Can you feel the heat? If you live in the northern hemisphere, chances are that you are feeling extremely hot these days. For those of us living in Florida, the temps are magnified by the suffocating humidity. Come August, it often feels like we just can’t cool down ever.
For wine drinkers, this heat means that it’s a nice time to explore wines that present well when chilled–or well chilled. For many, that means pass the rosé. Although, I hate to say that because we drink rosé year-round in Florida, and it’s no big deal. Really, rosé doesn’t need a specific season to be enjoyed. In fact, in Provence, rosé is the wine du jour every day, as about 90% of the production there is focused on this style of wine. It’s the only place in the world where rosé is truly the main game around.
Rosé All Day With These Wines From Provence
Recently, I got all dressed to go to the gym here in our building, and instead, ended up at the table tasting through four Provençal rosés. Though sidetracked, it’s hard to complain about this change of plans and afternoon delight. In the world of pink wines, Provence still reigns supreme on my list of favorites, so it was a pleasure to sit down and taste through these bottles.
All were pale salmon pink, and all had the signature Provence red berries and lightly floral aromas, which is exactly what the region of Provence smells like–lavender and jasmine fields (for days). I had a couple of favorites but truly enjoyed each one. As I tasted, I used my Coravin in order to preserve freshness so that I can have each bottle on its own at a later time.
Here are the wines I tasted and some notes.
Rosé de Léoube, 2019
Côtes de Provence AOP
I said I picked a few favorites, and this was one of them. The nose showed bright, ripe strawberries and fragrant roses–was that a hint of bubble gum? On the palate, there was lively acidity, fresh red fruit, and a bit of garrigue on the finish with a touch of minty citrus zest. A very “elegant” rosé with a softness that I love. Out of these four, this one was my pick for most “Provençal” in the traditional sense–or the way that I perceive wines from this region. The blend is Grenache and Cinsault, with just a touch of Syrah and Mourvèdre.
The wines from Château Léoube are organic and have the “Vin Biologique” designation, and their website says that they have been committed to sustainable practices for over 20 years.
Côtes de Provence AOP
Though similar in its pale pink look, Quat’saisons had quite a different flavor profile than the previous wine. The nose was extremely pronounced with honied peach and late summer ripened strawberry. The palate was sticky with ultra-ripe summer fruits like red berries and peach pie filling. Strong acidity held tightly to the sticky fruit flavors, which lingered well into the long finish framed by a touch of citrus.
I enjoyed this blend of Cinsault and Grenache for its bolder flavors, but prefer the style of the first. Although, Quat’Saisons would be my choice for wine & cheese on the balcony with a warm summer breeze.
Château de l’Escarelle
Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé, 2019
Coteaux Varois en Provence AOP
A lovely wine with a nose full of flowers, strawberry, and grapefruit. In the mouth, it is refreshingly tart with a long, tart strawberry finish. Medium acidity makes this a perfect sipping wine. The blend is Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault.
Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé, 2019
Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence AOP
This wine was one of my other favorites. Lively strawberry on the nose and in the mouth, with a lingering citrus finish. Fresh and bright, lively and lovely, I’d enjoy this bottle with any activity, any time of the year. The blend is a long one: Grenache 50%, Cinsault 20%, Syrah 15%, Cournoise 13%, Rolle, Grenache Blanc, Mourvèdre. Another Vin Biologique wine, with organic viticulture being an important part of the operation of the winery from the beginning.
There you have it! Four wines to help you rosé all day without breaking a sweat! Well, no guarantees, but at least if you’re out and about in the heat, you won’t be weighed down by your wine. Think Provence next time you’re craving rosé, and enjoy your summertime sipping.