By Simon Woods
by Susan Manfull
I wrote about rosé wines for Valentine’s Day and also in May but, as this has become a major part of our wine sales, I do hope that you will excuse me picking this subject once again during this year.
According to a US article in February, fine, dry rosé sales grew by double digits over the past 12 years and, in the past year alone, Provence rosé had increased 58 per cent in cases and 74 per cent in overall value. It is now estimated that between them, France and the USA will consume nearly half of the 594.4 million gallons now produced each year globally.
The French drink more rosé than white overall.
I believe that our Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel from Sasha Lichine in Provence really started the ball rolling here about five years ago. Each year the winery has run out and so have we, and once again I have just been told that they have no more.
One lives and learns and, even though our sales are running up 60 per cent over last year, I have seen to it that very good stocks will keep us running until the new vintage next year. I have just read in a wine trade magazine that sales of Whispering Angel were 118,800 cases in the USA last year, and they should pass 200,000 in 2016 — it pays to hire one of the world’s most talented winemakers.
Wine Enthusiast magazine has this to say about our 2015 Whispering Angel: “This is as fresh and fruity as possible. Juicy red currant and tangy acidity combine in this delicious blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah. The wine is dry, while showing exuberant fruit, and it can be drunk either as an aperitif or with food.” $24.75 per bottle or $49.55 for the magnum.
The fact that these three grape varieties feature prominently in the red Chateauneuf-du-Pape lends credence to its depth of flavours.
The staff at Chateau D’Esclans like to say “first we whispered and now we rock” as their new estate 2015 rosé offering is called Rock Angel. British Decanter magazine just awarded it 92/100 and called it fresh and intense with citrus-rinsed red currant fruits. This is also doing well for us at $33.55.
If you are in the mood to really spoil yourself, then you should try the Chateau D’Esclans 2014 Les Clans for $52.30. Decanter comments: “95/100. This is where you start seeing a comparison with a good, white burgundy.
“The intensity is ramped up with brioche-hinted weight, clear persistency and a wet-stone silky power.” It is really quite unique and amazing, unlike any rosé you may have had.
In May, I wrote about two new rosé wines for us from Mirabeau in Provence and I suggested that if you wanted a good laugh that you Google Mirabeau rosé and see how Stephen Cronk removes a cork from his Pure rosé with a shoe.
The family put this short video on YouTube and over 11 million hits really put them on the wine map. In fact, he has also advised us that he is running out of wine and I also have stocked up very well for the “dry season”.
Martha Stewart has selected their Mirabeau Pure 2015 rosé among her best picks for rosé wines in 2016. It has won gold at the International Wine Challenge in London. $20.35. Their Mirabeau Classic 2015 will cost you $17.30. The awards go on and on for these two wines. Pure scored 91/100 with Parker and won gold at the Global Rosé Masters challenge. Classic got a gold medal from the International Wine Challenge in London and 91/100 from tastings.com.
Another wine that is proving itself for us is Gerard Bertrand’s Côte Des Rosés 2015 that is packaged in such a unique and striking bottle; the base resembles a rose flower cut in glass. Although from the Languedoc region in the south of France, it also features grenache, cinsault and syrah. They give us strawberry, cherry and jasmine aromas. It is dry and crisp and very flavourful. $19.60 for a bottle while magnums are $38.40.
Although rosé has been considered a “summer wine” in the past, I suspect that it has reached a point where it will be in demand on a year-round basis — at least I hope so!
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