Beyond Provence: 4 Under-the-Radar French Rosé Regions
Inside a wine shop, warming weather means the shelves will soon turn very pink—and predominately Provençal. Crisp, dry rosé from Provence is a summertime staple, but it’s certainly not the only pink wine from France worth seeking out. At wine bar Vin Sur Vingt in New York City, owner Sébastien Auvet is working to bring people’s attention to other places producing delicious, refreshing rosés. Here, Auvet recommends four regions to look into, along with some great bottles to seek out.
Though it’s technically French, the Mediterranean island is closer to Italy and best-known for wines made from Vermentino and Sangiovese (known as Rolle and Nielluccio on the island). But Corsican rosés are deliciously similar to Provençal bottlings—equally light, but with more minerality.
Bottle to try: 2014 Domaine Vetriccie Rosé Ile de Beauté. “It’s a light pink color with a pure, fresh flavor,” Auvet says. “They use a blend of Nielluccio, Sciacarello, Merlot and Grenache.”
Famous for its crisp, light Cabernet Francs and flinty, citrusy Sauvignon Blancs, the Loire Valley is also producing some unique, funky, fruity rosés.
Bottles to try: NV Domaine Sébastien Brunet Pétillant Naturel Grolleau. “Made with 100 percent Grolleau, it has lots of apple notes,” Auvet says. “It’s very festive and perfect as an aperitif before a nice sunny lunch.”
2014 Domaine Michel Girard et Fils Sancerre Rosé. “This Pinot Noir rosé is a pink salmon color,” Auvet says. “It has nice red fruit aromas.”
Alsace and Moselle
The cool climate regions produce fantastic, floral Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Müller-Thurgau. The rosés are darker with full-bodied texture, primarily made with Pinot Noir and Gamay.
Bottles to try: 2014 Château de Vaux Moselle Rosé Les Boseres. This sustainably produced wine is made with a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. “You can drink it by itself, but I like to have it with foods like merguez or grilled prawns,” Auvet says.
2013 Domaine Gérard Metz Pinot Noir Rosé. “This rosé has more of a classic melon, strawberry flavor profile,” he says. “It has a creamy finish and nice minerality, and it’s a tad heavier than a Provençal rosé.”
“You don’t have to be in Provence to get that light color,” Auvet says. He describes the region’s rosés as having fresh pepperiness and being perfect summer wines.
Bottle to try: 2014 Rosé Vin de France Domaine Costeplane. An organic blend of Merlot, Carignan and Syrah, this rosé is surprisingly light. “It’s fruity but very soft,” he says. “It’s my all day long wine and a very good value.”