A rosé by any other name is not just any rosé

in Wine by

By Celia Strong

Just as there are many Chardonnays, or any other variety or category of wine, there are many rosés. 

They come from different countries, from different sources within one country, from different grape varieties, different winemakers and oOn and on. 

So, just because we just recently found a new rosé, doesn’t mean we can’t have another new one, one that is totally different, but still delicious. 

Our new rosé comes from a brand new wine area (for us, anyhow): the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. 

Formerly, this small area was part of Provence.  It is located in very Southeastern France, with part of its eastern border being Italy. It is an area of plateaus, valleys and hills with tourism (skiing) as its main industry. 

The area’s population is under 200,000 with most living on the valley floors. But, a third of the housing is second homes. 

It’s great for skiing in the winter, but summers are warm with thunderstorms and wind. White rocks are scattered all over the area in a thin layer of topsoil.  Some mountain flowers grow and there are some stunted trees. Deforestation and flooding has resulted in minimum of fertile soil. Small quantities of wine are made, but it is good wine.

Most French wines we’ve had have had AC designations, the top legal level of this country’s wines. A second level is IGP, or Indication Geographique Protégée. This level was known as Vin de Pays before the EU. 

These wines come from designated areas with slightly fewer restrictions and controls that the AC wines.  

Our wine this week is an IGP from the official Alpes de Haute Provence designation. It is called Les Hautes Palteaux and is made from 40 percent Syrah, 40 percent Grenache and 20 percent Cinsault. These are all typical varieties for this part of France and all grown in the designated area for the IGP.  

A quick look at these pieces of our wine might help us enjoy it more. 

Syrah rosés are usually deeper colored wines. They are bolder wines and can be served a bit warmer to enhance the style. 

They have white pepper, green olive, strawberry, cherry and peach aromas and flavors, and they tend to pair well with slightly spicy foods.  

Grenache rosés are more brilliant rose in their color. These have more acidity so they do well served more cold to add zip and freshness. They have ripe strawberry, orange, hibiscus and baking spice (allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon) notes. These wines pair well with traditional Greek food and flavors. Think feta cheese!  

Cinsault rosés are more pale colored with coral tones, and they are fuller bodied, heavier wines. They have floral notes (violets, roses) with cherries, plums and herbs. Grilled meats and seafoods go well with them. Each of these varieties brings their share to our rosé. 

Les Hautes Plateaux (which translates to mean the high plains) is salmon colored. It has an intense nose, with gooseberry and tart red fruits in the front. It shows purity and freshness with vibrant red fruit flavors, floral notes, a racy minerality and acidity. It is mouthwatering and juicy. Totally delicious, but still structured and food friendly. 

Usually it’s about $10. But Bill’s Liquor has it for only $7.99. Enjoy!