So yes I’m talking about Rosé once again and I make no apology! Get on board people, Rosé wine is jumping in popularity and it makes the most sense in summer.
It’s the perfect drink for an August Bank Holiday.
One in every three bottles of wine sold in France is Rosé and they lead the world in consumption, while in Ireland rosé sales were just 6% of the total in 2019. However that figure is growing - it was 3% in 2016 and a number of retailers I’ve spoken to tell me that Rosé sales are significantly up this year so we are finally catching the trend.
And trend it is - in the past 12 months LVMH and Chanel (who should know) both added good Rosé producers to their wine portfolios and inevitably celebrities are also in on the act. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were early into the field and still jointly own Miraval (€30 from Bubble Brothers, Mitchells, Whelehans etc.), a very solid Provence Rosé that I’ve recommended here in the past.
There are too many celebrity rosés to mention but this summer three new entrants hit the shelves and social media - Sarah Jessica Parker launched SJP Rosé (€18 from No. 21, Joyces, www.winesoftheworld.ie) and it’s a solid enough example, but I’m on team Kylie (see recommendation below).
You may also have heard that Cameron Diaz launched a ‘Clean’ rosé wine and spouted all kinds of ill-informed nonsense about conventional wine practices on Instagram. To be honest she just took the exact same talking points of the ‘natural’ wine evangelists and ran with it - who doesn’t want clean wine? I presume I don’t need to tell you that just because you call your wine clean or natural doesn’t mean everyone else is making dirty or unnatural wine. If you don’t want (perfectly natural) sulphur dioxide added to things you had better also stop buying things like coleslaw, canned goods and dried fruits (e.g. raisins, apricots).
If you want something more serious I can’t recommend Domaine Tempier from Bandol highly enough (Mitchells, Green Man etc.) and don’t forget Rosé Champagne - from Aldi’s Veuve Monsigny to Krug Rosé they will all bring a smile. Besides the wines/shops recommended below Bubble Brothers in the English Market is worth a visit as is O’Briens who have been Rosé champions for a decade now offering a buy one get the second for half price deal on all Rosé.
Blackrock Cellar, Drink Store, Nectar Wines, Vintry, Sweeneys, The Corkscrew - www.thecorkscrew.ie
The Chiaretto DO is dedicated to Rosé produced on the hillsides around Lake Garda from the same grapes as Bardolino and Valpolicella (Corvina, Rondinella etc.) and this is a solid example. Drier than some other rosé here this has bright cherry aromas mixed with rose petals, lively and fresh with good acidity and lingering citrus edges.
JJ O’Driscolls, Carry Out, Joyces Galway, Next Door, selected Tesco, www.winesoftheworld.ie
Kylie has a new album out called Disco and while I’ll always prefer her brief Indie period I know I’ll take a listen. But never mind that, Kylie also has a new Rosé and it fairly priced, in an attractively shaped bottle (I would expect no less), pale pink with floral notes and a tangy citrus strawberry finish.
Marks and Spencer
M&S has a strong commitment to Rosé (partly because the UK is a few years ahead of us in the rosé resurgence), stocking a solid range at both entry and quality levels. This C. du Rhône is part of the core range, pale pink with textured lively red fruits. The new M&S Classics Provence Rosé is also recommended (€11.80).
A collaboration between the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of Sainte Madeleine du Barroux and the Beaumont-du-Ventoux Co-Op in the Vaucluse in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Made from Grenache-Syrah (90%-10%) with a cool ferment and use of lees stirring and ageing
Lively orange tinted rosé colour, spice and red fruit aromas, strawberry essence and crisp cherry fruits, textured and soft with lingering chewy red fruits on the finish.
D-6 Wines, Deveneys Dundrum, Lotts & Co., Thomas’s Foxrock, www.wineonline.ie
The fashion house of Chanel are the latest big name to bet on Rosé having bought this Estate on the pretty island of Porquerolles just off the Provençal last October. Ripe melon and floral aromas, raspberry and citrus on the palate with elegance and a pleasing salty tang on the finish due to the sea breezes.
O’Briens, www.wineonline.ie, widely available but on offer in O’Briens.
I couldn’t do a Rosé article and exclude a bit of fizz. O’Briens have a fine selection of still rosé but are also good on Rosé Champagne and Sparkling. Watch for Croser (€28), Langlois (€20) and others. This Lanson is my favourite in NV range - very pale onion skin colour, textured red apple, brioche and lemon zest, red fruit touches and a zingy citrus finish.