A rosé for all seasons

Mmm, rosé wine! Bright, crisp and fresh, thoughtfully chosen to focus on dry, intense pink wines made well to showcase quality regional grapes. It’s hard to imagine a glass better suited to a searing summer day.

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But what happens when summer slips away before the last bottle of tasty rosé has gone? Do we let it sit on a wine rack or shelf until next summer, taking the risk that some of that delightful freshness will fade? Or do we drink it up anyway, mismatching this lightly chilled summer quaff to a bowl of chili or spicy baked beans or some other warming autumnal dish?

Good news! My leftover pink wine, Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence Rosé, is a rosé for all seasons.

Made from the traditional regional grapes Grenache (65%) and Mourvèdre (13%) plus a not-so-traditional addition of Cabernet Sauvignon (22%), it’s intense in its rosy-orange wild-salmon color. Fresh, delicious and complex, it’s as brisk and delicious as you could ask of a rosé; yet its bright, full flavor and intriguing minerality give it the power to shine all year ’round.

Vineyards at Mas de Gourgonnier, Les Baux de Provence, with the limestone peaks of Les Alpilles in the distance.

Vineyards at Mas de Gourgonnier, Les Baux de Provence, with the limestone peaks of Les Alpilles in the distance.

This rosé, like all the wines made by a Southern Rhone and Provence favorite producer, Mas de Gougonnier, is certified organic – made without chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides – fermented with natural indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, never oak. Made in the classic rosé process, it’s naturally pressed on the grape skins to impart its rich color, but siphoned off before it darkens to a full red wine. “For generations,” the producer says, “we have worked the land with respect for nature and tradition. Only lightly sulfited, this wine may throw a light deposit, which is consistent with its naturalness.”

I can’t recommend this rosé too highly, in summer or at any time of year. And of course it goes without saying that if you spot its fully red sibling, Mas de Gourgonnier 2021 Les Baux de Provence Rouge, you should not hesitate to load up your trunk and back seat, too.


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Today’s Tasting Report

Mas de Gourgonnier 2021 Les Baux de Provence Rosé ($19.99)

Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence Rosé

Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence Rosé

Certified organic by Ecocert France, Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence Rosé is made from a typical regional blend of 65% Grenache and 13% Mourvèdre, with a considerably less typical 22% Cabernet Sauvignon in the mix. Rather intense in color for a rosé, it’s a rosy-orange wild-salmon color. Fresh and delicious scents focus on raspberries and strawberries, with pleasant, subtle herbal back notes of tarragon. Bright and refreshing on the palate, red-fruit flavors and pops of orange zest are shaped by brisk acidity. Intriguing granite minerality joins in a very long finish. A splendid wine, about as good as rosé gets. 13% alcohol. U.S. importer: Skurnik Wines, NYC., North Berkeley Wines, Berkeley, Calif., and other regional importers. (Oct. 8, 2022)

FOOD MATCH: Wine-searcher suggests serving it with salads and green vegetables, but I think it’s more versatile than that. For example, it would be excellent with mild white fish, seafood, and creamy cheeses. We enjoyed it very much with an Italian pasta dish that I discovered years ago in Alba in Piemonte: Spaghetti with butter and sage.

WHEN TO DRINK: It’s not a rosé meant for aging. I’d enjoy the 2021 vintage now and enjoy fresher vintages as they arrive.

Wine-Searcher.com’s $19 average U.S. retail, consistent with my local price, is on the upper end of the rosé spectrum but well worth it. It’s an impressive wine of any color. Still, it’s available in some regions and shops for as little as $13 or so, so look around if you can.

Here’s a tech sheet from importer Skurnik Wines.

Meet Mas de Gourgonnier producers Luc, Eve, and Lucienne Cartier and learn a bit more about the property at this Wine-Searcher link.

Check prices and find vendors for Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence Rosé on Wine-Searcher.com.

Here’s a link to Mas de Gourgonnier’s 2021 rosé product page (in French).

Learn about the Les Baux de Provence wine region and browse Wine-Searcher links for dozens more wines from the region at this Wine-Searcher link.


Wine Focus October 2022:
Orange Wine, Carignan and Port

Now our monthly Wine Focus is really into Northern Hemisphere fall! We won’t have pumpkin spice, but we will have Orange Wine, which had its day on October 6. Not all Orange Wine is actually orange. The color can vary from a deep yellow all the way to full Jack-o-Lantern. Once the specialty of a few adventurous souls in Europe, Orange Wine has gained a following just about everywhere. Extended time on the skins adds some depth of texture to what would otherwise we regular white wine, as well as a wide array of additional flavors.

This month we’re also back in Southern France for our main grape, as Carignan has its day on October 27. More of a blending grape than a star in its home, it has picked up a little bit of momentum in California, where some adventurous folks are doing varietally-labeled Carignan. Some of those wines come from own-rooted vines planted in the late 1800s and early 1900s. If the wine has some Carignan in it (even just in a supporting role) it’s fair game!

Finally, since the weather is turning cooler, we will take the opportunity to have a glass of Port. Plenty of options for October, so drink up! Bring your questions and comments and bring your notes on any of these wines, and join the conversation in Orange Wine, Carignan and Port month, October 2022!


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Good wines we’ve tried under $10.99!

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