This posse of Provençal pink shows off the regionality of this holiday-in-a-glass type of wine. Delicacy, crispness and subtlety is the overlying theme, but you’ll have to delve a bit deeper to find out the differences. And they’re well worth finding.
Cuvée Les 3 Terroirs Rosé 2016
Deceptively more like a red wine nose, this upper echelon of the Fabre family rosés has imperceptible alcohol so you can take a big, deep sniff and enjoy all the subtleties of the delicate, fruit-packed aroma profile. There’s everything from redcurrants to yellow peach to raspberry juice and an enticing waxiness. Mouth-coating and silky, this is a round and lovely pure fruit expression. The three terroirs, if you’re interested, are Pierrefeu-du-Var, Hyères-les-Palmiers and Londe-les-Maures, which range from limestone-clay soils to seaside schisty goodness, bringing all the spice and minerality to this wine. This blend of the three communes shows these vineyards off at their best, in a classic blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah.
Château Clapiere Cru Classe 2016
You can’t fake this kind of fun and flavour. This rosé is one of only 18 illustrious Cru Classé estates internationally recognised as the Provence’s best rosés. This particular pink is made from cinsault, grenache and syrah - it’s a super pretty wine with delicate wafts of fine perfume, tropical fruits, sage and rocky mineral notes. It’s moderate intensity, more a play on delicacy and finesse than power. It finishes peachy and plummy with a crisp citrus crunch. If you’re after a real deal pink drink from Provence, then this isn’t a wine to miss. It’s no coincidence that it’s pronounced “clap - YEAH!”.
Henri Fabre Rosé 2016
This spicy, clean and moreish rosé illustrates the playful side of Provence. Grenache predominant, with a wedge of cinsault, the expected spice comes along with zesty sherbet, waxy crayon, lemon pith and fresh spiced quince flavours. It’s textural and mouth-coating with a light, crisp finish. Really fun, really good value. If I was Henri Fabre, I wouldn’t hesitate to put my name on this either.
Cuvee Serpolet Rosé 2016
This is a light, classic style, from the usual suspects: grenache, syrah, carignan and cinsault. Apparently it’s styled on “serpolet”, a type of Provençal wild thyme commonly used in Mediterranean cooking. Not sure exactly how it’s styled after it (flavour? In name only?) but there you go. It’s light, with strawberry and light florals. Pair with poolside sun. Fun fact: this classic Provençal bottle shape actually has a few hundred years of historic background, and was coined by the Fabre family almost 70 years ago now. It’s nicknamed the “Mae West” for its shapely curves (and the era it came about, obviously).
Chateau St Honoré La Londe Rosé 2017
This one’s bolder, for a Provence rosé. Strawberry, cherry and lemon blossom, it features bold acidity and more fruit and texture than the others in the mix, with a minerality that comes from its sourcing from vineyards closer to the seaside with more schist-type soils (shelly fossils and the like, you know). Have it with something rich and fatty to counteract the acid and relatively bold fruit. Lamb chops play along...
Cuvee Dédicace Rose 2017
This is a departure from the other styles, from one of the best internationally known Provence’s most recognised wine regions. Largely mourvedre (mataro if you like), with some grenache and cinsault making up the blend. More of a seriously fun nose, with darker berry notes and a bit more brashness about it (again, comparatively). Aromatic, rich and tangy, I’d dedicate this to any night of the week.