Sometimes a rosé is just a rosé, and sometimes it is a bit more. Those are my findings from a recent series of rosé tastings held in our New York office (you can see the results in an upcoming issue of the magazine). Most of the releases are from the 2009 vintage, reflecting the quick turnaround that is inherent in making rosé, and most of these wines should probably be drunk within the next six months. Their delicate structures do not usually withstand the test of time.
Yet there are wineries that take their rosés to the next level. I recent bought a rosé made by one of my favorite estates in the Languedoc region of the south of France, Château de Lancyre. This wine is mostly a blend of Syrah and Grenache, with a dollop of Cinsault, and the grapes come from dedicated plots among the estate’s 200 acres of vineyards that are managed specifically for rosé production. The result is a rosé that can age well in the short term, and match well with a wide variety of cuisines, including seafood, vegetarian dishes and roasted poultry.
I had to do a double-take when I saw the vintage date of the most recent bottle of Lancyre I purchased, a 2007. The wine was still fresh and vibrant, but very dry, with an enticing fruity aroma and delicious berry and melon flavors. Dusty and spicy notes hinted at pleasant maturation, and it finished with a well-defined minerality. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was still showing well two or three years hence. I rated it 88 points, non-blind, and it cost just $15 a bottle.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the Tasting Highlights: 20 French Rosés for reviews of some recent releases.
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among rosés, for $20 or less.