by VineSleuth Contributing Writer, Steve Gross
In my last post, I tried to give you a sense of the wide variety of rosé wines made throughout France. Using the grapes of the region, rosés are made in most of the well-known winemaking areas.
Bandol, in the south of France, and Tavel, in the Rhone Valley, are two of the most famous regions for rosé. Tavel produces only rosé wines. As you will see, I also tasted rosés from Bordeaux, Sancerre, and southern regions that make wines of all tints.
Before I delve too specifically into the particulars of each wine, I’d like to share my two biggest impressions of this variety of French rosé:
1. These are wines to enjoy, especially with food. Simple, refreshing wine goes well with simple, refreshing food. Bread, fruit, cheese, and greens match very nicely with just about any of the wines I tasted this month. It’s no wonder that rosés are often bought and consumed during the summer months. The takeaway idea here: don’t overthink these wines. This is not a criticism; they simply do what they’re made to do.
2. Do allow these wines to drop in temperature a bit in order to fully appreciate what they do offer: fleshy fruit flavors, richer aromas. Setting up a picnic lunch or sticking a bottle in the fridge, it’s easy to allow these wines to be overchilled. I enjoyed these wines much more when they warmed up a bit, so I encourage you to do the same.
Brotte Les Eglantiers Tavel 2011 $15
Bit of pear and cherry blossom on nose; lemon and petrol, slight note of cucumber on palate. Good with food.
Chateau Cadillac Bordeaux Rosé 2009 $10
Nice floral aromas, plus lemon zest; radish, green bean, Golden Delicious apple on palate. This was an enjoyable wine.
Domaine de Jarras Gris de Gris 2009 $11
Nice salmon color; refreshing acidity, but not much clear fruit on palate.
Castell-Reynoard Bandol 2010 $16 (375 ml)
A bit fumy at first; tightly wound, not giving much fruit on palate, but plenty of minerality. Not sure what else to say about this wine.
Domaine de Souviou Bandol 2010 $11 (500 ml)
Violets and butterscotch(?) on nose; dark berry, peach palate with slight bitterness left on the finish.
Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Rosé 2011 $27
Dried flowers, lemon zest aromas (nice); citrus, orange pulp, with good depth of flavor. Nice finish, too. This was a very enjoyable wine, and its magnificent peach color (see photo in previous post) kept you looking at and into the wine. A very nice experience.
Next month, the wines of southern France, including examples from Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon.