A Rose Of Provence

Summer is finally here so it is time to talk of that quintessential wine of summer, rosé. And no rosé better captures the spirit of the season than the sun-blushed rosés of Provence.

Recall that feeling of hot sand between your toes as you sit down to lunch in the cool shade of an awning at some beach-front café just steps from the Mediterranean? That’s the image these rose-hued  beauties conjure up for me.

I have never figured out if there is a definite causal relationship between the pale pink/orange color of these wines and their delicate, elegant flavor, or whether it just seems that the two must to be linked, but in my mind they certainly are.

And the Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence Rosé 2009 ($13) is just what I look for because it displays both these characteristics with élan. It’s a quintessential Provence rosé – delicate, soft and subtle, quite dry, but with enough ripe fruit flavors – strawberries, of course, the calling card of this sort of wine – to ensure it’s quafability, another essential requirement of rosé.

But this alone describes many Provence rosés, many decidedly ordinary, boring wines good only for drinking ice cold in the swimming pool, as long as one isn’t too demanding. No, what I also want in a rosé, and what the Houchart most decidedly delivers, is a distinctive flinty minerality that provides depth and complexity – not an insignificant achievement in a wine at this price – and also, incidentally, makes it far more interesting with food.

And, talking of food back at the beachfront café, please pass that plate of delicious black olives, and the crusty baguette.

NWOW Rating:
A five star wine!
When to Drink: Now
Breathing/Decanting: Not necessary
Food Pairing: Meaty fish, salads, cold meat, pasta, pizza.
Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Cotes de Provence
Region: Provence
Country: France
Price: $13
Availability: Good
Web Site: http://www.davidmilliganselections.com/index.php?estate/getEstate/18
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4 Responses to “A Rose Of Provence”

  1. Jenny Passmore says:

    I’m not generally a fan of rosé, but this sounds tasty! x

  2. Nick Passmore says:

    It is!

  3. Penelope says:

    A fan of Rose but oft times disappointed when I make a poor choice and find I have brought home something that is too fruit-filled, sweet, or worse. I have made a note, stuck it in my bag, and am off in search of Domaine Houchart: the day is sultry indeed and demands just the wine you described. And if the thunderstorms hold off, we’ll enjoy it al fresco.

  4. Penelope says:

    Found it locally and it is in the fridge for supper tomorrow eve. I will let you know what I think.

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