For the Rosé Afficianados Out There

In LA it could be argued that it’s always rosé season, but we are now, decidedly, in rosé season. The 2018s are slowly but surely being released, and that means that they are fresh and alive and everything you want to drink on a sunny spring afternoon. Picnics, porches, parties—rosé is here for you.

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When I was just learning about wine, I had a wonderful, charismatic mentor whom I looked to for all wine advice. When I asked her what I should know about rosé—she said told me just to enjoy it and not think too hard about it. This was in Chicago, where rosé was thought of as just a spring & summer sipper, and when we still had to assure some customers “It’s ok to drink pink. It’s not sweet. Try it.”

Now, in present-day LA, pink is all the rage—I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a movement, but there are T-shirts and tomes devoted to the stuff (such as this and this). The truth is, you don’t have to know anything about rosé, and it’ll still hit the spot. But there are some producers out there who are thinking about it, and who are crafting serious, noteworthy cuvées. And this is a whole different experience than the “summer water” version of rosé. If you are a fan of the pink stuff, these are the producers to seek out.

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Commanderie de Peyrassol takes their rosé very seriously. Located in rosé’s spiritual homeland, Provence, they craft not one, but four different rosé cuvées—and all four 2018 bottlings just hit our shelves. They vary by grape and by scope, but each is absolutely delicious, with winemaking backed by centuries of history. The domaine has been perched on a hill above the village of Flassans-sur-Isole since the 13th century, when they were founded by the Knights Templar. It was a popular stopping point for pilgrims setting off for the Holy Land. And they have a bottling for any mood that might strike.

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2018 Château de Peyrassol "La Croix des Templiers" Mediteranée Rosé
At $12.99, their entry-level rosé is everything you could want for an everyday wine. Crisp, fruity, refreshing, and affordable enough to drink by the gallon. It’s perfect for charcuterie, melon, olives, and all picnic fare.

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2018 Château de Peyrassol "Commanderie" Côtes de Provence Rosé
The focus in this blend is on showcasing the vibrant, fruitiness of the grapes. The Cinsault, Syrah, and Grenache with a touch of Mourvèdre come from mature vines with an average age of 25 years. Elegant and full of character, but still an easy drinker, with notes of grapefruit and raspberry. This is great for anyone who loves a fruit-forward wine.

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2018 Château de Peyrassol Côtes de Provence Rosé
The “Château” bottling comes from selected plots of the oldest vines in the domaine—Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Ugni Blanc, and Rolle. Low yields and very careful winemaking contribute to a structured but graceful wine. It’s very fresh and lively with stone fruits and floral notes and a long, gorgeous finish. Tons of complexity.

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2018 Château de Peyrassol "Clos de Peyrassol" Côtes de Provence Rosé
This is a very special cuvée, produced only in the best years from the best plots, and centered on the rare and exquisite Tibouren grape—an old Provençal varietal with tons of character that you won’t find outside of the area. Grenache and Rolle round out the blend. Low yield, hand harvested, and only 10,000 bottles are produced per year. It’s an elegant, luscious wine with notes of white flowers, stone fruit with a complex, creamy palate. There’s a depth to this wine—this is what a serious rosé tastes like.

Cheers! May your picnics be as plentiful as your rosé this summer.

- Kate Soto