Perfect Pinks - Half Dozen
The rosé style that seems in vogue now is the paler, pink rose-coloured rosés, be they from its spiritual home of Provence in the South of France or from further afield. One such pale Provence Rosé is from the wonderful Domaine Pey Blanc, from just outside the town of Aix-en-Provence only 35 mins due north of Marseille. This family-owned estate was founded in 1930 and today is run by winemaker, Gabriel Giusiano. Careful husbandry ensures that only minimal interventions are needed in the vineyard and allows the terroir of the clay limestone soil to influence the life and freshness of the wine in the glass. This is classic Provence rosé style, good enough to grace any table.
By way of contrast to the delicate Provence style, a fuller style can be found in Corbières, further west along the Mediterranean coast. Here at the superb Domaine de la Cendrillon (the domain of Cinderella) Robert Joyeux and his family have farmed this 50ha estate organically since 2013, though it has been in their family since 1750. Made from the coolest sites across the estate in order to preserve freshness, this attractive rosé is a blend of several grape varieties including Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache Gris all combining to give a fresh wine but with beautiful depth and body.
Just outside Carcassonne you can find the co-op at Foncalieu. There was a time when it paid to be suspicious of wines produced by co-ops, but like all things, there are good ones and bad ones. This one is in the vanguard of modern cooperatives with an emphasis on quality and environmentally friendly practices. One of the success stories in recent years has been the rise of Picpoul de Pinet, the crisp dry white from around Sète, but when they showed us the little-known rosé version from the Picquepoul Noir grape we were very impressed – it is ideal for alfresco sipping!
A new addition to our list this year is the Nuits d’Arbres Rosé from a company based in the beautiful city of Carcassonne, and the winemaker here is the son of our super Sancerre supplier, Jean-Max Roger. Xavier Roger and his colleague Cédric Duquenoy head up this venture, producing wines from across the southern regions of France. This rosé is from the Cinsault grape and is a juicy, crisp, delicately strawberry-scented jewel of a wine.
We have always been a fan of the wines of Gascony and the Tanners French Rosé is a case in point. From the Domaine de Pellehaut estate, which is situated a couple of hours south-east of Bordeaux, this rosé is produced by the Béraut family who have called the region home for over four centuries. It is run very ably by viticulturalists and oenologists, Mathieu and Martin Béraut. We love it a simple fruit-filled wine with its scents of crushed red fruits and a beautiful refreshing style.
Just to prove that France doesn’t have a monopoly on producing delicate rosé wines, we would like to present the Perfect Cut Sauvignon Blanc Rosé from Marlborough in New Zealand. How, we hear you ask, can you make rosé from the white Sauvignon Blanc grape? Well, the simple answer is you can’t, you need to add the merest hint of something red! Here 92% of Sauvignon Blanc is blended with nearly 3% Pinot Noir, 2% Pinot Gris, and a little Riesling! However, this slightly unusual mix produces a super wine with the classic Sauvignon character bolstered by the raspberry scented Pinot Noir, given a touch of richness by the Pinot Gris and supported by the energy of the Riesling.