Rosé 2009s: Clos Roche Blanche, Peyrassol, and brightness

rose wine

It’s sunny with a high of 86 today in New York. Although rosé is food-friendly and refreshing for more months than it is usually given credit for, today is classic rosé weather. I’ve got a couple of good rosés so now all I need is a pool…

war roses Last week I stopped by Crush Wine & Spirits on 57th St (map it). They used to do free tastings weekly in the store but now have switched to larger ones only once a month. A staple in this vein has been their annual “war of the rosés” where they uncork and pour a dozen or more for consumers who think pink.

My favorite of the all-2009 lineup, both foreign and domestic, was the Clos Roche Blanche, a rosé from the pineau d’aunis grape, which usually makes some pretty light reds to begin with. This wine ($18) from the central Loire had great brightness and an alluring subtlety. The other wine that I bought after the tasting was the Commanderie de Peyrassol, a Provencal rosé that is consistently fun and delicious (and a good value, on sale for $14.39 that day–search for these wines).

After tasting the wines, I wondered if 2009 might not be the greatest rosé vintage in Europe? Not that people really give much thought to rosé and vintages. But it seemed to me that some of them were not as bright and snappy as in prior years. What is your experience? While awaiting your reply, I might just uncork one of those bottles pictured above.

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6 Responses to “Rosé 2009s: Clos Roche Blanche, Peyrassol, and brightness”


  1. I had my own little Crush rosé moment recently (and wrote about it here: http://www.makerstable.com/2010/06/domaine-de-fenouillet-ventoux-rose-2009.html). This admittedly slim evidence supports the suggestion that ’09 was not the strongest year for Provençal rosé. Still, it did its job; I found it refreshing, snappy, cooling—and evocative of what could be.


  2. I love the Clos Roche Blanche.. it always shocks me how high Crush’s prices are compared to other places.


  3. 2009 is the best rosé vintage, not that anyone keeps track of such a thing. But yeah, they’ve all been great, from Tavel, from Puglia, from basically every French and Italian appellation. Jeez, even the Zweigelt rosés are terrific.


  4. Can’t tell about 2009. We had 2 Provencal roses tonight — Chateau Grande Cassagne and La Ferme St. Pierre (OK, I’m stretching Provence to include the Costieres de Nimes) – and both were very good. And we’ve tried several dozen others already, with mixed results. Among our biggest dissapointments were 2 Pinot d’Aunis roses from a favorite producer the past 2 years: the cooperative in the Coteaux de Vendomois. And unfortunately, I have my doubts I’ll be able to find the Clos Roche Blanche, which we’ve enjoyed in past years.


  5. It was the best year in my memory for rosé here in CA also!


  6. We have enjoyed Rosé for many years. I’m certain that I cannot say what would be the best vintage– 2001, when we became enchanted by Provencal rosés; 2004, when we branched out to Chiaretto because we visited Lake Garda? For us, rosé evokes memories of warm weather, leisure, holiday, friends, so we enjoy every vintage. Two comments about this year’s rosés: it’s my least favorite year of Peyrassol, which I find fruitier and fatter than usual. Perhaps too much Grenache, too little Cinsault, no Mourvedre making it closer to a Cotes du Rhone rosé than a Cotes de Provence Rosé? Secondly, I agree with Dave Erickson above. Never a fan of Zweigelt rosés, I am sooo enjoying the Tegernseerhof this year– absolutely dry, tart but not bitter, it would be a ringer in a Cotes de Provence tasting.


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