September 1st 2010
We are in danger of becoming rather repetitive, however our rosé producers keep getting rave reviews. Our erudite, informed readership probably spotted this a couple of weeks ago in the weekend FT. Andrew Jefford on the delights of serious rosé.
Here’s a bit of what he said:
“I cite some examples of fine rosé from Provence later, but it’s worth priming expectation with a little background about their sensorial profiles. If your idea of fine wine is linked with notions of power, of opulence, of force, of concentration and of impact, then don’t bother with fine rosé. It’s an exercise in finesse, in delicacy and in discretion. This is fencing, not wrestling.
Great technical skill is required to get it right: gentle, cool handling; the use of free-run juice whisperingly tinted by a couple of brief hours with the skins; finely judged reincorporation of juice settlings and yeast lees; a soft inhalation of oak and no more. Keeping the nuances of colour, aroma and flavour in perfect disposition through the physical traumas of export is a further challenge.
The reward is the highest kind of perfection in wine: the perfection of disposition, not accumulation. This translates as a striking physical prettiness of colour and allusive, summer-fruit suggestiveness of aroma and flavour allied to mousseline textures and a graceful, lingering finish. They are emphatically fine wines for drinkers, not collectors. The following are masters of pink:
Sacha Lichine grows and vinifies his rosé with as much care as a Médoc classed growth. His blends are, for Provence, iconoclastic, in that they mingle up to 30 per cent of the white variety Rolle with Grenache rather than using Cinsault, generally the preferred lead grape. Best to my mind is Château d’Esclans itself: both the outstanding 2007 and the promising 2008 are complex, mouthfilling wines in which strawberry cream and peach notes are filled out with white blossom, and the deftly drawn palate fruits are given an almondy texture and length (£17.63 at Goedhuis, tel: +44 (0)20 7793 7900. There are two still more expensive cuvées: Les Clans, based on selected fruit (Goedhuis has magnums of the 2007 at £77.94 each), and the old-vine Garrus.”
He also selects Domaines Ott’s Clos Mireille Coeur de Grain Cotes de Provence Rosé.
Here is the whole article, definitely worth a look: The best pink wine producers
Both are stunning properties in the South of France who make stellar wines. We cannot recommend them highly enough.