Rosé rivals equal best of Provence

Tasting suggests opting for lighter styles and finds that Bordeaux and Sancerre hold their own

9 July 2013

ANYONE looking for a good bottle of rosé this summer should bypass wines with deep rich pink hues and opt for lighter bottles from Provence, Bordeaux or Sancerre.

A recent blind tasting of blush wines in London found that Bordeaux and Sancerre rosés held their own against the wines from Provence, the traditional epicentre of pink wine-making in the south-east of France.

Understated, pale-coloured rosés outperformed the darker-hued offerings which tended to be jammier and cloyingly sweet, said trade magazine The more successful wines boasted complexity, freshness, elegance and taste.

Master of wine Richard Bampfield and Jean-Christophe Mau organised the tasting with wine merchants and media taste testing 20 bottles that spanned the world, from Corsica to Barossa. European wines also scored more highly than those from the New World, with Sancerre and Bordeaux sharing the top spots with rosés from Provence.

The top three rosés in the tasting were: Chateau Leoube’s Secret de Leoube 2012 (Provence); Chateau Brown 2012 (Bordeaux), and Domaine Ott Clos Mireille 2012 (Provence)

With summer in full swing, rosé has become wildly popular as a thirst quencher for its fresh and fruity notes. Vins de Provence, which represents winemakers in the region, says its rosés are characterised by their light, fruity, smooth, lively and aromatic notes.

Strong food pairings include (naturally) Provencal dishes such as ratatouille, sea bass with fennel, aioli, and bouillabaisse, and also stand up well to sea urchin, sushi, Thai dishes, tagine and curry.

Rosé should be served chilled at between 8 to 10C.

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