2017 Rosé Roundup: Drink Now, Drink Later

Posted on Posted in Chateau Valcombe, Commanderie de Peyrassol, Wine Press


Among the oldest of many wine cliché’s is that Rosés don’t age well and, like seersucker suits, are out of style after the Labor Day following the vintage. While wearing summer suits out of season might not be in good taste, drinking the best pink wines year-round is highly recommended.

The types of food that call for a bottle, or more, of Rosé are hardly limited to hot weather dining. Grilling has become a year-round practice for an increasing number of people and strongly seasoned, spicy dishes are now the everyday rule rather than the exception on many wine and food lovers’ tables and such food practically begs for pink wine. Why should consumers limit their pink wine enjoyment to a three month window when the types of food that match perfectly with them are enjoyed regardless of season.

The northern hemisphere has just officially entered summer but Rosé sales and consumption began to take off a good three months ago and appear to just be hitting their stride. By all reports the pace is, once again, rapid and not slowing down. It’s good to bear in mind that the vast majority of Rosés in the market right now are from the 2016 vintage, so barely half a year old, and with rare exception the wines have only just had time to open up since bottling and shipping. Most overseas markets have seen hardly a trickle of 2016 European or American white wines so far but, interestingly, we’ve already had the chance to taste through and reviewed hundreds of currently available pink wines (see part one of the Rosé roundup as well as Ian d’Agata’s extensive coverage of Italy’s often intriguing rosatos), with even more to follow.

As I’ve mentioned before, top-notch pink wines not only reward some patience, many of them quite frankly demand it. For most of the Rosés reviewed here, a year (or usually more) of bottle age brings more aromatic complexity, texture and depth but rarely compromises the wines’ freshness and energy. While there’s absolutely no harm in drinking even the most serious recently released Rosés over the coming months, I strongly encourage those with open minds and available storage space to stash away some of the best wines covered here for at least a year, or even more.

Château Peyrassol
2016 Château Peyrassol Rosé (Côtes de Provence) Pale brilliant pink. Fresh and sharply focused on the nose, displaying vibrant red berry and orange zest scents along with a suave floral overtone. Sappy strawberry, red currant and blood orange flavors are underscored by a vein of dusty minerality that adds back-end lift and cut. Concentrated yet lithe, giving no sense of undue weight and finishing with strong, minerally thrust. 91
2016 Château Peyrassol Rosé Commanderie de Peyrassol (Côtes de Provence) Light bright orange. High-pitched orange zest, red berry and floral scents, along with a chalky mineral nuance that gains strength as the wine opens up. Bright and energetic on the palate, offering tangy red currant, bitter cherry and lavender flavors and a deeper suggestion of melon on the back half. Concentrated yet lithe, with zero excess fat. The strong, mineral-driven finish shows impressive tenacity. I’d give this taut wine at least a few more months to stretch out. 90
Château de Valcombe
2016 Château de Valcombe Rosé Pastel (Costières de Nîmes, Rhône) Limpid pink. Bright and airy on the nose and palate, displaying fresh red berry and tangerine qualities and a touch of fennel. Shows good clarity and energy and picks up a peppery element as the wine opens up. Brisk and spicy on the finish, which carries a hint of candied flowers. 88

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