Rosé is the product of the fermentation of red grapes, where the skins are left on for a short time, resulting in a light color, lower tannins and a lower alcohol level compared to red wines. The longer the skin contact, the bigger the body and the darker the color. Rosé is usually made using the same grape varietals as the red wines from any given region.
The home of rosé is Southern France, with the French drinking more rosé than white wine. About 75% of the wine production in the Provence appellation is rosé. The production of the Tavel appellation in the Southern Rhone is 100% rosé. Other big rosé-producing appellations are Lirac, Côtes Du Ventoux and Côtes Du Luberon, with the most common grapes being Grenache, Cinsault, Mouvedre and Tibourin.
The best rosé I have ever had was Domaine Tempier, and it was damn near perfect: an ideal balance of weight, fruit, elegance and acidity with wonderful flavors of strawberries, cherries and raspberries. We currently carry Domaine Tempier 2008 Bandol Rosé. At $44 it’s quite pricey, but well worth the experience. Most rosé falls in the price range of $12 to $18 and most of them won’t disappoint you.
Today, most wine producing areas produce rosé, including Spain, Italy, California, Oregon, Washington and more. Here are wine notes on several rosés that we currently carry. Keep in mind that you drink these wines young and for the most part they hit the market starting in late May and are gone by fall, so enjoy them while they last:
Domaine Saint Roch Les Vignes 2008 Rosé (Provence, FR) $16/case $12.80
Notes: Dark peach color. Aromas of ripe strawberries followed by flavors of melon & peaches. A well-balanced and delightful rosé. Dry finish.
Domaine Ott 2008 Les Domaniers Rosé (Provence, FR) $21/case $16.80
Notes: Golden peach color. Just beautiful. Aromas of strawberries and melon. Smooth, velvety texture. Well-balanced and structured. Great integrated acidity. Strawberry and melon flavors all the way through. Hints of herbs. Provence, baby!
Fuente Del Conde 2008 Rosado (Cigales, Spain) $14/case $11.20
Notes: a dark pink color with aromas of wild raspberries followed by flavors of raspberry tart and blackberries. Great acidity and refreshing finish.
Triennes 2008 Rosé (Provence, FR) $18/case $14.40
Notes: Peachy pink color. Beautiful aromas of sweet strawberries, honey dew melon. Smooth, velvety texture with perfect acidity. Elegant and very focused. Great finish. Fantastic rosé. (Note: currently served at the Portalis Wine Bar by the glass for $8.25.)
Contributor: Jens Strecker