On Monday 15th August the WING group met to taste Provence Rosé Wines, led by Sue and her glamorous assistant, Mike.

It was a very pleasant summer evening set amid a bright English summer period, so Rosé was just the job, I had myself shared in 3 or 4 bottles (a couple of pink Chinons [Cabernet Franc], and a couple of Sancerres [Pinot Noir]) over the previous week or so. To top all this it was (approximately) Mike’s Birthday – so he started us off with an English pink fizz….

Here are my notes:

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CAMEL VALLEY PINOT NOIR BRUT ROSÉ 2013
Pale, slightly on the pink side of onion-skin colour. Immediate strawberry nose with a slightly powdery quality. Aggressive bubbles at the start and a sharp citrus acid attack, then sweet sherbety fruit – slightly separated – and a rather savoury finish. Good but a little under-developed and fragmented… might need a little more time…

ESPIRIT DE BUGANAY 2015
This is a Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache blend. Pale, slightly orange tinged pink. Very confectionary nose, hints of vanilla and a sweetish palate which is a bit underwhelming, a bitter herby note at the end. Disappointing and anti-climactic…

MIRABEAU EN PROVENCE 2015
This is slightly paler but similar hue to the first still wine… Nose has a quite vinous character with citrus and raspberry elements and a herby note. Palate is supple, with fruit (peach as well as red fruit) nicely balanced with a hints of tannin and some acidity. Much better wine that would grace a variety of occasions…

BANDOL ROSÉ MAS DE LA ROUVIERE (Bunan) 2015
This is Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. The wine is a light salmon pink with a nose of grapefruit and red fruit with a floral lift. Palate is vinous with well integrated fruit, and a sweetish core balanced by herb, savoury and fennel notes… The finish is grippy yet supple and long… The star of the night for me…

MIRAVEL ROSÉ CÔTES DE PROVENCE 2015
This is a definite pink, but very pale, colour. Nose is strawberry sweet with a floral – rose – hint. The palate is red berries with a hint of acidity. A very pretty drink, with strong flavours, well-balanced but in the end quite simple – just the thing to quaff while nattering at a gallery opening…

LES CLANS (CHÂTEAU D’ESCLANS) 2012
This is made from old vines, primarily Grenache and Rolle (Vermentino). This is pale with a brownish onion-skin tinge to the pink. The nose is that of an oaked-white Burgundy: cream, vanilla, citrus and a slight oxidized apple hint(?). Palate has cream, resin, sherry notes, caramel, citrus, some redder fruit and a dry spicy finish….  Very complex, perhaps slightly faulty, interesting – the very opposite of the Buganay – Magnifique, mais ce n’est pas le Rosé.

CHÂTEAU SIMONE PALETTE GRAND CRU 2014
Pale, translucent, but definitely, slightly brick, red. If the previous wine – tried blindfold – would persuade you it was white, then this might persuade you it was red. The nose has rhubarb, some herby notes and red fruit, the palate is more plum fruit with a mineral and garrigue savoury quality. Another wine at the end of the Rosé spectrum – but at the other end… simpler that Les Clans though.

A wide range of styles indeed, and some very interesting wines but the most satisfying (and all-in-all the best value at £19 ish) – the Bandol!

Thanks so much to Sue and Mike!

Until next time…..

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