Not all Rosé is created equal!
Wine Importer | Wine List Consultant | Speaker
With the rise of Rosé in Australia recently and a big trend towards Provence rosé, I've found myself frustrated by the lack of education around the different rosés coming out of the region. I'm tired of seeing $10-$15 'provence' rosé when the real cotes de provence rosé should be selling at the $25-$35 mark.
Australia, we've been mislead.
No, it doesn't mean the cheaper ones aren't as good as the more premium ones, it just means we are being sold something without being told what it actually is.
I love Aldi. I really do. It's my favourite store for groceries and the wines are incredible value for money. However; in a recent discussion with someone about the 'provence rosé' at $10 in store, I couldn't believe it. I import French rosé, I know how much it is and I can't understand how it could SELL for $10.
Upon finding the wine, I noticed it said "Vin de Provence" on the label. I had never, in my life, seen that appellation. When asking my French suppliers about it, they laughed and said "oui, it is like saying the wine comes from the region in general...not from the actual appellation". Sneaky. That means, they aren't restricted to the yield or production laws the rest of Provence is subject to. Technically, our Luberon rosé, Petula, can be considered Vin de Provence as Luberon is right in the heart of the Provence region but isn't in the Côtes de Provence so it has it falls under a different appellation...that being Luberon.
I've started seeing this "vin de provence" label on a number of cheaper rosés. I'm not saying don't buy them... they are great...I'm just saying they aren't exactly what Côtes de Provence rosé is supposed to express.
Now, let's look at Côtes de Provence AOC and what makes it special.
It was appellated in 1977 and spans more than 20,000 hectares (nearly 50,000 acres) and three departments: the Var, the Bouches-du-Rhône and one village in the Alpes-Maritimes, for a total of 84 communes. "Terroirs" of Provence include; Fréjus, La Londe, Pierrefeu and, like the Marrenon Triniti Provence Rosé, Sainte-Victoire.
Rosé wines from this region are the purest expression of Provence rosé. They are luminous and a pale salmon pink colour, with occasional nuances of dusky pink, which is due to the maturity of the polyphenols. Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah are used principally. The wines have a good aromatic potential, freshness and alcoholic richness with aromas of citrus fruit (grapefruit, lemons), exotic fruit (passion fruit, mango), slightly sharp notes of red fruit (redcurrants, strawberries, raspberries and cherries) and some floral notes (white flowers, hawthorn, fennel); a slight minerality can be detected in wines from the driest terroirs (filtration). For some wines matured in wooden barrels, the aromatic bouquet is completed with notes of vanilla, dried fruit and spices.
These rosés are usually on the shelf for $28-$35 and are definitely worth the splurge.
One of the most popular rosés in Australia right now is AIX which is Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence AOC which was recognised in 1985 and are the furthest to the West among the wines of Provence. Rosé from this region are a pale pink colour with slightly blue to grey tones. Fruity rather than floral, and often intense, they have an expressive nose, with aromas ranging from citrus fruits to red fruit. They offer a fullness on the palate and a slight acidity that counters the power of the alcohol. Complex, powerful and fruity, these Rosé wines, which are still closed during the winter months, will open up in the spring, when they will be the perfect accompaniment to Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.
The final apellation to look out for is Coteaux Varois en Provence AOC which was recognised in 1993 and owes it's character to a series of folded limestone and calcareous clay oriented from east to West, that alternate with zones of fine gravel and flint. These rosés have good maturity of all the grape varieties which has enabled the creation of balanced and aromatic wines, thanks to the natural freshness of the climate of the Coteaux Varois en Provence Terroir. They are pale pink in colour, with aromas of fresh fruit.
So, that's what I want you to look out for. Don't be fooled by cheap rosé on the market. Not all french rosé is created equal. If you see Vin de Provence, Vin de Pays (wine of the country essentially), try it but don't expect it to be the purest expression of a Provence rosé. Try a Côtes de Provence Rosé at a higher pricepoint and taste the different. Taste how much dryer a CdP is compared to other wines on the market....how the acid is mouthwatering and the fruit is subtle.
If you feel a little intimidated, we make it easy for you with our Rosé Case which features an IGP Mediterenée Gris de Grenache, a Côte de Provence Sainte-Victoire, a Luberon Rosé and more.... if you really want to explore what the French are experimenting with, try the Marrenon Oris. Its a 100% syrah, small yield rosé aged in barrels for 8months before bottle. It's exceptional.
Hopefully this educates you a little for next time you head to the bottleshop!
ROSÉ ALL DAY!
Try our DWC Rosé case now!