This is not an obvious question in relation to rosé wine, going by the old adage that rosé wines are best drunk young. However, you may well be surprised by some modern Rosés and we’d like to be among the first to break the good news!
Certainly, if you’d asked ten or fifteen years ago we would have sided with the “Choose it well and drink it young” view, for most rosé wines, but a lot has changed since then. Oddly enough, these changes are still not common knowledge. Whilst many rosé wines are still best drunk young there are others which benefit from being a little older.
How has this come about?
Firstly, the use of refrigeration in rosé wine production has increased immensely. Refrigeration allows much more control and refinement of the various stages that the wine goes through. Effective measures to prevent oxidisation have also been introduced. Not only do these provide a better product, but they also seems to impart stability to the wine, meaning that it travels better too. This has helped banish the “It tasted great when I was there”, but isn’t nearly as good when I bought it here”, syndrome. This may still apply to some cheaply produced mass market wines, but not to good quality rosé wine from the best producers.
Secondly, the demand for better, premium rosé wine, has allowed the best winemakers to invest in many improvements to their winemaking processes. Other producers have likewise had to improve their methods in order to keep up with the demanding market.
Science based organisations such as the Rosé Wine Research Centre (www.centredurose.fr)
have carried out research, unravelled some of the processes involved, and have been able to advise growers on improved methods.
So how does this affect the wine?
The increase in quality and extra stability imparted allows these wines to keep far longer than before. It has opened up the opportunity to see how rosé develops with age and some provide startlingly good results.
A great example of this is can be found in Chateau D’Esclans “Garrus” Rosé
which is available in our Chateau D'Esclans Estate Collection 2019 gift pack
. It is silky smooth, yet complex, with rich creamy notes and perhaps a hint of biscuit, remaining beautifully bright and a delight on the palate. If we'd written this about a White Burgundy or similar it would perhaps come as no surprise, but for a rosé wine it is outstanding. Yes, it takes a while to make and is aged in temperature controlled barrels for ten months, but here is a rosé that truly benefits from its age. It is quite expensive, but conjures up another old adage, “That you get what you pay for
”, and with this wine you certainly do!
Other notable wines where wonderful subtleties emerge with a little age are those from Domaines Ott, Chateau Léoube
and several of our other producer’s rosé wines
How do you know whether a wine will age well?
We’d suggest price as a good guide as they have to be very well made wines. They will use carefully selected fruit, coupled with expert winemaking, applying costly, gentle, slow, natural, and non-invasive processes.
Next time someone discusses the merits of rosé wine with you, we hope this subject might just make for an interesting talking point. Of course, even more interesting is trying the wines to see for yourself!
If you'd like to order some rosé wine browse our selection and be sure to make every day a rosé day!