Rosé has always had a bit of an image problem in the U.S. It’s pretty, light, generally inexpensive and guys would never drink it if there wasn’t a girl involved. But according to the CIVP / Province Wine Council, the last decade has seen a steady trend of double digit growth in exports to the U.S. reporting a 29% growth by volume between 2014 and 2015 and overall rosé sales growing by another 17% between 2015 and 2016.
As wine consumption has increased in the United States over the last several decades, demand for better wines and greater variety has also increased. In France rosé has had a century’s old tradition of pairing with wonderful food year round. As rosé is best served chilled (between 41 and 45 degrees), that tradition has taken hold in the US where summer entertaining usually calls for cold drinks. While hundreds of rosés are available between nine and eighteen dollars, the recent growth trend has been in the more high-end wines, closer to the thirty to fifty dollar price point. In this category you’ll find the beautiful 2016 ‘Excellence des Muraires’ by Bernard Magrez (Wine Enthusiast 92).
Best known as the owner of four Grand Cru Classé vinyards in Bordeaux, including Château Pape Clemént and Château La Tour Carnet (1855), Magrez is considered one of the foremost names in the wine world. He has invested heavily in Chateau de Muraires which is considered to have one of the best terroirs in the district between Nice and Aix-en-Provence.
This elegant Côtes de Provence rosé is unusually pale in color but has a complexity that you might find in a soft red wine. The make-up of the 2016 is 36% Carignan, 21% Cinsault, and 33% Grenache. The wine has an initial bright tartness that yields wonderfully to food and carries through with strong citrus with edges of raspberry and even red currant notes. The overall mouth feel is big and it has a long finish. Most recently, it was a perfect complement to a baked Halibut with Italian vegetables and continued to impress with a bowl of Rainier cherries later in the evening.
By Richard Arebalo
OTL Features Editor