Although Rosé Week is over, summer is not. That means outside rosé drinking is still alive and well. It’s really just something fun and light to drink when it’s hot out – you’re sweating, it’s refreshing. But that’s kind of it. The rosé I’ve had (and I’ve had A LOT) is always just an easy-drinker, but never mindblowing. So even if the vast majority of rosé is just supposed to go down easy, I wondered if there was any rosé that could really impress me.
Enter Rock and Rhone. This guy is always bringing some kind of sick wine to Bar Boulud, where I drink often. He literally just walks around with bottles of great wine and he’s friends with people there so they let him open them at the bar or in the kitchen with the staff. I’ve been lucky enough to have a glass or two poured out for me and have gotten to try some great wine. So when I said I’d never had an insane rosé he proposed a sidewalk tasting, and this is what he brought:
To clarify, I actually brought the two on the outside: Stoller, which is one of my favorite rosés ever (I LOVE Pinot Noir rosés, and the ones from Willamette make me super happy – this one’s $20), and the Gard, which I had for the first time at Taste in Seattle and is made from Grenache from Washington’s Columbia Valley ($22). I had to rep on the domestic front since Rock and Rhone always goes all French.
We started off with the lovely Chateau de Pampelonne, which I was told was named after the beach in St. Tropez where Brigitte Bardot was discovered. This was your typical Cotes de Provence rosé – light, the slightest taste of unripe strawberry and peach, and quick going down. For just under $20, you’d never be unhappy with this one.
Then we skyrocketed right to Chateau Pradeaux. I’d recently had their very nice entry-level wine for a great rooftop rosé session:
But the daddy wine was excellent. Fleshy white peach and a hint of slate, with a great almost waxy texture. Really liked it, though it’ll knock you back about $40 at the wine store. That said, pretty worth it. Bandol is probably my favorite region for rosé. They tend to be a little more interesting and layered than yawn-y Provence (my absolute fave from there is the Tempier, also around $40-45).
So then we moved on to two Chinon rosés. Chinon is in the Loire, and the reds and rosés there are made from Cab Franc. The reds are pretty funky – they have a stinky mushroom, earthy funk to them. The rosés are more toned down but still have an element of that. They’re much earthier than your Provencal rosés, and all the wine people were geeking out over them (especially the Baudry); both are around $18. Such a beautiful color, too.
Out of the lot, I probably liked the Gard and the Pradeaux best. But as good as the Pradeaux was, it didn’t BLOW MY MIND. It was just really, really good, and made better by some incredible NYC August weather. And this to cap off the night: