Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It's Not Rosé Season: 2013 Laurent Miquel Rosé

This is the time of year when a deluge of wine articles get published proclaiming that, "It is Rosé season."

Don't listen to them! It is a pervasive myth that there is a Rosé season. It perpetuates a wrongful stereotype about the nature of Rosé. And many of these wine writers actually know better. They know the truth but choose to ignore it. Stop deluding the public.

What is the truth? Rosé is a year round wine, appropriate for all four seasons. Sure, a chilled Rosé can taste wonderful on a hot, summer day, but it can equally satisfy when you are at home during a snow storm. It is extremely food friendly, and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't enjoy it with the same roast chicken dish you serve in the summer or winter. Wine writers should promote Rosé year round rather than jump on the bandwagon and only proclaim that summer is the season for Rosé. If they recommended Rosé year round, then Rosé consumption would grow even more.

Currently, France and the U.S. consume about 50% of the world's production of Rosé, with the U.S. drinking about 13%. For the last ten years, Rosé imports from Provence to the U.S. have grown at double-digit rates. As an example, in 2013, the growth rate was an astounding 40%, which certainly pleases a Rosé lover like myself. Though those figures are only for Provence Rosé, the statistics in 2013 for all imported Rosé, priced at $12 or higher, are equally as impressive, growing 39% by volume and 48% in value. Just imagine how these figures might even be higher if Rosé was promoted year round.      

I recently found an amazing value Rosé, a $10 bottle which I cannot recommend enough. This is a Rosé you are going to want to order by the case so that you can share it with good friends and family. You'll be a vinous hero once they find how much they enjoy this Rosé.  

The 2013 Laurent Miquel Cinsault/Syrah is a blend of 80% Cinsault and 20% Syrah. It is a Vin de Pays d'Oc from the region of Languedoc-Roussillon, located in southern France. Laurent Miquel, an 8th generation winemaker, has crafted a delicious value Rosé, which will remind you of Provence Rosé, and he deserves kudos for this creation. The wine has an appealing, light pink color and as soon as I removed the screwcap, a delightful aroma of red fruits wafted through the air. As I sipped the wine, I was pleased with its crisp, dry taste and flavors of strawberry, raspberry and underlying mineral notes. It was easy drinking, thirst quenching, and very addictive. I actually had two bottles and had to open both of them the same day because it was just that good.

Stop believing the hype. There is no Rosé season because it is a wine fitting year round. And if you want a great value recommendation, seek out the 2013 Laurent Miquel Cinsault/Syrah ($10)


Frederick Wright said...

I'm in firm agreement, Richard about the delights of rosé wines, particularly ones from the Languedoc region of France. Part of the problem is that these wines still carry a noxious association among casual wine drinkers of the insipid, syrupy, cloying, trash wines mass marketed throughout the 70s and 80s as 'pink zinfandel'. My spouse and I enjoy rosé wines year round, particularly with chilled shellfish.

Susan Holaday said...

I couldn't agree more - it's a cold and dreary day and knowing I have a lovely Mulderbosch rosé in my fridge makes me happy!

Todd - VT Wine Media said...

I totally agree that there is always a good time for rosé, time of the year be damned. I think of it more as a sales season than a drinking season.

Without generalizing too much, rosé is made in relatively smaller quantities than the still whites and reds, can usually be produced and distributed rather quickly, and it is not generally known for it's shelf life. So, the upshot is that importers and distributors hustle to get that new wine to market from the previous harvest, and sell it out with pre-orders, then go back to concentrating on the meat of the portfolios, until next year. Luckily one of our VT distribs took the plunge, skipped the pre-sells, and took a large inventory position in the pink part of their portfolio this year...retail and restos can order at will. And it's up to consumers to empty that stockpile.

I've often wondered if we don't see as many southern hemisphere rosé, because their production cycle is six months off from our "rosé season" here...