Congratulations, first, to all of us: We have moved well past Rosé All Day. I’d suggest, rather, that we are in the midst of a Rosé Renaissance. The category—a huge swath of which once merely attempted to scale the heights of adequacy—is being made in a serious manner, all over the world. This is good news for those of us who enjoy it, year-round, but who have often found opening a new bottle a bit of a crap shoot.
This isn’t news, though, to thirsty wine drinkers. June 13th, as with all second Saturdays of June, is National Rosé Day. The Wall Street Journal’s stalwart, expert Lettie Teague just rounded up some domestic examples. Lately every winemaker I have spoken with tries their hand at a little bit of the stuff.
The Garrus offering from Château d’Esclans in Provence, makers of the uber-popular Whispering Angel, has been well-known for a while as an extraordinary wine, proud to show its face at high-end tastings. Newer on the scene, and making a bid for the throne, is Clos du Temple, produced in the Languedoc by the legendary biodynamic pioneer Gérard Bertrand. Drinks Business magazine recently put the wines head to head and gave them both top marks.
The charismatic Bertrand is going big this month, with his release of the 2019 Clos Du Temple in magnum, priced around $390. A blend of grenache and cinsault, rounded out with syrah, viognier, and mourvèdre, some of the fruit is grown on 80-year-old vines, and the winery says the wine can age “gracefully.”
The first-for-the-brand 2018 vintage I tasted (with great delight) this past fall received 96 points from Decanter, supposedly the title’s highest-ever score for a still rosé. Indeed, Clos du Temple doesn’t even seem a distant relation to the white zinfandels of decades gone by: These are complex wines, leaning toward savory, with a depth of fruit that can be surprising, when you glance at the pretty glass while you enjoy it. There is spice, and a pleasant, slightly bitter citrus, and floral notes, without at all being flowery. Stunning with food.
The price point is weighty, even at magnum, but for those of us with summer birthdays, this special wine may bring the proper sense of occasion to an outdoor celebration. Grilled lobster tails, anyone?