The rosé revolution

ROSÉ BLOSSOMS

“There’s a widespread culture built around beer that is geared towards men. Beer is not just something you drink, but as part of certain events (at a BBQ or football games). Rosé has only blossomed in the past few years, and is mostly celebrated by and marketed to women.

We believe it has a similar appeal to beer that is just starting to be understood. The wine is versatile, refreshing, and sipped chilled. The time is ripe for rosé to find its place in the world at large, and the possibilities are infinite.” While the brosé hashtag gained momentary momentum thanks to the likes of Justin Bieber (last year the popstar was reported to have visited Wolffer Estate Vineyards in New York where he “drank half a bottle of rosé”), the rosé category is yet to find a more resolute way of engaging male consumers.

Perhaps rocker Jon Bon Jovi will be able to offer a helping hand? The Bon Jovi frontman recently released a Languedoc rosé with winemaker Gerard Bertrand called Diving into Hampton Water after the smart coastal hotspot in upstate New York. Released in the US in March at $25 per bottle, the wine is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. According to Bertrand, who hosts an annual jazz festival at his Château l’Hospitalet estate in Narbonne, the rosé is “fresh and lively with distinctive minerality”.

Commercially, the colour of a rosé remains hugely persuasive. It’s by no means a definitive style indicator, but current trends mean that it can leverage shelf appeal. But producers who chase pale for the sake of colour alone should be wary, not only of missing out on the benefits that a degree of skin contact can bring, but of focusing on colour alone at the expense of aromatics. “People will continue to buy rosé if the colour is fine, but the aromatics also have to be there,” notes Crosnier. “Some producers pay too much attention to colour alone.”

Throughout the category, quality has exponentially grown, alongside the rise of paler-hued styles from Provence. There are serious examples to be found, but rosé is a category that has never sought to take itself too seriously.

For Crosnier, the links between rosé and lifestyle are the category’s greatest attribute, adding further that snobbery towards rosé has lessened over the past five years thanks to a universal lift in quality across the category. “Rosé is not considered a serious wine to age and to drink with the right food at a specific moment – the power of rosé is that you can drink it at any time with everybody and everywhere,” he says; and therein lies its charm.

One Response to “The rosé revolution”

  1. “Invariably light and easy drinking” I keep finding it distressing that all pink wine is lumped together. We make a rosé that is pretty full bodied. It is barrel fermented and sur lees. A two year production cycle. Put it in a black glass and people will accept it as a white Burgundy.
    There is a lot of pink crap out there, anytime a category booms there’s a lowering of average quality. Although Rosé is a broad group that has been mostly pretty lame. I used to be involved in making sweet, pink crap.
    To put all rosé wines in a group is as silly as putting all colors in a group. Oh! Wait! That’s bigotry!
    There is a lot more to ROSÉ, maybe you should do a story on those making the exceptions to pink, overpriced plonk?
    Paul Vandenberg
    Proud producer of dry, sur lees, barrel aged rosé wines since 1999.
    Paradisos del Sol
    Home of Vineyard del Sol, the World’s first Zero Pesticide Vineyard

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