For most of us, France is the spiritual home of rosé wine. The country makes more rosé than any other (it boasts 30% of the market), while Provence produces some of the most sought-after pinks in the world. And there are few wines that conjure up such evocative images of relaxing summer days, al fresco dining and celebration, as a southern French rosé.
The style and flavour of rosé changes considerably as you travel around France – Provence is known for its delicate, ‘onion-skin’ rosés; those in the Rhône are darker and more food-friendly; while those further north in the Loire Valley are crisp and refreshing.
For even more refreshment, the past few years has seen a curious trend of an adult take on a Slush Puppie – ‘frosé’ – a blend of rosé, vermouth and ice, which has gone down a storm in trendy bars both in Europe and the US.
Another boost to French rosé’s fortunes has been the rise of social media, particularly Instagram, with many a foodie influencer taking elaborately staged pics with a glass of rosé front and centre. Celebrities have got in on the act, too. Former Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie helped to kick-start the rosé revolution when they bought Château Miraval in Provence in 2011, while music stars Kylie Minogue, John Legend and Jon Bon Jovi all have their own southern French rosés.
Looking at the 2020 IWSC French Rosé category, Provence dominates, and provides the sole Gold winner, Chevalier Torpez’s Bravade 2019, which wowed the judges with its subtle notes of orange and anise to accompany the elegant fruit character.
For more details on that wine and all the French Rosé award-winners, here's the pick of the IWSC’s 2020 French rosé award-winners.
So expressive with savoury aspects: orange grove and hints of anise. The fruit, savoury and spice characters are finely etched and interwoven with each element playing its part and seemlessly integrating in the gorgeous long finish. 13%
It has an attractive fragrance and fruit profile - red fruits and peach, along with some almond. This wine is vertically-structured and dry and focused. 13%
Cellier des Dauphins
Refined floral nose with fresh berry and dark cherry fruit. It has a viscous, layered texture and zesty acidity to support it. 12.5%
International Procurement and Logistics
Ripe strawberry, lime and honeydew melon aromas. It is medium to full in body, with a slight sherbert to the mid palate that feels lemon zesty on the finish alongside the red fruit. 13%
La Petite Causerie 2019
Fragrant cherry and blood orange character on the nose, lifted acidity giving an overall refreshing style with red fruit flavours and some salinity on the finish. 13%
La Chapelle Gordonne Tête de Cuvée 2019
Château La Gordonne
Aromatic with plum and anise. Attractive on the palate with good depth of fruit and made in a food friendly style. Nice length. 13.5%
Domaine La Chautarde
Ultra pale rose. Distinguished palate focusing on the more savoury elements. This is a clean example with charm and good length. 12.5%
Very inviting nose displaying fresh, mineral notes with zesty redcurrant and pink grapefruit. Really nicely balanced on a refreshing palate. Very dry but with good intensity and length. 14%
Strawberry with hints of rosehip on an aromatic nose. Generously red fruited with underlying zesty grapefruit. Balanced, round structure with plenty of grip. 13%
Expressive aromatic wine with fruit and savoury notes. Strawberry, bonbon and tangerine flavours remain poised by fresh acidity and an attractive bitter edge. 13%
Expressive nose with perfumed, fragrant and spicy notes. The broad palate is very appealing with red fruits and a long, clean finish. 13.5%
Finest* in Partnership with Fournier Père et Fils 2019
Sophisticated floral nose with ripe red fruit and hints of pepper. Spicy, chalky aspect and tropical notes mid-palate balanced with a grassy freshness. 13%