As I start to write this the weather switches from the warmest winter day on record to Storm Freya blowing in from the Atlantic.
But then in many ways I guess it underlines this week’s theme.
Like the car stickers stating ‘a dog’s for life, not just for Christmas’, it would appear rosé is not just for summer.
Given the growth of sales over the past few years, largely on the back of uber-fashionable Provence rosé, it seems as if rosé is an anytime wine. Pale is the new dark – if it’s not a pale, Provence rosé lookalike then it is probably staying on the shelves.
Château de la Liquière Rosé 2017 ‘Les Amandiers’, Faugères (thewinesociety.com £10.95) is made using organic practises and is a blend of cinsault, mourvèdre and grenache.
The estate is owned by the Vidal family who have been making wine in the region for many years and were instrumental in helping Faugères becoming an appellation in its own right in 1982.
Pale pink-orange in colour, there are red fruits on the nose with a little spice in the background. The palate has some weight and is still very fresh with crisp acidity and a clean, dry finish. This would work really well with a classic Mediterranean fish, but I also fancy it would work quite well with some Chinese-inspired dishes.
Côtes des Roses Rosé 2018, Languedoc, Gérard Bertrand (Majestic £12.99 but £10.99 if part of a mixed six) comes in a very original bottle with its base in the shape of a rose –a gimmick I would usually avoid.
A blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah, again it’s pale with red fruits with some floral and citrus notes, followed by an easy, juicy palate with just a little sweetness on the finish.
This is simple, uncomplicated rosé which is fine as an aperitif or something to drink with a picnic when the summer really does arrive.
If I had to pick just one Provence rosé to drink right now it would be Chateau La Mascaronne Quat’Saisons Rosé 2017, Côtes de Provence (Hermitage Cellars £13.99). The estate is owned by American Tom Bove whose major claim to fame for those outside the wine industry is the sale of his previous wine estate in Provence, Chateau Miraval, to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt a few years ago.
Almost impossibly beautiful, Chateau La Mascaronne is situated just outside the medieval village of Le Luc and is farmed using organic practises and the wines – the estate also produces red and white wines – are without question some of the best in the region. Chateau La Mascaronne Quat’ Saisons Rosé 2017 is made from very low yields, and is blend of mainly cinsault and grenache with a little syrah.
Very pale in colour, the bouquet offers citrus, peaches and floral notes, before a delicate but mouth-filling palate with a little spice and minerality in the background.
This is quintessential Provence rosé to enjoy on its own or with a simply grilled red mullet with fennel.