9 Big Bottles of Impressively Good Rosé
The latest trend in pink wine: king-sized bottles, perfect for a party.
Has rosé had its day? Well, in short, no. Sales continued to skyrocket last summer, Instagram is awash in selfies of rosé-wielding partyers, and, what the heck, a chilled glass of dry pink wine is incredibly refreshing. But when I heard that the latest de rigueur accessory for superyacht buyers along the Mediterranean coast of France is a supersized wine refrigerator to accommodate supersized bottles of rosé, I did wonder whether we’d reached a rosé point of no return. (Hey, is that a shark? Should we ... jump it?)
But, also, I get it. Rosé is a party wine; it’s fun in a bottle. The bigger the bottle, the more the fun. Plus, it’s one of the most aesthetically appealing wines, with its multifarious shades of pink, and a magnum (or bigger) only serves to show off its light-catching pizzazz. Statistics bear this out: In France, sales of magnums of rosé from Provence alone more than quintupled from 2005 to 2016, according to data from the Wines of Provence Council and IRI. (A related trend is the seaside Côte d’Azur penchant for serving a piscine de rosé. The term basically means “a swimming pool of rosé,” and that’s what it is: rosé poured into a goblet full of ice.)
A magnum, by the way, is the equivalent of two regular bottles. Not every winery contributing to the ocean of rosé now in the market has caught onto this trend, but more and more have. And even larger bottles are sometimes available: three-liter (usually called a Jeroboam), six-liter (Methuselah), or even 15-liter (Nebuchadnezzar—the equivalent of 20 regular bottles). You won’t have much luck finding them at the supermarket, but if you go to a good wine shop, ask; often they can be ordered.
Here are nine rosés that are both impressively good and nationally available in magnums. Seek them out. Throw a party. Why not? Summer is here.
NV Naveran Cava Brut Rosé ($35)
The family behind this lively Spanish sparkler has been growing grapes for over a century. It’s made from Pinot Noir plus the local variety Parellada, grown in organically farmed vineyards high up in Spain’s Penedès region.
2017 Aix Rosé ($36)
Originally a truffle orchard, the Provençal estate where the grapes for this crisp wine are grown was converted to vineyards in the early 1900s. The Cinsaut and Syrah in the blend give the bright fruit here a faint hint of spiciness.
2017 Triennes Rosé ($39)
Triennes, east of Aix-en-Provence, is owned by two Burgundy stars: Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac. That exalted lineage isn’t reflected in the modest price of this floral bottling.
2017 Fleur De Mer Rosé ($42)
Winemaker Florian Lacroux is the talent behind this pale pink–hued, watermelon-scented wine. It’s a blend of various southern French varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut, Carignane, and more.
2017 M De Minuty Rosé ($44)
The family-owned Château Minuty was established in the 19th century overlooking the Saint-Tropez peninsula. It makes a range of Grenache-based rosés; this, the most affordable, has delicate red currant and orange flavors.
2017 Château D’Aqueria Tavel Rosé ($45)
The wines of Tavel, the only official French appellation that solely makes rosé, are more substantial and complex than most inexpensive bottlings. Aqueria is one of Tavel’s flagship producers, and its 2017 is full of wild berry and spice flavors.
2017 Whispering Angel Rosé ($50)
Proprietor Sacha Lichine’s attention to quality hasn’t flagged for this impressive bottling, a forerunner of the current rosé boom. Silkily textured, it’s worth the extra few dollars.
2017 Miraval Rosé Côtes De Provence ($60)
Despite its movie-star associations (the estate is owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, divorce notwithstanding), Miraval is impressively nuanced thanks to a partnership with acclaimed wine-maker Marc Perrin of Château de Beaucastel.
2017 La Bargemone Cuvée Marina Rosé ($70)
This historic property, founded in the 13th century by the Knights Templar, uses over 100 acres of its vines for rosé. Only the very best fruit goes into the winery’s currant-scented, limited production Cuvée Marina.
The Rules of Big Rosé
The Perfect Temp: Try for 50˚F to 53˚F or so. Colder, and you lose the wine’s complexity; warmer, you lose the freshness.
Chill It Quick: A bucket of ice and water is the fastest way to chill any bottle of wine; allow 25 to 30 minutes for a magnum to reach optimum temperature.
Pour for More: As a general rule of thumb, a magnum (double the size of a regular bottle) holds about 10 glasses of wine.