Tom Jones of the Whalley Wine Shop explains one of the fastest growing trends of Provence rosé.

The pale colour, the elegant, nuanced flavor and the crisp fresh style all add up to an easy drinking and enjoyable wine... especially when the sun is out!

By Tom Jones of the Whalley Wine Shop
Thursday, 28th May 2020, 12:30 pm

As the fantastic weather continues it feels like summer is almost here. What better way to celebrate and enjoy the sun than with a fabulous glass of rosé in the garden in the Lancashire sunshine!

One of the fastest growing trends is the popularity of Provence rosé. The pale colour, the elegant, nuanced flavor and the crisp fresh style all add up to an easy drinking and enjoyable wine... especially when the sun is out!

Perhaps the trend started with the likes of Miraval, the Provence estate bought by ‘Brangelina’ (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) in 2008 thrusting it into the limelight. Since then the popularity and demand for Provence rosé has soared with other big names, including Domaine Ott and William Chase, emerging as leading brands. At The Whalley Wine Shop however, we always search for undiscovered gems, offering serious quality. With Chateau Leoube we think we’ve found just that…

Rose wine is the perfect summer tipple to enjoy al fresco, says Tom Jones of the Whalley Wine Shop

Ownded by the Bamford family of JCB fame, Chateau Leoube is a lush, rolling estate on the Provence coast with 70 hectares of vines producing fabulous wines. Following their Daylesford Farm project, an organic farm complex in Gloucestershire, Chateau Leoube is a fully certified producer of organic wines. To further bolster the wine’s quality, Romain Ott, son of the famed Provence estate, was recruited as head winemaker in 2000.

This combination of beautiful, organic fruit handled by a master winemaker is resulting in some very special rosé from Chateau Leoube.

Château Léoube Rosé- Prôvence, France, 2018, 13%.

The estate’s benchmark rosé is made with traditional grape varieties Grenache and Cinsault, with just a touch of Syrah and Mourvedre added. All winemaking is done in temperature controlled, state-of-the-art cellars. A stylish and elegant rosé with delicate aromas that reveal soft red fruits, floral hints and a waft of honey with a slight scent of mint and thyme, reminiscent of the wild herbs growing around the vineyards. Even the nearby sea has left its mark, with a slightly saline finish. Elegant, stylish and easily a rival to the big brand rosés. Delightful on its own or matched with smoked salmon or sushi.

Tom Jones of the Whalley Wine Shop

Love by Léoube Rosé- Prôvence, France, 2018, 13%.

Love by Léoube is the baby brother to the classic Chateau Léoube, it is a slightly fruitier, softer and more rounded style. Perfect for those just starting to explore Prôvence rosé. Pale blush pink with a more obvious fruit character with notes of strawberry, raspberry and white peach. Lovely and dry but with a softer style. Perfect for matching with an Italian style salad.

Secret de Léoube Rosé - Prôvence, France, 2018, 13.5%.

A classic blend of Grenache and Cinsault bolstered with a little dash of Cabernet Sauvignon from the vineyard’s oldest and lowest yielding vines. Older vines produce fewer grapes but of a much higher quality.

This incredibly pale rosé is the flagship wine and is produced in very small quantities for true Provence rosé afficionados. Delicate yet with a drier, more structured style thanks to the Cabernet Sauvignon. A wonderful freshness with delicate white peach and a hint of white pepper, that balance the fruit on the palate, ensuring a crisp mouthwatering finish. This is a very dry, highly sophisticated style, well matched to Prôvencal food or seared tuna.

Sparkling de Léoube Rosé- Prôvence, France, NV, 12.5%.

Very little sparkling rosé is produced in Provence and this is easily one of the best around. Made the same way as Champagne, but from Cabernet Franc and Cinsault. Showing just the barest hint of blush pink, it is equally subtle and elegant on the nose and palate. A delicate fizz with an intensely dry, refreshing style. Soft tones of cranberry, raspberry, a hint of hazelnut and a light anise finish. Tart, fresh and very moreish this is an easy rival to some of the big rosé champagnes. Perfect to toast the summer sun!

Valpolicella

Valpolicella is made in North East Italy, mainly from the Corvina grape, though others are allowed. It can come in three main styles:

Valpolicella Classico – A lighter fruity style, often without oak and about 12-13 per cent alcohol;

Amarone della Valpolicella – Made from semi-dried grapes, which concentrates the flavour and sugar in the wine, resulting in inky, rich, alcoholic wines often 15 per cent and above;

Valpolicella Ripasso – this means ‘re-passed’ and is a process where the ‘Classico’ style is mixed with the grape skins left after the ‘Amarone’ has been produced. It adds some of the richness but without the alcohol or price tag of Amarone! A perfect halfway house.