Bandol wine region in Provence. (Courtesy photo)

Springtime for Rosé

Although modern rosé wines are designed to pair with food and be enjoyed year-round, they still come to mind when the spring air begins to warm. While some are “bled off” from juice destined for a red wine — a process known as the Saignee method — others are planted and field-blended specifically for the rosé.

While Provence remains the worldwide leader in the production of fine rosé, I have discovered several releases from California and the Pacific Northwest that are composed of Burgundian, Rhone and Bordeaux varietals.

I first tasted the Whispering Angel rosé from Chateau d’ Esclans at a 2006 tasting of Cote de Provence wines. A blend of grenache, cinsault, vermentino, syrah and tourben, the Chateau d’ Esclans Whispering Angel 2017 ($22) is clean with dense flavors and a rich mouthfeel, the result of regular lees stirrings. Another release, the Chateau d’ Esclans Rock Angel Rosé 2016 ($35) has an herbal/mineral character that is exceptional with food.

By Lyle W. Norton