Higher quality and greater variety abound, with France the guiding light

Kim Marcus
Issue: July 31, 2010

Elegant, refined rosés are becoming more and more plentiful, with releases from the historic heartland of rosé production, the south of France, powering the category’s rise.

89 pts – Chateau de Lancyre 2009 Rosé Pic Saint Loup $20

Quality French rosé can come from outside Provence or Tavel…Château de Lancyre, in the Languedoc appellation of Pic St.-Loup, made an alluring 2009 (89, $20) that features dark cherry, plum and Asian spice flavors. Winemaker Regis Valentin bases his blend mostly on Syrah and Grenache. The Lancyre wines can age as well; I recently enjoyed a 2007 that was still fresh, with berry and melon flavors, and that had picked up mineral and spice notes from its time in the bottle.

88 pts – Cuvée de Peña 2009 Rosé Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes $11

An elegant rosé, offering plenty of stuffing and rich, ripe flavors of plum, cherry and spice. The long finish is quite creamy and fresh.

87 pts – Villa des Anges 2009 Old Vines Rosé Vin de Pays d’Oc $11

A juicy, fruity style, featuring flavors of cherry, berry, melon and even some hot spice, with a lush, rich finish.

86 pts – Domaine Massamier La Mignarde 2009 Cuvée des Oliviers Rosé Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Peyriac $13

Fruity, with lots of fresh berry, melon, and cherry flavors that are crisp and well-spiced. Short finish.

86 pts – Château du Donjon 2009 Rosé Minervois $16

88 pts – Commanderie de la Bargemone 2009 Rosé Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence $18

Managing editor Kim Marcus is Wine Spectator’s lead taster of the rosés of France. Associate editor Tim Fish contributed to this report.