THE DRINKS BUSINESS – Rosé tasting shows Provençal dominance

A blind tasting of premium rosés in London recently highlighted the strength of the Provençal style as the benchmark for dry rosés.

Hosted by Richard Bampfield MW on behalf of Jean-Christophe Mau’s Château Brown which produces a pink wine, the tasting pitted 36 premium dry rosés from 9 countries against one another although half of the wines presented were from the south of France.


Wines tasted included Whispering Angel, Château d’Esclans Rock Angel, Chêne Bleu, three wines from Château Léoube and “Made in Provence” from Domaine Sainte Lucie.

Château Brown’s rosé was the only non-Provençal wine in the top 14, while the only non-French wine in the top 20 was Turkey Flat from the Barossa.

A brief summary of notes and comments from the tasting noted: “Colour should be bright and pale (but not colourless) and not too onion-skin. Applauded aromas were those that were floral or of summer fruits; herbaceousness not desirable.

“The palate should balance ripeness, freshness and integrated alcohol.  This quote summarises feedback nicely ‘fine rosé is a balancing act between subtle red fruits, delicate, creamy texture and crisp acidity. Length and resonance are the key to quality rather than concentration or complexity’. Interestingly the more obviously oaked wines did not score so highly.”

A look at premium French rosé and the growing dominance of the Provençal style will appear in the July issue of the drinks business.


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