Today is International Rosé Day 2021. In this article, we share 11 things you may not know about rosé, plus French rosé recommendations from French wine importers.
So here are 11 things you may not know about rosé for International Rosé Day 2021.
Even though the colour is pink, Rosé is not made from a blend of red and white grapes. It is made purely from red grapes and the colour comes from the skin. The longer the skin contact the darker the colour.
Except… if it’s a champagne rosé, then the colour can come from the tiny amount of red wine which is added to the blend of white varietals that make champagne like chardonnay. Larger champagne houses will use the red grape skins to achieve the pink colour.
In France, the red wine grape varietals that make Rosé are Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.
Elsewhere, Rosé is also made from Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Zinfandel.
One of the methods for giving rosé its colour is called “saignée”, which means bleeding in French. It refers to the draining of the juice created after macerating the pressed grapes with their skins for 12 – 24 hours.
½ to 2/3 of wine produced in Provence is rosé.
After Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon region is the largest producer of rosé wine in France.
Rosé has some good health benefits! Well, it contains polyphenol which can reduce bad cholesterol. It’s also high in potassium, which is good for lowering blood pressure. And to round it off it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Men who drink rosé are referred to as brosé.
A bar in New York created a slushy version of rosé called frosé.
Don’t bother cellaring rosé – it’s very much a drink now wine.
ROSÉ RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL ROSÉ DAY 2021
Margot from Le Plonque talks Rosé for International Rosé Day 2021.
The South of France and notably the Provence region produces a lot of rosé but it’s not the only part of France to master the art of Pink Wine!
Thereby, our selection for the occasion is Rosé Dallau 2015. And it is not a Provence rosé but a Bordeaux one!
And now you’re probably thinking “what? Isn’t Bordeaux wine just red?” Well no, Bordeaux is not just about Reds.
Bordeaux rosés are dry and powerful roses. They are refreshing and crisp. Rosé de Dallau is made from Cabernet and Merlot. It has a beautiful pink colour, intense berry aromas and is soooo smooth! It does wonders with grilled meats, salad and cheese platters.
So, if you don’t want a Provence rosé this year but want something a bit different, this is the one!
As always receive a 20% discount on all Airoldi Fine Wines orders when using the code “Marseillaise”.
Daniel Airoldi from Airoldi Fine Wines recommends a rosé from a new winery owned by CHANEL.
This year marks the beginning of our collaboration with the new CHANEL estate in Provence called Domaine de l’Ile, which makes a Provence rosé that is unique in the world because it comes from the island of Porquerolles south of Toulon, and it is now the only producer on this island that exports its wines abroad!
It is time to treat yourself with the Cuvée Clarendon, the top cuvée of Domaine Gavoty and made with the “saignée” method. Only the must obtained by gravity after maceration (3 to 6 hours) is used and blended with the must coming out from the first gentle press. The Cuvée Clarendon is a selection from the oldest vines of the Domaine and is made of 15% Grenache, 85% Cinsault. With a complex nose of subtle raspberries and citrus fruits this Rosé will delight you and the palate is powerful, driven and flavourful.
What to serve with this French Rosé?
It goes very well with poached or grilled fish, mixed salads, seafood, lobster, spicy foods and all the classic flavours of Provence (olive oil, lemon, garlic, tomatoes etc).
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.
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.
2018 Chateau Riotor Cotes-de-Provence rose
This has always been one of our favourite Provence rose’s. A lot of wines are flooding the market now that are not a lot more than pale pink coloured water. The Riotor has quite a savoury orange peel, rustic note to go with the pure fruit flavours and silky texture. The quality is outstanding for wines in this price bracket.
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.
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 Etiennein 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 2018from 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 2018organically produced from a base of Duras (a rare varietal from the region of Gaillac) and Cabernet Sauvignon.
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.
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.