Once dismissed as a pink confection little better than Ripple, Rosé has become a summer staple with year-round consumption trending high as well. “Exports from the Provence region of France have exploded – soaring 58% in 2015 alone and up an incredible 4,852% from 2001 when just 158,300 liters first hit the U.S. market. Last year, that figure exceeded 7.8 million liters.” (Nielsen)

Another remarkable statistic: “Together, France and the US consume nearly half of the annual 594.4 million gallons of Rosé produced globally.” (USA Trade & Tasting)

Anecdotal evidence of Rosé’s popularity includes stories such as the one run in the New York Post describing a “panic” in the Hampton’s over an industry shortage of the pink darling. Marketing reports also show that Rosé is becoming increasingly popular with men, spawning the nickname ‘Brosé.’ Picking up on the trend, every case of Charles and Charles comes with a sticker that reads, “Yes, you can drink Rosé and still be a badass.”

The downside to the wine’s explosive popularity is the plethora of low-quality Rosés now being produced. The wine has become so commercialized that many suppliers brew up a “Rosé Piscine” (swimming pool Rosé). And as you’d suspect, the quality is comparable to pool water. We’ve come full circle — back to Ripple.

Fortunately, the original Provençal wines with aromas of guarrigue — rosemary, thyme, wild herbs and sea salt are still to be found. These are the wines that we fell in love with before Rosé became chic. We’ve procured a particularly lovely one: 2016 Château Sainte Roseline Cru Classé Rosé.

Château Sainte Roseline is one of the 18-only Cru Classé vineyards within the Côtes de Provence.

From one of the most prestigious vineyards in the Côtes de Provence, Château Sainte Roseline is both a registered historical site and one of the 18-only Cru Classé vineyards within the appellation. The property dates back over 1,000 years, with some vineyards created by Pope Jean XXII in the 14th century.

The estate is named after Sainte Roseline (born in 1263) who was the daughter of Arnaud de Villeneuve, a Marquis. According to local legend, Roseline took food from her family’s storage to feed hungry villagers during a famine. When caught, the food in her apron miraculously turned to roses! A chapel built in her honor is near Draguignan.

Equally miraculous is the underground spring that runs below the estate, providing a steady source of water for the vines. The terroir is a perfect mix of clay and limestone and the primary reason Château Sainte Roseline, along with the other Provençal estates, are ranked as Cru Classé — a fact that continues to irritate Bordeaux producers today.

2016 Château Sainte Roseline Cru Classé Rosé in a frosted Lampe de Méduse glass.

The 2016 Château Sainte Roseline Cru Classé Rosé that we’re offering is an impressive blend of 35% Tibouren, 25% Grenache, 20% Syrah, !0% Mourvèdre, 5% Vermentino and 5% Cinsault. Grapes are produced using an environmentally friendly approach, with grassy areas allowed next to the vine rows to preserve fauna and flora, ensuring the land remains healthy. Following harvest and fermentation, the wines are refrigerated to block malolactic fermentation then matured on lees with stirring.

The resulting color is a very pale, luscious pink. The Cru Classé pedigree is evident in the flavor concentration and rich mouthfeel of the wine, while maintaining a bright, vibrant acidity. Château Sainte Roseline pairs beautifully with seafood or a simple summer salad.

Château Sainte Roseline Rosé provides two levels of quality. We have chosen the finest production, from selected grapes in the very best plots. This top cuvée is bottled in a frosted Lampe de Méduse glass. And, as a special introductory offer, this high-level bottling is available at the same price you’d pay for the lower-quality production: $18.99

Order before July 4th and save even more with our PRE-SALE OFFER at $16.99.
This offer will not be listed in our online store. Order directly by writing mthibaultwine@gmail.com or call 850-687-1370. Minimum one case.

Most of all, don’t jump into the Rosé Piscine!

Marla Norman is co-owner of Michel Thibault Wine LLC and publisher of Travel Curious Often.