Here are my reports on a couple of exceptional pink wines from Provence.
Hecht & Bannier 2017 “H&B” Côtes de Provence Rosé ($19.99)
Clear, light peach color with a light, pleasant scent of fresh strawberries at first, carrying over intact to a tart, zippy and bone-dry flavor. Give it time and let it warm a little and it becomes surprisingly complex for a rosé, adding notes of watermelon and kiwi, with a touch of subtle white flowers that becomes more evident in the finish. It’s a typical southern French blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Vermentino in proportions that vary with the vintage; 13.5 percent alcohol. U.S. importer: Frederick Wildman & Sons Ltd., NYC. (May 30, 2018)
FOOD MATCH: The winery suggests sipping it in their garden, or pairing it with a fougasse (a distant French cousin to focaccia), anchovies and Provence olives. We enjoyed it with hot Italian Beyond Sausage, tomato sauce, and burrata over bucatini.
WHEN TO DRINK: Good balance and an airtight glass apothecary-style stopper will help preserve it, but rosé generally shows best when it’s young and fresh.
I paid a couple of dollars more for this fine Provence rosé than Wine-Searcher.com’s $17 average retail, but it’s an excellent pink wine worth a $20 toll.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and look up prices for Hecht & Bannier “H&B” Côtes de Provence Rosé on Wine-Searcher.com.
M. Chapoutier 2017 Bellruche Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé ($11.99)
Pretty color, transparent light salmon. Clean and fresh, subtle red-berry scent with a whiff of tarragon. Crisp and dry, herbal red-fruit flavors follow the nose, lingering in a long, dry finish. A beautiful wine for a hot summer day, cooling and fresh, 13.5% alcohol, balanced with good flavor interest. U.S. importer: Terlato Wines International, Lake Bluff, Ill.; an Anthony Terlato Selection. (May 27, 2018)
FOOD MATCH: Good for sipping by itself and with picnic snack fare; it was fine with spicy Italian sausages.
WHEN TO DRINK: Good balance and a sturdy screw cap will spare it from a quick demise, but rosé is usually best when it’s young and fresh. I was happy to get this 2017 within less than a year after the vintage, and always look for the freshest available.
My local price conforms with Wine-Searcher.com’s $11 average retail; it’s a fine value at this price.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and locate vendors for Chapoutier Bellruche Côtes-du-Rhône Rôsé on Wine-Searcher.com.