Monday, August 22, 2005

A new style of rosé

in the August 2005 edition of Decanter Magazine, Sarah Marsh explains how Provençal rosés are moving to a pale, dry, elegant, and delicate new style.

Many of these wines used to be made using the saignée method, a winemaking technique which eliminates some free-run juice from the red wine crush to concentrate the remaining must and increase its flavors. This free-run juice is then used for the rosé wine. This method produces dark colored and slightly bitter wines that are just by-products of the main red wine production.

Now, producers of new-wave rosé are looking for wines with a delicate pale hue, elegant, aromatic, and full of freshness. They are using state of the art equipment for a gentle handling of the grapes.

The rosé wines of Château Minuty are good examples of these new-wave wines. The winery is located near the village of Gassin in the Saint-Tropez Peninsula.

The winery owns 65 hectares of hillside vineyards at the foot of the village that are cultivated without pesticides or fertilizer and harvested manually. The rosé wines are blends of Grenache, Tibouren, Syrah, and Cinsault. Tibouren is an old Provençal variety that brings spices and aromas of garrigue to the the wine.

Winemaking is traditional but uses modern equipment like pneumatic presses. The grapes macerate with their skins under carbon dioxide for only few hours to extract color and aromas.

Tasting Notes

2004 Côtes de Provence Rosé Cru Classé Château Minuty Cuvée de l'Oratoire: a blend of Grenache, Tibouren, and Cinsault, the wine has a deep salmon-pink color and fresh berry aromas on the nose. It is dry on the palate with some lively acidity on the finish.

2004 Côtes de Provence Rosé Cru Classé Château Minuty Prestige: a blend of Grenache and Tibouren, the wine is very pale in hue, with delicate flavors on the nose. On the palate, it is full-bodied with a fat mouthfeel and little acidity, followed by a long finish. It tastes almost like a white wine.


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