Rosé wines: four to try for every budget
Provence rosé and lookalikes may be all the rage, but there are plenty of other styles of very good pink wine available
For the last decade, possibly longer, Provence rosé has been the go-to tipple of the sipping classes. Preferably served from a distinctive bottle, it is pale in colour, barely pink at all, light in fruit with a crisp dry finish.
While the supermarkets might be full of less expensive versions, producers of red and white wine around the world look with a certain amount of envy at the ease with which consumers part with €20 or much more for a bottle of Provence rosé. Two wines, Whispering Angel and Garrus, both produced by Château d’Esclans, can take credit for starting the trend. Domaine Ott is another high-end producer, joined more recently by Miraval, Chateau Minuty, Mirabeau and others.
Provence rosé and lookalikes may be all the rage, but there are plenty of other styles of very good pink wine available and, inspired by a new book Rosé, Understanding the pink wine revolution (Elizabeth Gaby MW, Infinite Ideas) here is a look at different styles of rosé wines from other regions.
A rosé does not have to be pale-hued and dry. It can have a deeper colour, which does not necessarily mean it is sweet or full-bodied. It can also be rich and rounded with vibrant fruits.
If money is no object, there are two very different Provence rosés, the Domaine Tempier Bandol (around €37, independents) and Château Simone from Palette. These, along with the López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva Rosdao (€30, independents) from Rioja, are wines with real depth and complexity that predate the current rosé obsession.
Virtually any black grape can be used to make rosé, although it tends to be the thin-skinned, less tannic varieties, such as Garnacha, Pinot Noir and Gamay that produce the best results. As well as Provence, the Rhône and Loire valleys along with Cigales, Navarra and Rioja in Spain have a long and noble rosé tradition. Rioja had “clarete” named after claret, originally a rosé from Bordeaux. More recently Alsace and New Zealand have started producing high-quality rosé from Pinot Noir.
As I’ve mentioned many times, rosé wines are great for much more than sipping before dinner. They go nicely with all sorts of summer salads, as well as grilled fish, white meats, pasta or rice with seafood. More full-bodied rosés go really well with barbecued meats, and fish as well as spicy foods – worth remembering the next time you buy a posh takeaway curry.
O’Briens has started its annual summer rosé promotion, offering a range of rosé wines with a “buy one get the second half price” offer – which amounts to a reduction of 25 per cent. The Rós below is made by Lynne Coyle, O’Briens director of wine, in partnership with Alicia Eyaralar of Bodegas Tandem in Navarra.
Rós 2019, Rosé, Navarra, Spain
A gorgeous, medium-bodied rosé brimming with plump ripe strawberries that are offset perfectly by a vibrant acidity. Perfect with grilled and poached salmon or salad niçoise.
Stockists: O’Briens, obrienswine.ie
Pittnauer König Rosé 2019, Burgenland, Austria, Organic
A delicious light scented rosé with juicy cherry and redcurrant fruits and a fine seam of refreshing acidity. Perfect with all sorts of crudités and nibbles.
Stockists: 1601 Off-licence, Kinsale; Baggot Street Wines, Dublin 4, baggotstreetwines.com; Blackrock Cellar, Blackrock, blackrockcellar.com; Bradleys Off-licence, Cork, bradleysofflicence.ie; Clontarf Wines, D3, clontarfwines.ie; Green Man Wines, Dublin 6, greenmanwines.ie; 64wine, Glasthule, 64wine.ie; First Draft Coffee & Wine, Dublin 8, firstdraftcoffee.com; Morton’s, Dublin 6, mortons.ie; The Corkscrew, Dublin 2, thecorkscrew.ie; The Wine House, Trim.
Les Prunes Blanc de Mandó 2018, Les Filles d’Amàlia (Organic)
Delicate, with rose petal aromas, piquant raspberry fruits and a crisp dry finish. A lovely aperitif, or with light tapas.
Stockists: Green Man Wines, Dublin 6, greenmanwines.ie; 64wine, Glasthule, 64wine.ie; Blackrock Cellar, Blackrock, blackrockcellar.com; First Draft Coffee & Wine, Dublin 8, firstdraftcoffee.com; Sweeneys D3, sweeneysd3.ie; Listons, Dublin 2, listonsfoodstore.ie.
Le Rosé de Soula 2019, Terroir d’altitude, IGP Côtes Catalanes (Biodynamic)
A medium-bodied Syrah-based rosé with real character; very seductive savoury raspberry and dark cherry fruits, and a whisper of tannin on the dry mineral finish. This would go very nicely with grilled or barbecued chicken and pork, or garlicky roast aubergines and peppers.
Stockists: First Draft Coffee & Wine, Dublin 8, firstdraftcoffee.com; Blackrock Cellar, Blackrock, blackrockcellar.com; Green Man Wines, Dublin 6, greenmanwines.ie.