(2017) Year after year in my 'Wines of the Year' feature here on wine-pages, this iconic Côtes de Provence rosé picks up plaudits. The blend is mainly Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino) and Cinsault, and it's a prime example of the pale, delicate, lacework style of Provence rosé. Abundantly fresh and zippy, there's a blush of softer peach and strawberry, but it's the shimmering core of mineral and light lemon acidity that drives this to a delicious, dry finish. Until end February 2017 this wine is available for £110 per case of 12 in-bond, for delivery in April. Duty and VAT will then be payable, bringing the total per bottle price to £13.49 - a saving of around £3.50 per bottle on the retail price once released. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) A rosé from Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah that comes in a striking, screen-printed bottle in the style of Art Nouveau artist Émile Gallé, released to celebrate the domaine's 60th anniversary. It has a pretty nose of dry red fruits touched with rose-hip and pink grapefruit. On the palate it is quite a powerful wine, full and with a bit of acid backbone and hint of tannin.
(2017) Confusingly there's already a 'Pure Provence' rosé from Domaine Mirabeau on the UK market, so if this wine does appear on UK shelves I wonder how it will be labelled? The wine has just picked up 96 points and a 'Platinum' award at the Decanter World Wine Awards. The colour is typical Provence-pale, the nose has a delicate peach down and ripe melon fruitiness, but classic herbal touches. On the palate it has a bit of grip and structure, a very slightly phenolic bite, in a fairly serious style. It's good, but what it is absolutely not, for me, is a 96 point wine.
(2017) An organically certified wine from the Côtes de Thongue, this has that pale Provençal colour so unlike the darker, more cherry-coloured Cabernet-based pinks of Bordeaux. It is moderately fruity with small red berries and a touch of lemon, a certain stony mineral character too. In the mouth it is quite full with 13.5% alcohol, and thought juicy, doesn't have enormous length. Good freshness and a bit of melon-rind texture too though.
(2017) A non-vintage wine from organically certified vineyards in Abbruzzo, 100% Montepulciano, and the estate lying in a national park were wolves - lupi - have been sighted amongst the vines. It has quite a deep garnet-hued pink colour with bold cherry aromas. It's so different from so many Provence and Provence lookalikes, vinous with a hint of prune or currant. In the mouth there's a lightly oxidised feel to this. Not having tasted it before I am not sure if that is an intentional part of its style, but it's bottled under screwcap, so I imagine it is. It's dry, balanced, but lacking a little fresh fruitiness arguably.
(2017) Though Pinot Gris is a grape that can ripen to quite a dark red, and thus could make a rosé on its own, here Saint Clair have blended in some Malbec. The colour is quite a pale salmon pink, and it's very much a dry red berry nose - raspberry, redcurrant, even strawberry - before a palate that has a good core of lemony, zest acidity and quite a full texture, adding up to a pleasing and versatile rosé. On sale at £9.30 from The Drink Shop at time of review.
(2017) A rosé from Franschhoek in South Africa, which blends Bordeaux varieties and Syrah, and 10% of which was fermented in French oak barriques. The colour is a pale-to-medium salmon pink, and there's a bold, dry, small red berry fruitiness that leads on to quite a grippy, authoratitive palate for a rosé, concentrated and with a bit of grip and tannin to offset the soft berry flavours and cleansing acidity. A good gastronomic pink for salmon or paella perhaps.
(2017) Made from Tempranillo. There's a creaminess again, a touch of tobacco and gentle sweet and nutty spice, a soft strawberries and cream fruit. The palate is gentle and easy drinking, with a bit more spice and firming acidity.
(2016) Lovely grapefruit and orange skin fragrance to this unusual wine, made by fermenting the grapes with their pink skins, to end up with a lovely but definitely rosé coulour. Touches of lychee and exotic perfume, the palate juicy and surprisingly delicate given the skin contact, delicious hint of creaminess before the acidity and nip of tannins adds savour.
(2016) Made from 100% Refosco grown in Masi's Friuli estate, 15% of the grapes for this rosé are dried for 50 days before fermentation in stainless steel tanks, with bâtonnage during the long, cool ferment. It is an utterly charming wine, crammed full of cherry-bright fruit, rose-hips and cranberry, the bursting freshness of pomegranate seeds but richness too. In the mouth peaches and grapefruit add both softness and hugely tangy grip, into a long, harmonious finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.