Thomas Pink on Jermyn Street was the venue for a recent tasting of top still Rosé wines from around the world. The event was hosted by myself and Jean-Christophe Mau whose Pessac-Léognan estate, Château Brown, has recently launched its first Bordeaux Rosé. A mix of merchants, press and Thomas Pink clients tasted over 20 wines, with the aim of more clearly defining the characteristics of high quality Rosé. The wines, nearly all from the 2012 vintage, were tasted blind and decanted where bottle shape might have given clues.
Wines from Côtes de Provence tended to be the most favoured, with guests appreciating the pale colour (but not too pale), mouthfeel, dry finish and flavours that are pure yet understated. Oak was not seen as a disadvantage unless over-dominant. As usual, complexity, freshness and a balance between elegance and vinosity were seen as desirable. Interestingly two out of the top three wines had relatively low alcohol levels at 12.5%. Less popular were wines with deeper or more lurid colours, jammy character or any sweetness bordering on the cloying. With regard to serving occasions, Steven Spurrier contrasted ” the pale Provence style, which is mainly for an aperitif” with “the slightly fuller style which is for food, ie Tavel, Bandol”.
Generally the European wines scored more highly than those from the New World, with Sancerre and Bordeaux sharing the top places with Provence. The 3 top scoring Rosés in the tasting were Château Léoube’s Secret de Léoube 2012 (Provence), Château Brown 2012 (Bordeaux) and Domaine Ott Clos Mireille 2012 (Provence).
Château Léoube’s Secret de Léoube 2012 £21.00 Corney & Barrow
Château Brown 2012 £33.40 Hedonism Wine