‘It all adds up to a drink you just want to smash’? Take my money.
Rose is the wild child of wine: a style without a rule book, where winemakers choose whatever grape variety they like to craft their blends.
Your rose may be created from shiraz or cabernet grapes, grenache or pinot noir, or even a white grape such as pinot grigio.
But putting aside what grape happens to be in your glass, there’s one style of rose that has soared in popularity over the past few years – Provence-style rose.
To kick off our first wine column of 2024, The Australian Wine Club has put together a collection of what I would describe as Provence-style rose for a special dozen deal.
Among our four wines, you’ll find a classic rose from those sunny fields of Provence in southern France; a super-fresh Italian delight; a West Australian pinot-based dazzler with a French twist, and a 93-point Adelaide Hills beauty.
These wines are made from a variety of grapes, detailed in the tasting notes below, but they all show that mesmerising pale pink colour popularised by the winemakers of Provence.
“The Provence style is what wine drinkers in Australia are reaching for,’’ says Rich Burch, of Marchand & Burch wines, whose Villages 2021 Rose is among this week’s line-up.
So what is this Provence-style?
“Provence rose is all about that gorgeous soft pink colour and pretty floral aromas but they’re dry and crisp and fresh. It all adds up to a drink you just want to smash,” says Rich.
Hints of white flowers, citrus fruits, summer berries and red currants tend to be found in Provence-style rose, along with herbal notes of garrigue, a French term for the wild hillside vegetation of the Mediterranean coast. Think lavender, juniper, thyme, rosemary and sage and you’ll have a sense of what garrigue means.
Provence, of course, is known for its charming coastal villages, sunny days, lavender fields, stony vineyards – and nowadays the odd Hollywood movie star chilling out between jobs.
More than 80 per cent of wines produced in the Cotes de Provence appellation are rose, which mainly feature a blend of grenache, carignan and cinsault grapes.
Creating Provence’s famous rose colour is an art in itself. After the grapes are pressed, the juice is left in contact with the grape skins for a few hours. Exactly how long the juice stays in contact with the skins is part of a winemakers’ secret sauce.
Our four roses are all slightly different but together they provide a wonderful insight into a wine style that nowadays is as much a part of our summer as fresh seafood and backyard barbies. Salut!
A unique partnership between Jeff Burch and French winemaker Pascal Marchand, who first met in Burgundy in the 1990s. The 2021 was created by highly regarded West Australian winemaker Nic Bowen and sourced from 20-year-old pinot noir plantings at Mount Barker in Great Southern and a touch of old vine grenache. You’ll find plenty of Provence styling, from the pale salmon colour to lip-smacking tension between savouriness and fruit. Hints of cucumber, red apple skins and raspberries, with a whiff of fairy floss. Delicate and delicious. 92 points from Halliday Wine Companion. 13% alc; RRP $28 a bottle.
From a 20-hectare estate with chalky, stony soils in the heart of Provence comes a suitably seductive blend of grenache, cinsault and carignan. Aromas of summer flowers, white peaches, strawberries and red summer berries. Subtle red apples and peaches and a hint of ginger spice on the palate, with a clean, mineral thread running to a refreshing finish. 12.5% alc; RRP $40 a bottle.
This Italian nod to Provence was crafted from pinot grigio fruit grown inland from Venice in the high-altitude Adige Valley. With its faint salmon hue derived from the pinot grigio’s light pink skins, this rose (or rosato, as Italians would say) delivers pear and mountain blossom notes, wrapped in a sheath of fresh, crisp acidity that demands a second glass. Won gold at the Gilbert and Gaillard International Wine Competition. 12% alc; RRP $24 a bottle.
Vibrant coral pink, with aromas of dusty strawberries, rhubarb and pomegranate. Offers pinot noir finesse, with a fresh citrus drive made for summer drinking. Superb value. 93 points from Wine Orbit. 12%; RRP $25 a bottle.
Order by simply clicking the links to our online store or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm AEST. Deals are available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine, LIQP770016550. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.