Today is International Rosé Day! Well one of three days that it is celebrated on. The others are the second Saturday in June and 14th August. We will tell you all that there is to know about rosé and give you some recommendations direct from French wine importers in Australia too.
WHAT MAKES A ROSE?
The colour comes from the skin of red grapes. It is as if you were to make a very pale red wine. It is impossible to make a rosé only from white grapes. In order to achieve the rosé colour, the wine must come from a dark grape.
The grape varietals that are most often found in rosé are Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Merlot, Malbec and Syrah. Outside of France you will also find Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Zinfandel.
So you could say that technically rosés are in fact red wines that have only had a little grapeskin contact.
How do they get the colour?
There are two common methods for importing the colour of the red grape skins:
- Maceration/Saignée – the wine macerates for between 12 and 24 hours in a tank with teh skins. The juice which results is drained from the base of the tank (this is the process called la saignée – which means bleeding). The rest of the juice then stays with the skins and continues to macerate and will eventually become red wine. The process gives a more intense colour to the rosé wine.
- Pressing– the grapes are pressed straight away and only the juice is kept as for a white wine. Then the juice is placed into fermentation for 10 to 14 days, so that the rosé alcholizes before it is bottled. This process results in a very clear, pale coloured rosé.
What about champagne rosé?
In Europe, it is only for champagne rosé that you are allowed to use the name rosé if it is made by mixing white wine with red wine. In fact, many champagnes rosés are made only from chardonnay grapes and a then a tiny amount of red wine is added to give it colour. However, the larger houses prefer that the colour comes from the skins for their champagnes rosés.
WHERE DOES ROSE COME FROM?
In France, Provence is the biggest supplier of rosés. The appellation Côtes de Provence makes up 90 % of the rosés in France. The second largest rosé region in France is Languedoc-Roussillon where the climate is very close to that of Provence. The Loire Valley also produces rosés.
In the Rhône sud, there is an appellation entirely dedicaed to rosé, Tavel, and it is the only one in France (along with the rosé from Riceys in Champagne).
BUT WHAT ROSES SHOULD WE DRINK FOR INTERNATIONAL rosé DAY?
We asked several French wine importers in Australia which rosés they recommend for International Rosé Day.
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Daniel Airoldi is often recommending le Château Minuty de Provence to his clients. It’s a winery that produces 20,000 bottles per year.
But for him personally, his choice is the Trilogie du Domaine du Viranel, which he find is fruitier and dryer.
Rosé is not always just a warm weather quaffer, and Bandol, the king of rose shows how serious it can be. Still offering plenty of attractive drinkability, this wine steps it up with plenty of herbs de provence, thyme, blood orange, rind, and watermelon. It’s a powerful, serious rose.
Nathalie Taquet from Bottli says:
In terms of French rosé, I am generally oriented towards the Languedoc, a region in the south of France, and especially Domaine Pierre Clavel, which produces an excellent Mescladis Pic St Loup 2018 rosé with aromas of strawberries, redcurrants and lemon zest.
The Pic Saint Loup vineyard, taken over by Domaine Pierre Clavel in 2009, immediately adopted organic methods. In a short space of time, the landscape has been transformed, hedges have sprouted up from the ground, the size of the vines has improved, and a parcel of white wine has been added in the process. And to improve the structure of the soil, mustard, peas, triticale (wheat) grow there in winter to, crushed in summer, offer a protective mulch for a few weeks before being ploughed.
This dry, clear salmon color rosé wine has a creamy texture and contrasts well with a nice acidity that keeps everything together and very refreshing.
Well-paired with couscous, a Maghrebian dish. The floral flavors and acidity of this wine highlight the spicy side of the couscous.
As part of our Concierge Service, we provide a Sommelier on Demand to organize private events. The ideal time to make a comparison of French Rosé and Australian Rosé, highlighting wines from the Languedoc and Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.
For International Rosé Day, Alexandre Rougeot from Clos Cachet says:
My favourite rosé is the Rosé de Provence, however, one which has a spirit, flesh and complexity. Rosé wines have unfortunately been victims of their own success. That is to say that in the same area, production has greatly increased and quality has diminished. So you need to search out rosés made with small yields, sun-drenched fruit and a lot of freshness. They still exist, and thankfully, because it is now unique.
For a special occasion, the rosé that comes from the old vines from the Gavoty family at Cabasse is exceptional. It offers as much pleasure and drinkability with grace and depth. It is a provencal symphony in your mouth in each glass.
Otherwise, for an apéritif between friends, without wanting to break, I recommend their cuvée Cigale, which is a true delight, in all simplicity.
Jean-Francois Gavanon from Cyrano Wines, who specialises in wines from the Languedoc says:
Rosés are fine and delicate wines meant to be drunk young and served chilled. France which by far the largest producer in the world (28%) and consumer of rosé (25% French market) has developed an expertise in rosé.
Next to the famous regions of Provence and Loire, the Languedoc is also producing some excellent rosés. The Languedoc rosés a deeper in colour (usually made by bleeding as opposed to the Provence style made by direct pressing), often made from the Syrah varietal, red fruit driven but not sweet as opposed to the majority of Australian Rosés.
My recommandation is Chateau Mourgues du Grès « Galets » Rosé.
A blend of Syrah, Grenache Mourvèdre (GSM). Château Mourgues du Grès is part of the appellation Costières de Nimes famous for its production of rosé wines.
« Les Galets » are the rolled pebbles that characterize Mourgues’ terroir, bringing both minerality and concentration to the wine. Named after them, this cuvée aims to show a singular character combining balance and a lively fruit.
The rose petal hue is luminous, the flavours are driven by red fruits, and the mouth is intense, offering loads of cherry, strawberry, finishing with spicy notes and a distinct sensation of minerality.
This serious rosé is a particularly food friendly wine and perfectly pairs with spicy, grilled or raw fish such as red tuna, but also with Asian cuisine, Caesar salad, sautéed vegetables or pork chops on the barbecue.
Jeremy from European Wine Store suggests the following for International Rosé Day:
We recommend the rosé de Dallau 2015 which is a rosé from Bordeaux, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It is a fruity and balanced wine, which is really harmonious.
It is a rosé which works well with white-meat based dishes (chicken) but which is also quite interesting with spicy foods (very good food pairing is possible).
It comes to use from the winery of Bertin where the passion for wine has been transferred from father to son since 1792. The Bertin vineyards are strong in traditional know how all while mastering the new modern oenology techniques. It’s a beautiful mix of tradition and modernity.
Thomas Gisbert from Mosaïque Wines speaks to us about his favourite rosés for International Rosé Day:
For rosé I can recommend the dry rosés from my family domaine Chai Saint Etienne in the South West of France, near Toulouse. My family makes magnificent rosés in the AOC Coteaux du Quercy from a base of Cabernet Franc and Gamay.
For those who like to try new varietals and styles of rosé, I recommend La Colombiere Vin Gris rosé 2018 from a base of Negrette, which is organically produced near Fronton in the South-West. A spicy rosé épicé with a lot of personality.
And finally for those who like rosés that are richer in colour and with a lot of generosity, I recommend Domaine de Brin Brin de Folie rosé 2018 organically produced from a base of Duras (a rare varietal from the region of Gaillac) and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Jonathon from Popsy & JJ gives two recommendations for International Rosé Day:
Chateau Haut-Maco Rosé 2018 rated 94/100 RRP $36 our price $22.95 a saving of 36%
Rosé lovers strap yourselves in! This is one you do not want to miss! From the world-renowned Bordeaux area, produced by a family who have been making wine since the mid-19th Century is this very pretty merlot dominant rosé. Yes that is correct – merlot!
When we first tasted this wine, we fell in love! We had to bring it back to Australia! It is an aromatic wine with a nose that has traces of strawberry and cherry while the palate is very lively and fresh with just enough fruit but not too overpowering. This wine is a perfect session wine. Lunch on a spring day with family and friends, you can match almost any food with this pearler.
Went down like a dream with rosemary roast chicken (click for recipe)
La Perrière ‘La Petite Perrière’ Pinot Noir Rosé 2018 rated 95/100 RRP $36 our price $24.95 a saving of 31%
If there was any wine to convince a rosé denier to start their account, this is the one! As soon as we had one sip, our jaws dropped, and we were on to it. Popsy said ‘this wine is so pretty that if it had a pulse I’d date it’! Nothing more could be truer. The Loire Valley have been making rosés for centuries and this one is a pearler.
Made from 100% pinot noir grapes and grown entirely on Saget Perrière’s family owned Loire Valley vineyards, the nose abounds freshness, strawberries and cream if that could even be possible?!! We threw this one into a Burgundy glass to emphasise its alluring perfume. There is more strawberry and cream on the palate and it just keeps getting better and more seductive the longer you hold it in the glass. But it’s hard to wait, then suddenly your glass is empty, you refill it and the journey begins again like Groundhog Day!
This wine beckons you to get a rug, throw it on the earth beside the ocean and drink all day with chicken salad. However, on this occasion, we food matched it with an Indian style vegetable curry (click for recipe) which was a foodie moment to behold. It’s a drink-now wine but has enough acid to last a couple of years on the shelf if you forget it’s there …which you won’t.
World Wine www.worldwine.com.au
Thomas from World Wine recommends the following rosés for International Rosé Day:
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé because it is regarded as one of the best rosés in the world
Turkey Flat Rosé because it is a great example of a Barossa Valley Rosé which has the perfect climate and ideal grape varieties to produce rosé in Australia.
Rameau d’Or Rose 2018 because it is one of our personal favourites for it’s effortless flavour and subtlety.
Happy International Rosé Day! What is your favourite Rosé?
To find out more about other varietals, read our articles for: :
To find out more about French wine importers in Australia, click here.