What better way to spend the bank holiday weekend than a good glass of rosé in hand? That’s good news too – while we won’t melt into a heatwave for the end of summer, the UK weather expects to be kind to us and give us highs in our mid-twenties.
Rosé is no longer just a drink. Like the sight of a striped deckchair on the sand or a white sail on a blue sea, the appearance of a glass of pale rose wine sends a note to our vacation-hungry brains: relax, unwind, the last long weekend of the year is here. No rosé has the same power of subliminal message as the palest roses of Provence, this legendary land of jasmine, palm trees, Mediterranean sun, hilltop villages, lavender fields and umbrella pines.
It is therefore not surprising that their popularity has grown steadily over the past few years. Not just their popularity either – their status too. The dazzling rosé of Provence has won over some major players. The fashion house Chanel now owns a wine estate on the small island of Porquerolles; Michel Reybier, owner of Château Cos d’Estournel in Bordeaux, acquired Château La Mascaronne in the Var department in Provence; and the luxury group LVMH took a majority stake in Château d’Esclans, producer of Whispering Angel, one of the best-known rosé brands in Provence.
As rosé has spread around the world, so has the effort to design bottles and labels to turn them into objects of desire in every way. I love the way the sunlight shines around the ridged glass of the Ultimate Provence Rosé 2020 bottle (on sale at VINVM for £ 15.50, this wine made my long list but not the final cut, but it tastes good and is beautiful).
While the new rosé, The Pale, by Sacha Lichine who invented the Whispering Angel brand, is a glory to behold, in a sturdy bottle with a fluted base and a label reminiscent of The New Yorker magazine style. A sweet and fruity rosé made in the south-east of France, The Pale has a fuzzy peach flavor. It’s not for the school of rosé drinkers “barely there with a hint of sandalwood”, but it’s tasty. It’s not in the list below because you have to wait until June when it comes on offer, but remember: The Pale Rosé de Sacha Lichine 2020 (Vin de Pays du Var, France; 12.5%, Waitrose , £ 13.99).
The popularity of Provence rosé is such that prices have gone up and if you spend less than £ 10 you will find more blissful rosés if you are looking for a Provencal-style rosé rather than a rosé from a Provencal appellation. No, it won’t taste quite the same, but I’d rather drink a good rose that ticks the smooth, pale, and dry boxes than one that says Provence on the label but tastes dull and flat.
There are delicious rosé wines, both pale and dry, from neighboring appellations such as Costières de Nîmes or IGP (Protected Geographical Origin) such as IGP Méditerranée. For a change of pace, I even recommended a pale rose from Touraine, in the Loire. And for those of you wondering why there aren’t any Spanish wines here, the availability wasn’t great when I was tasting, so I’ll watch them another time.
Read below for the best rosé wines we will ring with on the bank holiday weekend.
The best rosé wines of the August 2021 bank holiday weekend
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This notice was published: 2021-08-27 14:21:17