With temperatures hitting well over thirty degrees in the UK in recent weeks, it’s prime time to think and drink pink. From classic Provence to far flung international styles, we guide you through the very best rosé wines to tantalise your tastebuds.
Walking into a wine merchant or along a supermarket drinks’ aisle at present will confront you with a sea of blushing wines. This is largely a seasonal trend during the warmer months, with rosé only accounting for around 10% of global wine production. Styles range from pale and mineral to dark and fruity, with some expressions bone dry whilst others are lusciously sweet. Although many assume rosé is just for summer sipping, it is an incredibly versatile drinks option, providing the perfect accompaniment to many food dishes all year round.
Provence is undoubtedly the best known French region for producing quality rosé wine, with its pale salmon pink colour and crisp palate synonymous with the style. Stretching the Mediterranean coastline from Avignon to Nice, the area of Côtes de Provence benefits from a hot growing season with around 300 days of sunshine a year. With such a beautiful climate, high yields of healthy and ripe grapes are common most vintages, allowing many domaines to practice organic methods successfully.
Renowned Provençal producers include Domaine Ott, Brangelina’s Miraval and Château d’Esclans (makers of Whispering Angel). Our favourite Provence rosé comes from award-winning estate Mirabeau, founded in 2009 by husband and wife team Stephen and Jeany Cronk.
Based in the small village of Cotignac, the estate sources top quality grapes from around 2,000 hectares of prime vineyards across the region. Having secured close to 50 acres of vineyards near St Tropez last year, Mirabeau will be able to work even closer with the land, continuing their efforts to produce wine as naturally and organically as possible.
Fondly known as “Provence in a glass,” Mirabeau’s Pure is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah with aromas of pink grapefruit, cranberry and herbs. Its fresh acidity and mineral finish evoke the elegance and delicacy of this region’s iconic rosé style.
Better known for its oak-matured, fine red wines, the region of Rioja also produces stand-out “rosado” wines. Founded in 1877, Lopez de Heredia is one of Spain’s most famous winemaking families, owning four autonomous vineyard areas. Arguably the most revered of their wines is Viña Tondonia and its Rosé Gran Reserva does not disappoint.
Produced from a blend of 60% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo and 10% Virua, the wine shows spicy notes of cinnamon alongside rose petal and ripe strawberry flavours. This is an opulent yet dry style of rosé, with a long and complex finish.
A relatively new region to the modern winemaking scene, England now has a growing reputation for quality still and sparkling wines. Based in Kent near Tenterden, Chapel Down is considered one of the most reputable estates in the UK since its inception in 1992, producing a growing range of award winning wines, sprits and beers. Their still rosé is exceptional value as a fruit-froward and creamy aperitif wine with refreshing aromas of redcurrants, cranberries and strawberries.
Considered a rising star in South Africa’s modern winemaking scene, Lukas van Loggerenberg is making exceptional wines in the Devon Valley area of Stellenbosch.
By working with the most talented grape growers in the Western Cape, Loggerenberg estate is able to produce world-class wines including their Break a Leg Rosé. Made from 100% Cinsault and fermented in old French oak, this wine has all the elegance of a Provençal rosé, exuding delicate notes of red cherry, raspberry and orange blossom.
Lebanon has a great reputation for producing terroir-driven, delicious and characterful wines, seemingly against all odds. The best known region, close to the Eastern border, is the Bekaa Valley, where Massaya winery is located.
Founded by the Ghosn family in 1998, their rosé wine is testament to the country’s resilience and determination for quality wine. Produced from 100% Cinsault, it is both graceful and flavoursome, with notes of wild strawberry, jasmine and white pepper.