Pull up a chair with our man Wil Bailey, Portfolio Director here at The Wine Company, as he offers a few notes and highlights on this year’s rosé offering based on our recent tastings both here and abroad.
2017 Rosé vintage in France
The good news (really) is that this vintage was short in much of France (and as such prices from the growers are universally up), and especially in Provence and much of the South. I say this is good news because EVERYONE is now making Rosé, so while the supply from many individual producers in France is lower than 2015 and 2016 the overall supply only continues to climb as every Thomas, Richard, and Henri in France (and honestly the rest of the world too) has added significant Rosé production to their program in the last two years.
Imagine if everyone had been able to make even MORE wine in 2017… The ever expanding ocean of Rosé labels and producers we saw last year will only get exponentially larger again this year. The surprise now is to find someone who does NOT make a Rosé… While our thirst in the category continues to climb, I am confident that the overall supply is now beyond saturation.
It is my fervent hope that in this over saturated environment QUALITY AND VALUE WILL PREVAIL! There is a lot of very good Rosé out there now. There is far more that is really, really forgettable (or worse). We’ve hung our Rosé hat for over 30 years on finding standouts, being selective, and making our decisions based on tasting the new vintages rather than just buying the wines that worked well the year before. This year’s list is a continuation of that program and commitment. Tell your friends!
Some Noteworthy Rosé Highlights
NEW – Cuvee Jean Paul, Gascogne Rosé – This is for sure the only Tannat/Merlot/Cab Franc Rosé in our book, and it’s just juicy, fresh, and tasty as all get out. It’s much brighter and zingier than you would expect from the blend AND the color is perfectly pale (they must leave the Tannat on the skins for about 10 seconds…). It may be my new porch pounder favorite, and under $10 retail why not share it with everyone in your neighborhood.
NEW – Mas Lauris “Terres Mas Lauris” Luberon Rosé – I expect this will not be the only Luberon Rosé we see introduced to the market this year. Situated on the higher hills between Provence and the Vaucluse/Rhone this region is well positioned to make extremely tasty Rosé in a Provencal style (but at a comparative discount to the over $20 retail that more and more Provence AOC producers are asking). Mas Lauris sits at 1,000 feet in the Luberon hills. 100% Organically farmed and hand harvested. The Rosé is 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre. It’s delicious. More length and finish than many of the 2017’s we tasted, but still has very fine bones and modest body. It’s a really lovely, and balanced wine. We were only able to get 50 cases, so enjoy it where and while you can. We will also be bringing in a Red!
Acanthes Rosé – This wine has been a hit every year since we started working with it four years ago. The 2017 is great. It’s a little fresher and brighter in style than the slightly more “Tavel-y” 2016, which should make it even more crowd friendly if anything. Along with the Cuvee Jean Paul above this is one of the craziest values in our Rosé collection.
Chateau l’Ermitage Rosé – For sure a candidate for my top Rosé of the vintage and still a screaming deal. 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Mourvèdre. Our charming friend Jerome Castillon is completely hitting his stride with this wine in repeat vintages now. Remember there is a historic AOC carve out for his little “St Gilles” sub district of Costieres de Nimes to have a higher proportion of Mourvèdre than anywhere else. BECAUSE IT IS DELICIOUS HERE!
Cocagne Rosé – This is another “BUY” year on this wine. 100% Pineau d’Aunis as always, it is super “drinky” this year. The grapefruit/citrus notes that can sometimes be a little strident on this wine are calm, present, and well integrated already. This is one of the most unique wines in our book and should be a standout hit again this year.
Vina 425 Three Liter Box Rosé – as you are all aware we could not be any more excited about this project. This wine is fan/fabulo/tastic. It is a juicy, zesty, gulpable rockstar (in a very sexy black package!). Just you wait. We’re not going to be able to keep it in stock. A wine for the times for SURE!
Scaia Veneto Rosé – Talk about a wine that just keeps getting better… I honestly don’t know how they do it each year, but this is impossibly juicier and more delicious than last year’s was. It is a wine that defies the Italian Rosé category and sits two years running in our top 5 sellers of ANY Rose. Remember it also comes in a beautiful package with a very classy glass “VinoLock” capsule.
Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé – Another wine the husband/wife winemaking team here have completely dialed in in the last two vintages. The 2017 is here now, so you don’t have to just take my word for it. This wine always shows soooooo fresh as they leave a teensy spritz of CO2 in at bottling to help make it pop with every sip.
À santé to the 2018 Rosé Season and to Spring!