Before the introduction of Château d’Esclans’ Whispering Angel, in 2006, rosé had a less-than-favorable reputation in the U.S. — to put it politely. But since then, and due in no small part to the success of this Provençal blush, pink wine sales have increased exponentially stateside, with 53 percent growth to $258 million in 2017.
The Whispering Angel blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Rolle is enjoyed by critics and Hamptonites alike. And while production has increased over the years — from 135,000 bottles in its first vintage to over 3 million annually — the style of the wine has always remained the same: tangy, fresh red fruits with herb and citrus notes and a mineral, ever-so-slightly spiced finish.
But what if Whispering Angel fans wanted to spread their wings, as it were, to other crisp and refreshing rosés? Those looking to branch out might consider one of these five other options.
Domaine Ott offers an affordable Provençal rosé that definitely won’t let you down — after all, the company has been making rosé for over a century, so it knows a thing or two by now. The refined blend of 75 percent Grenache and 25 percent Cinsault and Syrah punches well above its price range in terms of elegance, with fresh stone fruit aromas and citrus notes on the palate. Easy-drinking and well balanced, this is a great summer rosé.
Bandol is one of the flagship subregions of Provence and is best known for its intense Mourvèdre reds. But that’s not to say it doesn’t produce some fine pink wines, too, like Château de Pibarnon’s Bandol Rosé. Made with organic grapes, the 60/40 Mourvèdre and Cinsault blend benefits from the 300-meter altitude at which the grapes are grown. The wine contains a perfumed mix of fruits and minerals, as well as a hint of lavender, which famously decorates the Provençal countryside from June to August.
The “blush” rosés that typify Provence are renowned for, among other things, their ballet-pink color. There may be no better embodiment than Château des Bertrands Côtes de Provence Rosé which, in some vintages, could credibly be mistaken for a white wine. With such a pale color, the intensity of exotic fruit flavors and the body of this wine never fail to provide a pleasant surprise, while the refreshing acidity keeps you coming back for more.
The Commanderie (translation: small castle) de Peyrassol was founded in the 13th century by the Knights Templar, who valued its location for its 330-meter elevation. Now that elevation, and night-time harvesting, are essential in helping this rosé maintain bright acidity, while also showing an interesting mix of wild berries.
“Summer in a Bottle Rosé” is a curveball. It neither comes from Provence nor includes any of the typical grapes you might find in a southern France rosé. Instead, the Long Island rosé is blend of interesting red and white varieties, including Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Both bring a lot to the party — most notably intense floral aromas and super-fresh fruit flavors.