What do you think when you think of rosé? The Chateau Minuty salesman asked me as I approached his table at the Provencal rosé tasting in New York yesterday. Was he really interested in my thoughts, I wondered, or was he taking a poll for his marketing campaign?
I did what every well-trained journalist knows to do: I rephrased his question to one that I wanted to answer. ‘Do you mean ‘What are the qualities that I look for in a rosé?’” I aske, but continued with my answer, without waiting for his reply. “What I look for, above all, is a wine that’s refreshing- that isn’t too big or too alcoholic, a wine that’s crisp but savory, preferably with a beguiling aroma,’ Those are the qualities I look for in a rose. Is that what you mean?” I gave him a smile. “I guess, “ he replied, reluctantly and gave me a taste, looking over my head for someone else to talk to instead.
The Chateau Minuty rosé was one of dozens of 2008 Provencal rosés that I tasted and found agreeable, even if the vintage isn’t one of the region’s best. (The 2007 vintage by contrast was stellar; in 2008 there was a good bit of rain.) Among the other rosés I tasted and liked: 2008 Chateau de Pourcieux, a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault; the 2008 Rosé Classique of Rimauresq and the lovely, and surprisingly complex 2008 “M” Cru Classé from Chateau Sainte Marguerite, which is actually one of only 16 classified growths in Provence. (Priced around $27 a bottle, it’s imported by Dreyfus Ashby. (www.dreyfusashby.com.) For more rosé information: www.provencewineusa.com