Is Bordeaux rosé a genuine threat to Provence’s supremacy?

A new taste test suggests that Bordeaux varieties could be emerging as a credible rival

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French rosé wine from Bordeaux has emerged as a genuine rival to more expensive and prestigious varieties from Provence, a new blind taste test has suggested.

The Revue du vin de France magazine organised the test, which took place at Caves Legrand in Paris.

Of the 28 rosé wines from 2022 tested, there were:

  • 12 from Bordeaux

  • 16 from Provence

  • All cost between €5 and €22

The magazine explained: “The bottles were covered, but all the cuvées - particularly those from Provence, which has bottles with original [easily-identifiable] shapes - were decanted into Bordeaux bottles, in order to create complete anonymity.”

The professional tasters had to guess the price of the rosé and guess whether it came from Provence or Bordeaux. They then scored them out of 100 and ranked them, again completely blind.

Bordeaux vs Provence: The results

Provence rosé would usually be expected to do the best when compared to Bordeaux.

Rosé wine from the southeast region represents 91% of the market from Provence, whereas it only makes up 4% of the wine produced in Bordeaux, which is typically known for its reds.

Varieties from the southeast did indeed take the top three podium places.

  • 1st: Domaine de l'Île, marked 91.2/100, estimated to be priced €10-20, actually priced €21.90

  • Joint 2nd: Ultimate Provence, 90.2/100, estimated €12-20, actually €17

  • Joint 2nd: Château La Tour de l'Évêque, 90.2/100, estimated €5-25, actually €18

However, three Bordeaux rosés entered the top 10, and one even came in fourth, the Tutiac ZRP (zéro résidu de pesticides, zero pesticide residue).

It was praised for its “structure, elegance, and balance overall”, and is estimated to cost between €10-25 when it is sold at just €5.70.

Of the 28 bottles tested, three Bordeaux rosés came in the top 10. In detail, they were:

  • Joint 4th: Tutiac ZRP with a mark of 89.6/100, estimated €10-25, actually sold at €5.70

  • 6th: Mouton Cadetrosé bio, 89.2/100, estimated €8-25, actual price €5.11

  • 10th: Château La Verrière, 87.4/100, estimated at €5-18, actual price €5.70

Bordeaux wines Château Castéra and Clarendelle rosé, also came in 13th and 15th place respectively, competing solidly against Provence rosés.

One of the most prestigious and expensive Provence bottles in the test, the Miraval, only came in 11th place. Sold at €16, its vineyards are part-owned by the US actor Brad Pitt. Yet, judges said that it was “powerful but too nervous” to receive a higher score.

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