24 Provence Rosés Perfect for Warm Weather
“Just about any wine lover not living in a cave is aware of the explosion of Provençal rosé in recent years. Exports to the United States have boomed, with double-digit growth for the last several years pushing the category to 7 million bottles—and it basically all arrives in spring and is consumed before the end of summer.
“With this recent boom comes the best quality yet—the wines are fresh, bright and pure. And rosé from Provence is among the most consistent categories I taste every year, with the vast majority of the wines earning very good ratings of 85 points or higher on Wine Spectator‘s 100-point scale. That makes ordering a glass of rosé or grabbing a bottle off your local retailer’s shelf pretty easy. In addition, with so much competition, prices tend to be modest.
“The downside is that the category may be a bit too consistent. From the pale color to the notes of watermelon rind, white cherry and perhaps a flash of herb, many of the wines are indistinguishable from one another. But hey, it’s summer. When the food turns to lighter buffets and folks just want an ice bucket full of quaffer for poolside sipping, rosé is hard to beat.
“Here’s a selection of two dozen newly released Provençal rosés. Of note is the Gassier Ste.-Victoire 946 bottling, named for the elevation of the 99-acre vineyard from which it’s sourced. Made from a mix of Syrah, Grenache and Rolle, the wine blends three lots fermented separately, including a portion done in oak cask, giving the blend a noticeably creamy feel.
“There’s also the debut bottling from Michel Chapoutier’s recently acquired Provence estate, as well as the always-solid bottling from Charles Bieler.”