(2021) Well, the first thing that gives a clue that this is no 'ordinary' Provence rosé is arguably not the super-heavyweight bottle, but the 14.5% alcohol. It is made from a single vineyard of nearly 100 year-old Grenache vines, blended with a little Rolle (Vermentino), and fermented in new and second-use French oak barrels of 600-litres, where it is aged for a further 10 months with batonnage.
The colour is still delicate and appealing, but the nose is intriguing: the herbs and light floral and summer fruit scents are there, but it seems deeper, it seems as though it is a rosé that is holding something in reserve and not putting it all there from the start. In the mouth it is bone dry, and though there's a hint of passion fruit and even mango, that is soon tempered and calmed by a serious bit of structure, salts and lemon acids yes, but also an intensity of small red berries from cranberry to redcurrant, the concentration seeming to build in the mouth. It's a wine that plays mind-games with you, seeming like a typically fresh, floral and herb-strewn Provence pink one minute, perhaps a delicate and feminine Pinot Noir the next, and yet with the texture and balance of a fine white wine. Truly something exceptional and will cellar positively too. Price and stockist quoted at time of review are for the previous vintage.
(2020) Chót, the back label informs me, is the Occitan word for 'owl', often to be found in the trees around the vineyard for this Languedoc rosé. A pale coppery-pink, it has a super-fruity nose, lots of lift with flowers and vivid cherry and quite exotic hints of almost Turkish-delight character. In the mouth it feels quite substantial: there's a bit of tannic grip, plenty of limey acidity, and the red fruit somewhere between tart berries and softer peach, a hint of sweetness flitting around the finish. £10.80 for Daily Drinker club members.
(2020) Pale pink in colour, this is fine and aromatic, quite a punchy red fruit nose, and yet there is a light earthiness and yeastiness, something a little ozoney too, In the mouth crisp and crunchy, a bracing green apple twang of acidity against cool, tart raspberry and peach or apricot skins, that little hint of phenolics, and a long, very focused finish. Winemaker PJ Charteris was at pains to say he was not going for a 'pink' wine, more a 'light bronze'. I am guessing that's partly to do with the price: a £30+ New Zealand rosé would require a huge leap of faith from the purchaser. Fact is, athough an excellent wine, that price does seem steep compared to the A1, or indeed, A2.
(2020) From the volcanic slopes of Etna, this is 100% Nerelo Mascalese from 25- to 60-year-old bush vines. It has an orangey hue to the pink colour, and a fascinating nose, immediately quite earthy and complex, plenty of red berries and a ripe, peachy tone, but somehow quite savoury. In the mouth it treads a fine balancing line between that charming and sweet fruit character, and something more gastronomic and juicy, but it's dry and really quite long. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2020) A delightful, dry Côtes de Provence rosé that's mostly Grenache with 25% Cinsault, 8% Syrah and 7% Carignan, the nose is crammed with small red berry fruits, cranberry and redcurrants, a touch of lemon rind too. Some lees contact in tank lends texture on the palate, and it is super dry and tangy-fresh, a real sense of citrus juiciness is mouth-watering, in a delicious and gastronomic rosé perfect with a salad Niçoise or seabass or bream. Watch the video for more information.
(2020) A certified organic Provence rosé for less than £7.00 is an intriguing prospect, but I confess this wasn't one of my favourites from this small selection. A moderately pale colour, the nose offers small red berries and a faint touch of the lavender or thyme that one one hopes for, but the palate was much sweeter than would be typical, and that threw the wine's slight sense of dilution into sharp relief. I don't know how much residual sugar this has, but though quaffable enough it didn't push the bone-dry Provençal buttons that I personally look for.
(2020) A contemporary, pale-hued rosé from Rioja, this is 85% Garnacha (Grenache) with 15% of the white wine grape, Viura. There's a little bit of elderflower and passionfruit, presumably from the Viura which often exhibits those characters, onto the palate which is nicely concentrated with a bit of fruit skin grip and intensity, oranges and more of that passionfruit character, and keen citrus zest acidity, presumably early picking ensuring that raciness, with only 12.5% alcohol.
(2020) This is the rosé to buy if you are a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, because it is a particularly vivacious example, showing some of the passion fruit and elderflower pungency of a Savvy, the early picking of the grapes (this has only 12.5% alcohol) and I am guessing some Sauvignon Blanc yeasts giving that vivacious personality. Juicy on the palate with red berry fruit and sour orange and grapefruit blast of acidity, it is a dry, striking and very singular expression of rosé, and enjoyable to boot.
(2020) Another stylish bottle for this blend of Syrah, Grenache and a little of the white variety, Rolle. Pale in colour, and an intense nose of lime peel, small red fruits and something quite mineral and concentrated, maybe melon skins. In the mouth again there is an impressive level of fruit concentration here, more intense and powerful than many Provence rosés, but it does not lack clarity or finesse, or fresh acidity. Very good. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2020) Come hither charms for this soft, pulpy red-fruited Provence pink, aromas of strawberry sunde, sherbet and watermelon and an appealing, very easy drinking palate with balanced acidity and a gentle finish. No UK retail listing at time of review.