Branch out from Provence this summer and try some of the great rosé wines being produced in other French regions. Below is a full report on 92 wines tasted by our three-strong expert panel, with an introduction by Elizabeth Gabay MW...
92 wines tasted with three rated Outstanding
The panel tasters were: Elizabeth Gabay MW, Andy Howard MW and Joanna Simon
With so much emphasis on the rosé wines of Provence, it is easy to forget that there are clear regional styles around France, many reflecting the local red wine style using the same varieties, and many based in long tradition.
Scroll down to see the top wines from this panel tasting
French rosé: the facts
Area of production with proportion of sales (2015)
Pays d’Oc IGP 20%
Provence AP 17%
Vin de France 4%
Vin de France, single variety 3%
Other IGP 31%
Other AP 25%
French rosé: know your vintages
2017 Spring frost and hail, followed by a heatwave, severely reduced quantities. Small berries and an early harvest resulted in concentrated fruit and generally good quality, although some rosés show a lack of acidity.
2016 A cool, wet spring with regional frost and hail reducing quantities. A hot summer resulted in good quality, ripe grapes, although care was needed to preserve the acid/sugar balance for rosés.
2015 A hot dry summer, particularly favourable to rosés from cooler regions.
2014 Unpredictable weather; a cooler, wet summer led to weaker, more acidic rosés.
2013 A cool, late spring and a moderately cool, wet summer led to fresher, fruitier wines.
2012 A divided vintage, with the north suffering a cool, wet harvest. A good vintage in the south.
Top scoring wines from the panel tasting: