Roses of Provence

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Roses of Provence Cezanne, van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Munch, Monet. Quite the list of famous painters, and no they weren’t also winemakers. The artiste as entrepreneur, return to the earth movement is a relatively recent phenomenon, requiring of course that intervening fleeing from the earth. You mean I have to touch that?

No these masters all fell in love with – and beautifully portrayed – Provence, that southern region of France where the mountains give way to the azure Mediterranean, a.k.a. the Côte d’Azur. Our love affair with Provence continues to this day. We love Provence, anything Provencal, and one of the things I associate most deeply with Provence is ratatouille.

Okay, so while that may be true, sorta, kinda, Provencal rosés are what we should be talking about. It’s no surprise that this lovely coastal region, warm and blessed with the bounty of the sea, has a virtually unquenchable thirst for light, refreshing food-friendly wines. What is refreshing is their decision to turn to rosé wines instead of whites to meet this demand.

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Comments

  • Snooth User: Moscool
    739935 21

    To give Rosé a score of 91 makes a joke of the whole scoring system. These wines are for light quaffing and can be pleasant but they hardly qualify as proper wines. By all means compare them but please use the full scale, not the meaningless 10 points at the top.

    May 09, 2011 at 5:40 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 208,241

    Please help me out. What is the maximum score a Rose can attain? Does this apply to all roses, say the Lopez de Heredia wines as well? or only roses that fall into your light quaffing category that cannon qualify as 'proper' wines?

    What wine do deserve to be given the arbitrary 91 point score then?

    May 09, 2011 at 6:24 PM


  • Snooth User: Randyhol
    119669 3

    Forget scores. Some of my most memorable wine events have come from Roses, albeit all from Provence. Calif. Roses have not hit the mark for me. Well made, these Provence Roses are amazingly food friendly, and have provided me some astonishing pairings, the likes of which I have not been able to achieve with any white or red. I respectfully disagree that Rose, by definition, must be simply and solely a wine for light quaffing. They can be serious and proper wines in all respects. I love them as part of the entire wine spectrum.

    May 09, 2011 at 7:23 PM


  • Snooth User: Moscool
    739935 21

    Well Mr Parker has a lot to answer for... Score inflation now means that anything below 85-87 is off the radar, giving us a largely useless 13 point scale, well actually probably 10 point because 97+ is reserved for über-expensive wines.

    If I make an analogy with food guides, then the Gault & Millau scores out of 20, with quite a few restaurants with a score of 10 (i.e. 50 points) making it into the guide. Anything above 50 is above average, with plenty of pleasure to be had in the 50-70 range. Eighty and above is exceptional. Ninety plus is truly rare. Using the full scale allows you to discriminate between the merely pleasant and the superior.

    Having grown up to the sound of cicadas, eating grilled sardines and enjoying rosé every summer, I really love the stuff; but it is not 'serious' wine. Some can be watery, some can be trying too hard, some can be perfectly balanced, but none is worth more than 60 or 65...

    May 09, 2011 at 7:24 PM


  • Snooth User: Budha
    286861 10

    Agree with Moscool about the scoring and add my comment from another 'review' I posted. Availability seems slight for Southern California.

    May 10, 2011 at 2:17 AM


  • Yes, I agree we should forget scores and rely on our own taste buds and palate; to say that rosés are not "proper wines" is, I think, quite preposterous.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:54 AM


  • I agree with Moscool's points about scores. But also strongly agree with Randhol regarding Roses giving me some of the best wine experiences I've ever had. The great Roses are rare, and many consumers or wine makers don't ever get beyond the easy quaffers, but once you have that experience you'll know that Roses can be real contenders. Some of THE very best wines in the world are Rose Champagnes.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:43 AM


  • Snooth User: badeye
    160608 6

    Got to go with Gayle D. and Persifleur here. Moscool is dead-on regarding inflation of scores - the current top-heavy system seems to reward trophies to all participants. At the same time, it's nuts or just plain snooty to believe that a rose' can't be a "proper" wine.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:59 PM


  • Agreed, Rosé Champagne are some of the best rosés of the world, but lets not forget the incredible rosés from the AOC Côtes de Provence, probably the best in the world.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:06 AM


  • Snooth User: badeye
    160608 6

    Will check out Rose' Champagne-that will be new for me. I've enjoyed Cotes de Provence before, but do want to check out some of Greg's recommendations. I've had bad luck with the "famous" Tavel/Southern Rhone - nothing seems to hit me right. My best success with rose's has been with Languedoc/Roussillon, Northern Spain, Northern Italy. Agree with Randyhol that California seems to be a waste of time. Have secret weakness for Loire rose', although my wife thinks I'm a total idiot. Have at it.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:43 PM


  • Snooth User: Moscool
    739935 21

    Sancerre rosé is actually quite good although typically overpriced. Definitely above average.

    In Provence quality is variable but I find that the St Tropez region is generally reliable.

    May 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM


  • Snooth User: Sarahlrj
    191091 44

    Gregory- I have a suggestion. I'd love to print onto one page the list of wines that you include in your articles. Perhaps a "print these wines" feature would be a nice enhancement. I like to be able to reference them in my local wine shops.
    Bon week-end!

    May 13, 2011 at 3:10 PM


  • Snooth User: frenchie1
    393608 510

    I would also like to be able to save some of your articles as well as share them with friends. Is it possible to at least enable us to email the article!!!??? Many thanks!

    May 13, 2011 at 7:09 PM


  • Snooth User: ttocsffej
    790082 19

    I believe it is more important to understand a reviewer's tastes and scoring perspective than the actual score itself. A score from Robert Parker, contrary to many a wine snob's belief, is of no more final value than one's OWN "rating." To me, scoring is not a concrete, absolute "blessing" upon any wine, but more about the reviewer's relative enjoyment of it compared to other wines in the segment that they review and their particular taste perspective. A certain range of scoring from Parker's palate only indicates to me that I may like it; it is NOT a guarantee (and I'm sure he doesn't intend it as such.)

    Everyone's tastes are different, and one man or woman's "91" is a "70" to someone else, which is as it should be. We all have different tastebuds and different brains perceiving those things. But to say that Roses are not "real" wines and that none are deserving of more than some arbitrary number is just silly. In over 30 years of drinking and selling fine wines, my message is still the same. Drink what you like. Thankfully their are thousands of different wines and wineries out there to enjoy.

    May 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM


  • Friends - In many of those here and elsewhere saying such as the above "These wines are for light quaffing and can be pleasant but they hardly qualify as proper wines." (Moscool ).. I believe Do Not really understand in what the pleasures of life such as Wines; they, simply ones pleasure on Their individual(s) palate, for that which may or not be another, does not unqualified the category of a "proper wine" or not...
    To each his own as most who have Really enjoyed the pleasures of all wines.
    All wines are a process to which the winery seeks, whether long, short, sweet or dry. If you really enjoy their individuality as once know as "nectar Of The God's" then that is all one can respectfully be rewarded with.
    I have spent much time in Europe and many of them in the south (east and west) France, and have found many upon many young drinkable local peasant wines for less than $2.00 at which have blown away some with price tags you probably have purchased for $20.00 or more. Let your palate tell you what you like, not the scoring and/or the snobbish of ones definition to what is real a wine or not...

    Jun 10, 2011 at 12:53 PM


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