Last Updated on June 20, 2021 by Fiona Maclean
It’s always Rosé season!
Rosé wine sales have been rising exponentially over the last ten years and now account for about a third of the wine sold in France where the style originated. It is the South of France that is the powerhouse of French rosé production. With 58 grape varieties available there is a tremendous diversity of aroma, taste and colour. So we have picked four easy drinking and reasonably priced rosés to review to help you stock your cellar for summer drinking.
The first 3 wines are produced by Les Vignobles Foncalieu, a union of cooperatives anchored in the heart of Languedoc with vineyards ‘from the Corbières massif to the banks of the Mediterranean, from the Mistral- swept hillsides to the sun-caressed plains between Carcassonne and Béziers’.
First up was a wine from the Languedoc; Ensedune. Coteaux d’Ensérune. Made with the Cabernet Franc grapes grown in 1000-year-old vineyards surrounding the ancient Roman hill town of Ensérune the pale peach coloured wine is lively and fresh with a bouquet of cherry, lilac, and redcurrant. This gentle vegan wine with a hint of sweetness is perfect for the beach and would be brilliant with red mullet.
Most of the Pays d’Oc IGP rosés are made from blends of Grenache and Cinsault but the Cardounettes Pays d’Oc, 2020 uses the Syrah grape. This organic rosé is a pale rose colour using grapes from vineyards near Béziers that have a clay-limestone terroir. The wine has a fresh acidity and a fruity, lemony flavour with red fruit on the nose. It could be drunk as an aperitif or to accompany summer salads. Rather charmingly it’s named after a little goldfinch from the Occitan and the thistle seeds they love to feast on.
Grenache is regarded as the premium grape for rosés in the south of France giving wines a full-bodied creamy flavour combined with a pale elegant colour. Le Versant. Grenache Rose, 2020 is a vegan wine with 13% alcohol. It’s a delightful light pink colour with a hint of yellow with honeysuckle on the nose and rhubarb and strawberry flavours. The bottle has a lovely label by street art artist Nerone printed directly onto the bottle using an innovative new process.
Our final wine is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot, Sauvignon Gris and the unusual Marselan which is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. At 13.5% Domaine Haut Gléon. Vallée du Paradis, 2020 has the highest alcohol content of the wines we have sampled. It has a strawberry and redcurrant nose and is perfumed and floral with a fresh acidity on the finish. This is another beautifully designed bottle that will match with tapas, gazpacho, salads and cheese.
With summer starting to show its face, there is nothing better than sitting al fresco with a chilled bottle of rosé and some good friends.
These wines are well worth investigating and can be found here.
Looking for the perfect food to pair with your rosé wines? try this delicious recipe for crab and fennel risotto which we created especially for National rosé week.