Maybe some of you have been waiting all week for French rosé day, but grapefriend doesn’t roll like that. Still, most people just think France when they think rosé and with good reason: it produces most of the world’s rosé, and the pink juice actually outsells white wine in France. Provence is the major player, as it produces 40% of France’s rosé. And even though I often prefer the darker, juicier rosés I really came around on the Frenchers while I sampled this past month.
So let’s drink up, amis du raisin (that’s French for grapefriends)!
hecht & bannier 2011, $11
This was my first indication that French rosés and I were about to have a new relationship. I’d go so far as to say I loved this! It’s from the Languedoc region and is equal parts Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. A fruit salad of raspberries, strawberries, oranges mixed up with a little mineral. It also has decent acidity which means it’s great for food. And $11??? Are you kidding me? In in in.
chateau d’aqueria 2011, $19
This little gem comes from Tavel, which also a big player on the rosé scene. This one has good strawberry flavor balanced by some mineral. It’s half Grenache, but lets a bunch of other French faves like Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Picpoul play too. Plus, I love saying Picpoul.
g. lorentz 2011, $17
Yet again, Alsace comes through like a champ. Seriously, I may have to move there. That would be like drinking in heaven every day. This Pinot Noir rosé is lean like Provence ones, but a tiny bit more mineral. I have to say, though, the Lorentz on the label is a little cheesy, like “Swoosh, I’m on Solid Gold!” Doesn’t affect the wine, just making a superficial comment.
chateau beaulieu 2011, $13
If you looked up “Provence rosé” in a dictionary and that dictionary was the kind that served wine, this would be in the entry. A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s light, it’s lean, it’s like a French Kate Moss. Who owns a vineyard in Provence.
paul jaboulet aîné parallele 45, 2011, $9
Love this on the bottom of the label: “Ici commence le sud” (translation: the south begins here). This is a Côtes du Rhône made of 50% Grenache, 40 % Cinsault, 10% Syrah. I always have this one at this place we go to outside by Grand Central – just some easy outdoor drinking.
And now, a very special public service announcement for grapefriends, especially Robyn:
chateau d’esclans whispering angel 2011, $20
Whispering Angel is from an estate owned by this guy Sacha Lichine who’s the son of Alexis Lichine (a Russian dude who was influential in having people call wines by the grape instead of the place they’re from). So the wine world’s like falling all over themselves about it, but at least it’s good. This is the entry-level rosé for them – their others are more expensive but I haven’t had them. They had Whispering Angel by the glass at Stone Rose so I was psyched to try it. It’s the salmon-colored, very dry style (73% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, 8.5% Syrah, 5.5% Mourvedre, 4% Rolle) and I liked it more than Ott, which I’m now calling Domaines NOT and sipping Whispering Angel while the Hamptons douchers buy up all that other vomit juice.
PS: It doesn’t really taste like vomit but one too many anecdotes have riled grapefriend up. Anyway, experiment and see what you like blah blah blah.
PPS: I do really like the Hamptons, just fyi.