Rose Wines, Loire (Wilfrid Rousse) or Provence (Les Belles Bastides)?

The weather has warmed up quite a bit and since most Rosé wines disappear from the shelves once summer is over, I got to work on picking and tasting new picks for the 2009 season.

Should it be Loire, Rhone, Provence or Languedoc Roussillon I wondered?

Well I started with Provence and Chateau de l'Escarelle 'Les Belles Bastides' 2008 (around $13). The domaine is located in La Celle (Coteaux Varois). The vineyards at 500 meters above sea level are graced with limestone soil.


A Blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and a dash of Cabernet Sauvignon, made in the traditional saignée method, it is perfect to sip while playing cards in the shade.

Not sure if it certified organic but winemaker Patrick Lobier uses organic methods.

Not wanting to travel the beaten path, a few days later I headed for the Loire Valley and Chinon with the Wilfrid Rousse 'Rosé de Saignée' 2008 (around $14).


The US label (white background) is much more plain than the French one (pictured above).

No blend here,100% Cabernet Franc.

As for the winemaking, here is how Wifrid Rousse describes it:

"We "bleed" the wine, which means that between 12 and 24 hours after the harvest, we extract the jiuce from the tanks until is no lonnger red. The alcoholic fermentation takes place at low tempratures (betwwen 14°c and 16°c, or 57°F and 61°F) for 2 to 3 weeks. Then we rack it two or three times during three months preceding the filtration and bottling"

Both wines clock in at only 12 % alcohol which is great on a sunny day.

Don't let it fool you though. If you keep pouring, you might get starry eyed.

Related: On My Must Taste List, Mas Champart Rosé 2008 from Languedoc, Great Buys

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