In the last five years or so it seems that Rose has caught fire. We are seeing more and more flood the market and more production of Rose itself. When one thinks of Rose, usually the south of France comes to mind; specifically Provence. In addition to Provence areas like Bandol, Tavel and Aix en Provence are right off the Mediterranean and seem to be the setting the standard for French Rose production. Although they seem to be worlds apart in terms of the wines being produced; the Rhone valley and Provence are really close in terms of geography. They also tend to use the same basic varietals; Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault. With the ever growing popularity of Rose, we are gaining access to wines that may or may not have made there way across the pond because of demand. Rose has long been produced across regions all over Europe, just not necessarily exported because of a lack of interest. We have been able to secure a couple Rose’s from the Rhone this year and they are a real treat because of their limited availability and most importantly because of the flavors.
Roucas Toumba is a small producer out of the Vacqueyras which is a small sub-region in the Southern Rhone. They strive to farm and produce as organically as possible and because of the small production are really able to concentrate on producing wine at the highest level. Their Rose is comprised of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan. The wine has an almost Chateauneuf du Pape quality with a lot of dried red fruit flavors coming through. These flavors are balanced with a lively acidity that really creates juxtaposition between red and white wine flavors. This is a real gem and one that should not be missed.
Cuilleron is a producer that is based and focuses on the Northern Rhone appellations where Syrah is the star. This is another producer that pays a lot of attention to the biodynamic/organic processes involved in winemaking. This Rose has a very strawberry, red currant type of flavor that is accompanied by great acidity and certain minerality acquired from the granite soils. This is surprisingly light and fresh for being comprised entirely from Syrah, which can be a big tannic grape. This is another great and unique option.