If you are enjoying summer as much as we are, you’ll probably be ready to host a garden party or an outdoor dinner on the patio or by the pool. No matter what your summer occasion might be, there is nothing quite like a rosé wine to complement your meal. Rosés are the perfect summer wine, because they are always served chilled, they are light and fresh, and their color evokes the shades of summer. Rosés are made around the world, but the rosés from Provence are the best of the best.
Rosés can be made in different ways, but usually the technique in Provence is to start with a mix of red grapes, such as Syrah and Grenache (and perhaps some others as well). Because the grape skins are removed from the mix early in the processing the wine takes on a pale red or pink color.
Rosés were long seen as a poor cousin to the reds and the whites, but they have now come into their own as a third and equal choice. Now rosés are a great choice because they are widely available at good prices. Here are five Provencal rosés that we love.
- Chateau Roquerfort La Bédoule Côtes de Provence Corail 2009 ($19) is a juicy and refreshing wine, with flavors of roses, and minerals. The New York Times recently gave it a three star rating.
- The Mirabeau vineyards rosé ($25) is a classic Cotes de Provence made by a British family that has recently moved to Provence and which is making some award winning wines. This one is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault. It is tangy and spicy with a great finish.
- The clean and crisp wines that come from the Triennes vineyard are grown in a special microclimate just 20 miles from the Mediterranean. The vineyard is owned by two vintners who have made their reputations in Burgundy: Jacques Seysses (Dujac) and Aubert du Villaine (Romanee-Conti). Their Vin de Pays du Var Rosé 2012 ($13) is clean, spicy, and tangy.
- The Commanderie de Peyrassol Cotes de Provence Rose 2012, $16 is strawberry flavored – it’s a delicious blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault.
- Last, but far from least, is La Ferme Julien rosé, from the Perrin family’s Rhone Valley Vineyards (2012). It’s available for only $5.99 at Trader Joe’s stores. This wine is inexpensive, but also fruity and fresh – it’s well worth buying worth a couple of bottles.