Never Say No To Rosé. Bouquet drenched in Sunshine. Aromas of the Garrigue. Suave and Gourmet.

Once In Provence

O'Briens Rosé Summer Offer. All Summer!

Once in Provence - well I was there just the once - I thought I should get a bottle of rosé for a fish meal back at the gite that summer’s evening. 

It was mid-afternoon and I was visiting Roussillon, the reddest town in France. Red, not because of its politics, but because of the red/yellow/orange colour of its buildings, most constructed from the local ochre stone - you could see, from the town, the bright slashes of a quarry in the area.

As you might expect, the young man in the wine shop had quite a selection. After a chat, he offered the bottle that his family favoured and it turned out very well indeed. Just before we drove out of the carpark, I took a photo of the newly acquired rosé lying on the local soil.

The local soil adds colour to this rosé

One begins drinking with the eyes, they say down there, the beauty enhanced by the glass. That bouquet drenched in sunshine. Aromatic notes of the hot and dry garrigue (herbs, spices, fruit). The taste suave and gourmet. They can really sell wine in these parts! 

Perhaps the best sell of all comes from an unexpected quarter: from the monks of Via Caritatas. They have produced a rosé that “addresses itself to the soul… Silence is the only thing that suits.” Check it all out here on this short video from the winery. Thanks to their Gabriel Teissier, I have tasted their beautiful Lux red but not that tempting rosé Lux de Cælo!

Came across quite a lot of rosé that Provence trip, including some at the famous Tavel (on the Rhone). Mostly though we bought and drank the pink from the ladies of Mas de la Dame (spoken of by Nostradamus, painted by Van Gogh, its wines recommended by Mary Dowey, three legends there!). 

The Mas rosé was popular in the restaurants around Arles (our base) and the vineyard itself was in easy reach and so we called and bought wine at the farm in Les Baux de Provence, a charming medieval village perched atop a rocky outcrop near where Anne Poniatowski and Caroline Missoffe, the current “dames”, continue to make excellent wines (not available in Ireland as far as I know).

Chateau Gairoird Organic Rose Côtes de Provence (AP) 2020, 13%, €14.21 (18.95)

This organic rosé from Provence has a very pale salmon colour. Quite aromatic with, for me, strawberry leading the charge, also notes of grapefruit and white peach. Strawberry also on the full flavoured palate, good balance too. Plus a decently long finish. Perhaps this is more suited to table rather than aperitif duty with a veal blanquette, cheeses, crab fritters, tuna tartare, grilled salmon, linguine with tomato and olive sauce, among the dishes suggested. Serve at 12 degrees.

Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah are among the grapes used in this blend. This Côtes de Provence rosé is all about the blend and up to 10 other varieties (including Rolle and Tibouren and mostly in tiny proprortions) may go into this wine.

O’Brien’s tell us the Pierrefeu family has owned this estate since 1824 and have farmed it organically for the last ten years. The estate has a maritime climate and benefits from a sea breeze every day which keeps the grapes healthy and disease free without the need for spraying, this is a deliciously elegant textbook Provence. The terroir is classic Provence with free-draining, chalky-clay soil dotted with galets and, with wonderful echoes of Jean de Florette, the Château has its own ‘source’.

While this rosé from Provence has nothing much more by way of colour than a blush hue, a recent edition of Wine Enthusiast reports, that in recent vintages the local rosé in Provence has “gotten exactly what it needed: more color.” 

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Languedoc 2020 13.5%, €14.21 (18.95)

The "sculptured" base of the Bertrand.

Another impressive bottle from the Languedoc. There’s a rose on the neck (top) and the bottom has been “sculpted” into a rose shape (above).

Glass closure

So how does the wine shape up? Quite well actually as you’d expect from Gérard Bertrand who played rugby well and now makes wines well. The colour is a soft pale rose, with a hint of grey. Aromas are delicate, of red summer fruit (strawberry and cherry) and blossom too. With its generous rounded mouthfeel, the freshness and fruitiness on the palate, it is all the better to match your grilled white meat, white fish or Mediterranean style summer salads or just as an aperitif as you and your friend shoot the breeze and smell the back garden roses.

This blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, certainly looks, and tastes, well enough to give as a gift when calling to a friend and don’t forget to get one for yourself as well. 

Summer Long Rosé Offers at O'Briens Wine

Revino PostCard Organic Pinot Grigio 2020 Veneto €11.96

Delheim Pinotage 2020 Stellenbosch €10.46

Petit Bourgeois Pinot Noir 2019/20 €11.96 Loire Valley

Langlois Rosé D’Anjou 2020 €11.96 Loire Valley

Pasqua 11 Minutes 2020 €14.21 Veneto

Laurent Miquel Les Auzines Alaina €12.71 Languedoc Roussillon

MiMi en Provence Grande Réserve 2020 €14.96 Côtes de Provence

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses 2020 €14.21 Languedoc Roussillon

Famille Bougrier 2020 €10.46 Loire Valley

Domaine L’Ostal 2020 €11.96 Languedoc Roussillon

Château de Gairoird 2020 €14.21 Côtes de Provence

Rós Rosé 2020 €12.71 Navarra

Passe Colline Rosé Ventoux 2020 €11.21 Rhone

See previous post on the Alaina and L'Ostal here.