays Val de Loire Rosé.
This Rosé is lovely with only 11.5% alcohol. It is very fruity and tasty. The color is light reddish pink with a golden edge and the nose hints of rose petals and berries. On the palate there is a lovely floral tinged berry fruit and the wine is bright and crisp with a nice finish – Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $12.60
Chinon is an area in the Loire Valley located on the banks of the Vienne River. The red and rosé wines made here are based on Cabernet Franc, while the whites are made from Chenin Blanc.
2010 Charles Joquet Chinon Rosé.
This domaine was founded in 1957. This 2010 is more restrained than previous vintages and should benefit from additional bottle age. It is light reddish pink in color with a nice perfume of strawberry fruit with faint citrus and herbal notes. With nice citrus tinged berry fruit, the wine finishes with a nice crispness – Recommended Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $19.80
Sancerre is an area within the Loire Valley principally known for its white wine. But, the fact is that some of the best Rosés in the world are made here as well.
2010 Daniel Chotard Sancerre Rosé.
Wow! This is a stunning rosé. It is pale reddish pink in color with a faint golden hue. The perfume is gorgeous with hints of raspberry and cherry with a faint floral, citrus, peach undertone. There are great intense flavors on the palate, but the wine is finesseful, light and crisp. The fruit is cherry and raspberry with a hint of citrus and a faint floral nuance. Impeccably balanced, this is a flat out delicious rosé – Outstanding Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $23.40
2010 Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rosé.
This is consistently one of the best Sancerre Rosés and this 2010 is no exception. It is pale salmon pink in color and has a floral, cherry tinged perfume. The wine is rounded, yet with a nice underlying crispness and the floral, berry, citrus flavors are subtle, complex and wonderfully integrated – Outstanding. Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchant, New York, NY $24.00
Touraine is a very large area in the center of the Loire Valley that makes many different types of wines that often represent really good values.
2010 Domaine des Corbillières Pinot Noir Touraine Rosé.
This is a gorgeous Rosé made from 40-year-old Pinot Noir vines. It is consistently excellent, represents great value, and ages very well. Is there anything else you need to know? Well, perhaps a description of this 2010 which is yet another outstanding Domaine des Corbillières Rosé. It is pale pink in color with a faint golden hue and has a lovely strawberry, citrus tinged perfume. The wine is crisp, but with gorgeous strawberry and citrus tinged fruit and has a lovely crisp finish – Outstanding. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington D.C. $12.74 Best Buy
Provence is in the Southeast of France and produces over 1,000 different wines most of which are Rosé. Wine has been made here since around 600 BC so they have had plenty of time to prefect their wine which includes some of the very best Rosés on planet earth!
Cassis is an appellation within the Provence region and is part of the Bouches du Rhone located on the Mediterranean Sea. It is an historic area with origins back to the Greeks and Romans in the 5th and 6th centuries. It is known for its Rosé and White wines which are particularly suited to pair with seafood.
2010 Clos Ste. Magdelaine Cassis Rosé.
This is a gorgeous Rosé of great style and finesse. Very pale salmon pink in color, it has a lovely perfume of rose petals with faint tinges of herbs and spice. It has a subtle melon-like fruit accented by citrus and a faint floral nuance. The wine has great charm and an underlying crispness that follows through on the palate – Outstanding. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $28.80
Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
This is the second largest appellation in Provence. It is bordered by the Durance river to the north and the Mediterranean to the south with the historical town of Aix-en-Provence in the middle. Wine has been made here since Roman times. Today 60% of the areas production is red wine, 35% is rosé, and 5% is white.
Chateau Bas L’Alvernegue Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé.
This is a really lovely, elegant wine. It is made with Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. The color is pale orange pink with a golden hue and a golden edge and the perfume is lovely with floral nuances and a faint hint of cherries. On the palate there are subtle hints of cherries and citrus with a faint floral undertone. Delicate and rounded with a nice crisp finish this is very easy to drink – Highly Recommended Plus. Grape Expectations Inc., Richmond, CA $9.99 Best Buy
2010 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé.
The Commanderie was founded by Templar Knights in the 13th century and today consists of some 160 acres. This Rosé is made from 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Grenache, 19% Syrah, and 15% Cinsault. It is stunning with a very pale amber pink color and a gorgeous perfume showing floral, strawberry, and spice nuances. On the palate, there is lovely fruit with hints of peach, berries, and citrus with a faint floral undertone. This rosé is bright and crisp with finesse and complex flavors that are subtle, but have staying power on the finish – Outstanding. Hand Picked Selections, Warrenton, VA $16.50 Best Buy
Cotes de Provence
This is the largest area within Provence covering the French Riviera from Marseille to Nice. Some 80% of the wine made here is Rosé and that represents some 50% of all French Rosé produced.
2010 Chateau D’Esclans Cotes de Provence Whispering Angel Rosé.
This wine is made with 6 different grape varieties: Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah, Mouvèdre, and Tibouren. The wine is appropriately named as it could certainly be described as celestial. It is ever so delicate and refined yet is bright and finesseful. The color is pale salmon pink and the nose is very subtle with floral nuances. On the palate the wine has exquisite balance with very subtle floral notes and hints of peach and citrus. It is rounded and supple with a gorgeous finish. This is a really lovely wine with great style – Outstanding. Shaw-Ross Intl., Miramar, FL $19.99
2010 Clos Beylesse Cotes de Provence Rosé.
Just call this BBB – Beautiful Blue Bottle. It is easy on the eyes and easy on the palate. For, without question, Clos Beylesse produces one of the most delicate, finesseful, and thoroughly delicious Rosés imaginable. This 2010 is great. It is pale salmon pink in color and has a gorgeous perfume with subtle hints of rose petals, oranges and cherries. Oh, so elegant, the wine is balanced with faint hints of cherries and oranges with a floral nuance and a lovely finish – Outstanding. Wine Emporium, Brooklyn, NY $24.00
Domaine Ott Chateau de Selle Cotes de Provence Rose.
This is an iconic Rosé that is the essence of the Cotes de Provence. The grapes come from a very large area of hillside slopes in Provence. The domaine was founded in 1912 and today is managed by Champagne Louis Roederer. This is very interesting to me since I have long believed that Champange and Rosé are the most food friendly wines in the world. This wine is made from 40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 14% Syrah, and 6% Cabernet from estate owned rocky hillside slopes. Very consistent, this is an elegant delicious Rosé that defines Southern France and everywhere else in the world that is blessed with warm temperatures.
This 2010 is stunning. It has a salmon pink color and has a lovely perfume with a touch of mineral with a faintly floral, spice, and peach perfume. The wine has great balance and is supple with gorgeous fruit hinting of peach with a floral, faintly spicy nuance. This is a really exquisite Rosé that is supple and lush with a lovely finish – Outstanding Plus. Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines USA, Inc. Oakland, CA $43.00
2010 Ott Selections Les Domaniers Cotes de Provence Rosé.
This wine is made from old vines planted on slopes from different growers in Provence. It is blended by the wine making team at Domaine Ott. This 2010 is gorgeous. It is made from 60% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, and 5% Syrah. The wine is light pink in color and has a lovely perfume with hints of berries and a floral and spice nuance. It is elegant with great finesse, but maintains a nice crispness with hints of peach and citrus and a very faint floral undertone and great balance – Outstanding. Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines USA Inc., Oakland, CA $20.oo Best Buy
2010 Les Grand Cros L’Espirit Cotes de Provence Rosé.
This wine is made from 67%, 40-year-old Grenache vines and 33% young vine Syrah. It is a gorgeous combination. With a pale pink color this wine has a gorgeous perfume with faint hints of strawberry and watermelon and floral and spice nuances. It is elegant and balanced with great style and finesse and has subtle hints of strawberry and watermelon and a lovely citrus tinged finish – Outstanding. Barterhouse, New York, NY $20 Best Buy
2010 Chateau Montaud Cotes de Provence Rosé.
This is a lovely, lighter-style Rosé. The alcohol is 12.5%. It is pale amber color with a golden hue and golden edge. The wine has a lovely perfume with a touch of citrus, mineral and a faintly floral nuance. It has finesse and hints of peach with a faint floral undertone and a nice crisp finish – Highly Recommended. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd., NY, NY $10.50 Best Buy
2010 Domaine Sorin Cotes de Provence Rosé.
This Domaine is located on the Mediterranean Coast near Bandol. The wine is made from 7 grape varieties: 40% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 15% Mouvèdre, 10% Syrah, 10% Carignane, 8% Rolle, and 2% Ugni. Anyone who can guess the grape varieties in this wine deserves a special place in Rosé Heaven! But no matter, this is an outstanding wine that is available at a great price! Pale salmon pink in color with a faint orange hue and a golden edge, the wine has a gorgeous floral and peach tinged perfume. It is very elegant with gorgeous balance and the fruit is lovely with hints of peach and citrus. This is a rosé with class, finesse and style – Outstanding. Grape Expectations, Richmond, CA $11.99 Best Buy
2010 Chateau Coussin La Croix du Prieur Cotes de Provence Rosé.
During the middle ages, La Croix du Prieur was a parcel of vines cultivated by the monks of Saint Victor Abbey in Marseille. Today it belongs to the Sumeire family, owners of Chateau Coussin. It is made from a blend of Grenache and Cinsault at Chateau Coussin. Pale salmon pink in color the wine has a lovely floral, peach tinged perfume. It is very elegant and finesseful and is rounded with lovely citrus, melon, and peach nuances and a very nice crisp finish – Outstanding. T. Edward Wines, New York, NY $16.00 Best Buy
2010 Chateau Coussin Sainte Victoire Cotes de Provence Rosé.
This wine is made from estate grown old vines of Carignane, Cinsault, and Grenache. The 2009 was outstanding and the 2010 even better! Pale salmon pink in color the wine has a stunning perfume with floral, melon, peach, citrus, and mineral nuances. It is lovely supple and balanced with gorgeous peach and citrus flavors showing a very faint underlying spiciness. This is a Rosé that really sings – Outstanding Plus. T. Edward Wines, New York, NY $ 19. 99 Best Buy
Vin de Pays Bouches du Rhone
Bouches du Rhone is located within the region of Provence . It is an area at the mouth of the Rhone River in the South of France.
2010 Domaine des Masques Essentielle Syrah-Grenache Vin de Pays Bouches du Rhone Rosé.
This wine is made from 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache and carries the designation “Vin D’ Initiale Geographique Protégé which is a new area designation for food and wine that translates as “Protected Geographical Entity”. The wine is pale salmon pink in color and has a nice floral perfume with hints of peach and citrus. It is crisp and elegant with hints of peach and citrus and a faint floral undertone. Light and and elegant with lovely balance this is a very nice Rosé – Highly Recommended Plus. Bordeaux, Etc. Wine Imports, Oakland, CA $11.99 Best Buy
Reuilly is a village to the east of the Loire Valley. The appellation Reuilly is for red, white, and rosé wines made from Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris.
2010 Domaine de Reuilly Reuilly Pinot Gris Rosé.
This is a really unusual Rosé and it also happens to be really terrific. You really should experience this for yourself. The color is very pale golden amber and the perfume shows orange blossom and melon with just a faint touch of spiciness. This wine is beautifully balanced and elegant. It has lovely melon fruit flavors showing faint floral and spice nuances and finishes with a very faint citrus tinge – Outstanding. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $17.95
The Rhone valley in the South of France was first planted to grapes around 600 BC. The Rosé wines are mostly produced from the southern most part of the valley in the area around Chateauneuf du Pape. The Tavel appellation is located here and is the only appellation in France dedicated to produce only Rosé. The Tavel Rosés are capable of aging for a considerable time.
2010 Les Pallieres Au Petite Bonheur Gigondas Rosé.
This is a somewhat unusual rosé which also just happens to be delicious. It is light salmon pink in color and has a great perfume of plums with and underlying floral, spice nuance. On the palate there is lots of fruit and flavor. Plum and peach fruit are wrapped in a faint citrus, almond, and spice tinged undertone. The wine is supple and rounded and finishes with a gorgeous tinge of almond and citrus – Outstanding. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $19.80
Costières de Nimes
Costières de Nimes is an area within the Rhone Valley. Most of the wine produced here is red with Rosé representing about 40% of the production. Many of the Rosés are by-products of the red wine production.
2010 Chateau d’Or et de Greules Les Cimels Costières de Nimes Rosé.
This is a lovely Rosé and a great bargain. It is pale salmon pink in color and has a lovely floral-tinged perfume. It is delicate, finesseful, and balanced with lovely floral tinged fruit and a nice crisp finish – Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D.C. $11.04 Best Buy
2010 Domaine de La Petite Cassagne Costières de Nimes Rosé.
This Rosé is back in form in 2010 and is a great buy. It is pale salmon pink in color and has a lovely floral tinged perfume. It has lovely fruit, freshness, and balance with citrus tinged berry fruit and a very nice crisp finish – Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington D.C. $9.34 Best Buy
Tavel is an appellation within the Rhone Valley dedicated to making only Rosé. It is the only appellation in France that is dedicated solely to Rosé. The Rosés from here are some of the most elegantly fruity of all rosés and are capable of aging for some time. The primary grapes used are Grenache and Cinsault along with Syrah and Mouvèdre. The region has a centuries old tradition of making rose. Today in Tavel, tradition has been maintained in the sense that the wines continue to be balanced and elegant without being heavy or overly alcoholic. Unfortunately, the latter is a description now too often applied to many of the red rhone wines that have joined the big numbers brigade and have lost their sense of elegance and balance. This is particularly the case in Chateauneuf du Pape which is in the same southern area of the Rhone Valley as Tavel. But, thankfully, Tavel has stayed true to its style and continues to represent one of the greatest areas for Rosé wines in the world.
2010 Chateau de Trinquevedel Rosé.
This is consistently one of my favorite Tavel rosés. This 2010 is yet another beauty. It is light reddish pink in color and has a gorgeous strawberry tinged perfume with a faint floral nuance. It is very tasty and balanced with finesse and complexity. Subtle hints of strawberry and citrus are backed by just the faintest suggestion of spice and the finish is crisp and long – Outstanding. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $16.20 Best Buy
2010 Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine Tavel Rosé.
This is yet another of my favorite Tavel Rosés. This 2010 is a gorgeous wine. It is light ruby red in color and has a complex, fruity perfume with cherry interlaced with floral nuances. On the palate there is a cornucopia of fruit – cherry, berry, peach, citrus – backed by a faintly floral spiciness. The finish is long and crisp – Outstanding. Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY $16.00 Best Buy
Savoie is an area in eastern France near the French Alps.
2010 Les Rocailles Vin de Savoie Gamay Rosé.
This wine is made from 100% Gamay. It is pale salmon pink in color and has a lovely perfume of citrus and berries with a faint touch of spice. The flavors are subtle and bright with citrus and berry nuances and a faint floral undertone. Finesseful and crisp, the finish has a nice citrus tinge – Highly Recommended. Hand Picked Selections Inc., Warrenton, VA $16.50
Ventoux is located in the far south East of France where Mont Ventoux sits between the Rhone Valley to the West and Provence to the South and East. Wines have been made here since the 1st century and utilize the same grape varieties as used in the Cotes du Rhone appellation (Grenache, Syrah, and Mouvèdre as well as some Cinsault and Carignane). Most wines made here are red or rosé with a lesser amount of white wine produced.
2010 Domaine de Fondreche L’ Instant Ventoux Rosé.
This is a lovely wine with 12% alcohol. It has a pale salmon pink color and a lovely floral tinged peach perfume. On the palate the wine is balanced with delicate flavors of peach and citrus with a very faint underlying floral note. It is finesseful and crisp on the finish – Highly Recommended. Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D.C. $11.89
Italy produces some very fine Rosés from many different areas – Tuscany, the Piedmont, Friuli, Veneto, and Abruzzo to name a few. Sadly, it seems that many do not find their way to the U.S. For instance, in numerous visits to Italy over the years, I remember having the Antinori Rosato from many different vintages. It is gorgeous, but I was told that the wine is not exported.
2010 Corte Gardoni Bardolino Chiaretto Rosé.
This estate is located on the South side of Lake Garda in Northern Italy. The wines are consistently very fine with lots of fruit and beautiful balance. Pale pink in color with a faint reddish hue this Rosé has a gorgeous perfume with subtle hints of cherry and citrus and a faint floral nuance. It is light, crisp and bright with gorgeous fruit. The cherry fruit is intermingled with a faint floral, citrus undertone. This is a balanced Rosé of great charm and is oh so easy to drink – Outstanding. Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $11.65 Best Buy
Spanish Rosés can be lovely and often they are very inexpensive. If you see them, give them a try. They do not seem to be well known here, but hopefully over time more will become available.
2010 Amextoi Rubentis Rosé Getariako Txakolina.
This is a distinctive and unusual Rosé that has achieved a cult status. It comes from the Basque region of Spain where there are three sub regions that produce slightly effervescent wines. Getariako refers to the most effervescent. The Rubentis Rosé is an old vines cuvée of indigenous grapes, Hondarrabi Beltza and Hondarrabi Zuri. Got it? If so, repeat 3 times from memory and you can join the cult. The wine is faintly pétillant and weighs in at only 10.5% alcohol. Pale pink in color, there is a subtle perfume of raspberry, cherry, and lime. It is a fresh, clean, and crisp Rosé with a delicate flavor of tart cherry and citrus and has a very crisp finish – Highly Recommended. De Maison Selections, Chapel Hill, SC $19.99
Many probably know Portuguese rosé for Mateus, an inexpensive medium sweet sparkling rosé first created in the 1940s. But Portugal also produces some nice dry and off dry rosés as well. They are certainly worth a try and can represent very good value. The Vinho Verde Rosé described below is a great example.
2010 Casal Barcia Vinho Verde Rosé.
This is a lovely, delicate and delicious Rosé that also just happens to be a great bargain. The alcohol is only 10.5%. It is light reddish pink in color and has a lovely cherry and floral tinged perfume. It has lots of fruit and is delicate and slightly pétillant and has a nice crispness – Highly Recommended. HGC Imports, San Jose, CA $8.99 Best Buy
So there you have it, my first 2010 Rosé article. I will follow up with notes on more 2010 Rosés in a few weeks. But, it is very clear from the notes that this is an excellent year for Rosés from many different geographic areas. But, as I said in the beginning, this is not unusual since the areas where the wines are made are blessed with Mediterranean climates with warm weather year round. So it is time to go shopping for Rosés. They are great for the warm days of summer. But, I love to drink them over the holidays and into the New Year and throughout the year during warm weather. In short, I drink them year around. Be sure to get a good supply. And, if you find some 2009s still around at attractive prices, they are worth considering as well. As for the 2010s, the wines reviewed here sell in a general range of $10-$40. There are many Best Buys and many Outstanding wines with amazing consistency across the entire range of wines tasted. This makes Rosés compelling values.
Think Pink! It’s Time To Drink Rosé!