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A rosé for every occasion, all 12 months of the year

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Stephen Cronk of Mirabeau winery prepares to remove a cork with his shoe (Photograph supplied)

Rosé entered a new era when Whispering Angel significantly improved the quality and availability and even suggested that this was no longer a class of wine to enjoy only in the summer.

Even though it has become much more popular on a year-round basis, I readily admit that demand will increase for the next few months, and rightly so with its refreshing qualities.

Many years ago, when I was part of the sales team for IBM, I was told by friends that my job was superfluous as our equipment sold itself. I learnt to never take this for granted, and so I will lead off with 2021 Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé. This is a wine you can drink from midday to midnight. Its pleasing pale colour and full, lush taste profile make it an excellent choice for any occasion. Enjoy a glass with your favourite foods or on its own and experience the exquisite taste that has made Whispering Angel a worldwide reference for Provence rosé.

James Suckling rates the 2021 vintage 92 points and writes, “Pale rose colour with pretty aromas of lavender, rosehip, strawberries, cherries and cloves. It’s medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a supple, creamy palate. Perfumed and elegant.” $29.90 (Stock #8101). This is available in a wide range of sizes from the personal half-bottle to the giant, party-sized, nine-litre format (equivalent to a full, twelve-bottle case – and a beautiful base for a table lamp).

The 2020 Chateau d’Esclans Rock Angel Rosé takes us to an even more complex and structured level that is crisp and creamy with aromas of strawberries, nectarines and roses. Grenache, cinsault and rolle grapes are partially barrel-fermented to add complexity and structure. It is a perfect partner with a broad range of cuisine. $39 (Stock #8102).

The owner of Chateau D'Esclans and creator of Whispering Angel has done it again with his stellar 2021 The Pale by Sacha Lichine Rosé. Sourcing grapes from the Var region of Provence and working with winemaker Bertrand Leon, this blend of grenache, cinsault, syrah and rolle (vermentino) is bright and refreshing. Named after its transparent pink colour, The Pale by Sacha Lichine embodies all the characteristics of an authentic rosé from Provence. It is expressive both inside and out and bears great aromatic freshness on the nose followed by more subtle, fruity notes on the palate. Best of all it's exceptionally affordable at this time of so many price concerns! $24.75 (Stock #8113). If you wanted to make this your house rosé for the warm summer months ahead, then a case of twelve bottles would cost you $22.28 a bottle. Happy summer sipping.

Our 2021 Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé is made from grenache grapes grown in an area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees mountains. The fruit was picked by hand and pressed directly. All the handling operations were carried out in a carbon dioxide atmosphere to protect the delicate aromas of the grenache grapes until the start of fermentation which is carried out at low temperatures (from 59F to 64F).

Hand-picking, quick-pressing, avoidance of contact with oxygen and cool temperature fermentation are four steps in winemaking that assure clean, pure and fresh fruit characteristics for the final product. Enjoy as an aperitif, or with shellfish and crustaceans, Mediterranean salads, Asian dishes, baked fish and spicy and tasty dishes such as Thai curry. $22 (Stock #7292).

I love a good success story and the following is one of my favourites. Jeany and Stephen Cronk sell their home in England and move, with three young children, to Provence, to pursue their dream of making fine rosé. They open their winery in 2010, but it is difficult to compete with all the “big guys”. Stephen creates a short YouTube video, and it gets millions and millions of hits and puts them on the map. I remember an early communication with him when I asked, “Are you that guy on YouTube that shows us how to remove a cork from a wine bottle with your shoe?” Indeed, it was, and he even showed me a beach version that he felt might be perfect for Bermuda. You should look at it if you have not seen it – especially if you do not happen to have a corkscrew at hand!

Their 2021 Mirabeau Pure Rosé is very pale pink in colour, with peachy reflections. On the nose there is an instant burst of white peach, pear, zesty grapefruit and pomelo. Small red berries precede vibrant citrus notes. Bright and mouth-watering with a lasting, mineral finish. A superbly crafted and seductive rosé for a myriad of occasions. It is rated among the top ten available. $28.75 (Stock #8250).

Those wily folks at Santa Margherita were the very first to take the rather dusky-coloured pinot grigio grape and create a white wine from it – the rest sure is history. Now they have produced a rosé and let me share what Canadian wine critic Natalie MacClean has to say about 2021 Santa Margherita Trevenezie Rosé: “Santa Margherita Trevenezie 2021 rosé is a unique blend of chardonnay from the Trentino, sauvignon blanc from near the warm shores of the Adriatic Sea, with a dollop of pinot nero (aka pinot noir) from Veneto. Fragrant and inviting on the nose with pink florals, red berry fruit, fresh pear, grassy, herbal notes and pepper spice flavours brilliant on the palate. Chill and enjoy with Caesar and niçoise salads, or soft cheeses. Rosé food pairings: ham and cheese sandwiches, grilled chicken dishes, fish tacos.” $24.35 (Stock #8884).

This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Michael Robinson can be contacted at mrobinson@bll.bm. Burrows Lightbourn have stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554) and Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355). A selection of their wines, beers and spirits is available at www.wineonline.bm

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Published May 19, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated May 19, 2023 at 7:24 am)

A rosé for every occasion, all 12 months of the year

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