Yesterday was the summer solstice which means today is the first full day of summer!
How better to celebrate with a summery fresh wine like ROSE from Provence in the South of France?
Perhaps that’s why the Provence people decided to name TODAY, the fourth Friday of June, “International Rose Day” with events all over and a toast at 7pm! That’s their time, not mine, but I decided to go to yoga instead (yesterday was International Yoga Day BTW — which I wrote about here)!
I’m not exactly sure if we need two days to celebrate Rose in the month of June, but there you have it and I’m not going to fight it!
In fact, we’re such fans of Rose around here that even though we wrote about six rose wines from California a few weeks ago, and we will be focused on French Rose TODAY with five from Provence, we’ll be doing more Rose from France the third Saturday in July for Winophiles, and then finally in August, we’ll be doing Rose from around the world with examples from South Africa, Chile, the US, Spain, and possibly more!
Why? We’ve found we really enjoy the subtle fruit and floral notes of these wines, and how well they taste alone or paired with food — from light fare to more heavier dishes like ham or chicken salad.
Bonus: they often are in beautiful bottles and they come in such lovely range of pale pinks, rose gold, and salmon tones!
That is all certainly true of the four from Provence we tasted the other day in advance of today’s International Rose Day. The wines we tasted from Provence were very subtle, and so beautiful inside and out of the bottle, and the wines went wonderfully with the meal Sue prepared of a seafood pasta with fennel and herbs. These wines love herbs and spices, seafood, and smoked meats.Did you know that
- “French rosé outsells white wine in France?”
- “Some call rosé the world’s most versatile wine?”
- “Provence is the world’s largest wine region specializing in dry rosé?”
- “In 2014 Provence rosé wine exports to the United States climbed 29% and U.S. retail sales of imported rosé wines grew by 41%?”
- “Provence receives an exceptional amount of sunshine – up to 2,900 hours per year compared to approximately 2,040 hours in Los Angeles and Miami?”
— “Saignée” is where some of the juice from red wine grapes that will be made into a red wine is “bled” off and used to make a rose
— “Intentional” rose is where the red grape vines are tended and picked to produce a rose wine
— Rose wines can be a blend of a white wine with a little red wine to make it pink — but not the ones from Provence!
— White zinfandel is a rose wine — it’s made from a red wine grape that has had very little skin contact to turn the juice a deeper color; it is often made in a more sweet style while a rose of zinfandel is typically dry like the dry rose wines of Provence and other regions of the world. According to Wines of Provence, “A typical American blush wine contains nearly seven times as much residual sugar per liter as a Provençal rosé. Provence rosé is by definition not sweet.”
Or as Craig Camp of Troon Vineyard explains:
“Saignée was something you did to make your red wine more concentrated and, being a frugal farmer, you sold it off as vin gris” while “Rosé is a wine of intention, farmed and made to make pink wine.”
The resulting wine is usually bottled and released a year or so after harvest, affordable (usually under $20), light and refreshing, and full of acidity and minerality — and for the most part, meant to be consumed within a year or two and not to be cellared. It’s enjoyable on its own but plays well with others — here’s some ideas (below) and here.
- Spring Greens Salad with Beets and goat cheese
- Pasta with shrimp, scallops, red pepper flakes, fennel
- Sue’s garlic herb cheese bread (maybe she’ll share the recipe some time!)
- 2014 – Moulin de la Roque Bandol Les Baumes Rosé SRP $12
- 2016 – Esprit Gassier – Cotes de Provence – 13% alcohol – SRP $20
- 2017 – Berne – Emotion – AOP Cotes de Provence – 13% alcohol – SRP $16
- 2017 – Berne Inspiration, AOP Cotes de Provence – 13% alcohol SRP $20
- 2017 – Urban AOP Cotes de Provence – 12.5% alcohol – $23
Sue, Gwendolyn, Myr
2014 – Moulin de la Roque Bandol Les Baumes Rosé SRP $12
I bought a few of these on sale at Vons a few years ago.
For our first wine, I pulled this 2014 Bandol from the cellar. I was surprised that I found it at all as I thought I had enjoyed it awhile ago. Unfortunately, it’s past its prime so we chose not to take any notes. However, I have a 2015 which we will open next month with hopefully better results. Drink this wine when you first get it, it does not lay down well. While not horrid, we decided to move on to the next wines from 2016 and 2017.
2016 – Esprit Gassier – Cotes de Provence – 13% alcohol – SRP $20
I bought two of these on sale at Vons recently.
Color – Deep salmon gold, it is the oldest so should create some depth of color.
Nose – Subtle florals, mint, minerals, sage, savory herbs
Palate – Very even and easy to drink, subtle, elegant, complex, but nothing is specific or shines over anything else. There is nothing bold about this wine. No bold fruit or florals, just pleasant and accessible. Myr thought this was a lovely wine, satisfying and refreshing
Pairing – I really liked this with the prosciutto, no surprise there! Pairs well with the creamy, smoky gouda, cuts through the creaminess and the smoke brings out a beautiful fruit floral loveliness in the wine. It is absolutely mouth-watering. Great picnic wine with a ham and cheese sandwich. Washed rind cheese brings out intensity in both the wine and the cheese. There is a funky feel in the cheese, with a zing of fruit and florals that come forth in the wine. It likes the salty olives, and is great with the salami. It would do so well with a pizza. The wine was super clean with our pasta, and it really brightens the palate. The fennel in our pasta dish tonight went so well by bringing out beautiful florals in the wine.
Winner winner! I am so glad I have another bottle of this wine to enjoy this summer!
2017 – Berne – Emotion – AOP Cotes de Provence – 13% alcohol – SRP $16
50% Grenache Noir, 25% Cinsault, 25% Syrah
Clay and Limestone Vineyard at 1000′
Sample — Thank you!
Color – This is very pale and more on the orange, coral side rather than pink.
Nose – Lovely tropical fruits including banana plus florals like orchid and orchards with some red fruit too.
Palate – Sue felt this wine was the most fruit forward of all the wines we tasted this evening, and I’d agree. Red fruits including strawberry and watermelon plus pink grapefruit.
Pairing – Very interesting with the washed rind cheese. It tamed but did not cancel out the funk in the cheese. So great with our garlic herb cheese bread.
2017 – Berne Inspiration, AOP Cotes de Provence – 13% alcohol SRP $20
1000′ vineyard of clay and limestone
70% Grenache Noir, 20% Cinsault, 10% Syrah
Sample– thank you!
This bottle reminds us of one for spirits. Could it be that this would be a great wine for a mixer?
Color – Very pale, rose gold, rose gold of the rose gold iPhone, millennial pink, very pretty.
Nose – Tropical fruit, kiwi, strawberry and melon according to Sue, while I got the nose of a roll of tropical lifesavers. Sue picked out some elderflower, and I agreed that it was there in the nose, and also at the top of the palate.
Palate – Sue found that the tropical fruit and banana characteristics shone bright in this wine. Lots going on including light red and pink fruits like strawberry and cherries.
Pairing – Wonderful with our pasta dish tonight, and beautiful with the scallop in the dish. It was also crazy how well this wine went with our garlicky broiled cheese bread. Fantastic with the prosciutto and smoked gouda (which was the most perfect pairing) leading Sue to believe that this would be a perfect wine for a quiche brunch. It would be so great with a bacon lettuce tomato sandwich, or a Quiche Lorraine. Fantastic brunch wine.
2017 – Urban AOP Cotes de Provence – 12.5% alcohol – $23
45% Grenache Noir, 35% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, 5% Rolle
Sample — thank you!
Such a beautiful bottle!
Color – Pale pink with rose gold
Nose – Very tropical with lots of banana and mango with vanilla and other white flower blossoms, wild strawberry.
Palate – Banana, fresh acidity of cherry, other tropical fruits like kiwi, clean, refreshing. It is not an overly ripe banana– it still has a greenness to the banana. There are also some underlying minty herbal qualities, sage, pennyroyal, pepper that hit mid-palate and fades to the lingering banana mineral finish. Very complex!
Pairing – Went beautifully with our pasta dish tonight: the fennel, red pepper, and basil went so wonderfully with this particular wine. We imagined that this wine would pair beautifully with the basil and tomato of a caprese salad. It also loved the roasted beets in our salad.
For more ideas about French Rose, please join the French Winophiles on the third Saturday of July! Check out the hashtag #Winophiles and join our twitter chat on July 21 at 8am Pacific.
And be sure to subscribe here on Wine Predator!
Cheers to to Rose from Provence! How are you celebrating?