This pack of six wines has been carefully curated from the 100+ French rosés we’ve tasted in 2017, both here and on the ground in France. All are from the excellent 2016 vintage, which delivered pure-fruited, crystal-clear wines that are ready for drinking – perfectly timed for warmer weather in the New World.
The pack comprises one bottle each of: Clos des Crostes 2016 – a vivacious blend of 50% Grenache and 25% each Carignan and Cinsault from the Côtes de Provence; Chateau Vignelaure 2016 – as Robert Parker says… ‘one of the showpiece properties not only of Provence but of France.’ Grenache (40%); Shiraz and Cabernet (30% each) from the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence; Chateau Mira Luna 2016 – combines purity and freshness with texture and richness. A Shiraz-Cinsault blend from Coteaux Varois en Provence. Rimauresq 2016 – Best Rosé, 97 points, Decanter World Wine Awards 2016. Grenache (43%), Cinsault (24%), Mataro (10%), Shiraz (8%), Carignan (6%) and the white grape Rolle (9%) from the Côtes de Provence; La Tonnelle 2016 – Shiraz and Grenache (40% each), plus 20% Cinsault, from the Alpes de Haute Provence. The cool-grown Shiraz component dominates, with red berry aromas and a hint of violets; L’Exuberance Rosé du Clos Cantenac 2016 – from Bordeaux, Merlot (93%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (2%). Fresh cream on red fruits… lightly spiced… refreshing. There isn’t a light lunch, a plate of canapés or a bowl of noodles in the New World that can’t be improved by a glass of rosé from the Old World.
Chateau Vignelaure has more than 60ha of vineyards. The blend for this wine is usually 40% Grenache and 30% each Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, all grown organically. The wine is noted for its flavour-length and skilful balance of freshness and roundness. It pairs well with seafood of all kinds. Château Vignelaure has established a reputation as one of the finest producers in the South of France, innovative while also respecting the traditions of the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence.
This is a blend of bone-dry Syrah and Cinsault, lean and streamlined with salted scrubby herbs, wild raspberries, strawberries, and cherries. Acidity is pink grapefruit pithy and bright, and there is a wash of salts that liven the gently-cushioned palate and linger on. Lovely savoury and charming rosé, equally serious and smashable. 91 points, Anthony Gismondi (Canada).
Rimauresq is named for the river Real Mauresque that crosses the domaine. This 60ha property was re-established in 1882, after the phylloxera epidemic devastated the region, and continues to produce some of the most sought after and long lived rosés of the region. The grapes undergo a light maceration when harvested and are then gently pressed. No malolactic fermentation occurs, keeping acidity fresh and lively, and the wine undergoes a light filtration for clarity.
Best Rosé, Decanter World Wine Awards 2016: Lovely strawberry shortcake and hint of petal aromas; generous palate with depth of flavours – spice to frame the delicate fruit, and a fine cushion of lees to carry to an elegant finish. 97 points (Judges' Report).
Vivid orange-pink. White peach, melon and raspberry scents are enlivened by a jolt of orange zest and a dusty mineral flourish. Supple and focused on the palate, offering juicy strawberry, nectarine and orange flavours that tighten up slowly with aeration. Finishes long and sappy, displaying very good clarity and a resonating mineral note. 90 points, Vinous (8/2017).
Syrah (40%), Grenache (40%) and Cinsault (20%) from mostly hillside plantings, sustainably farmed. The Syrah component gives the wine structure, colour and aromas of small red berries, with a characteristic hint of violets. Salmon-pink in colour, with a gooseberry-like intensity on the nose, La Tonnelle is supple in texture and easy to drink. Best consumed within three years of vintage.