Sunday, August 20, 2017

Pretty Pink and Pale

There is a current fad around the world to see the pretty and pale, but dry and thirst-quenching rosé wine of Provence and Southern France as the ultimate in the style.  If your rosé has a deeper or darker colour, and shows aromas and flavours of real fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate and quince, and they have a little lifted confectionary character, then the wine doesn’t fit in with what is trendy.  And that’s a shame, as for most consumer, myself included, I like a bit of diversity.  There are times and foods that work better with a rosé with more flavour and/or structure.  The key thing is that the wines are mouth-watering and thirst-quenching in the final analysis.  However, the current predisposition for pale and pink is strong, and one must be aware of what they entail and offer.  They do have  a range of personalities and quality, so one must still be careful in choosing the right one.

It was a treat to have four southern French rosé wine come my way.  They were authentic, but were not the most famous or esteemed.  But they delivered exactly as they should have.  Some a little more than other, and others a little less.  The 2016 Chemin des Sables Mediterranee Rosé was light in flavour, vibrant and fresh, but a little too phenolic and grippy for great balance.  But still, it did the job.  I was taken more by the 2016 Plaisir’osé Var Rosé, more fragrant and fruity, and with very good acidity and textural balance.  Maybe it’s my New World palate, but this modern style appealed to me the most.  Then can what I’d regard as the most ‘authentic’, showing the character and interest that Provencale rosé can deliver.  The 2016 Henri Gaillard Cotes de Provence Rosé had elegance and concentration, lovely freshness and fruit, but also with a touch of non-perfect complexity in flavour. This had interest.  Again, it might be my New World stereotyping playing its part.  And finally the 2016 J. L. Quinson Cotes de Provence Rosé, harmonious and delicate, maybe a little light in character, but in no way offering any offence.

These were all true-to-style, but quite amazingly so different – in a subtle way of course.  Diversity and variety is the spice of life, and our perspectives of rosé should encompass that too, beyond just pale, pretty and pink.   

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