It’s *finally* rosé weather in Washington, DC this week and I’m excited to start digging into the stack of pink bottles I’ve accumulated while we experienced a record number of rainy days. I’m extremely biased towards French wines in general, but especially when it comes to rosés, and I always gravitate towards Provençal rosés. Occasionally, I’ll venture outside of Provence and pick up a bottle of new world rosé (I’m a big fan of Early Mountain’s rosé right now.) But most of the time, venturing out means looking a little South West along the Mediterranée to the Languedoc-Roussillon. Sandwiched between Provence and Spain, the Languedoc is actually France’s biggest wine region, with a bit over 200,000 hectares of vines, but it’s not as prestigious as some of the other regions so you can find some great value bottles.
One of my favourite AOP is the region is Corbières, located between the cities of Carcassonne, Perpignan and Béziers where I happen to have family members. It’s the most reputable AOP in the Languedoc and produces spicy full body red wine, and delicate rosés. This past week, I’ve enjoyed a delightful bottle from the Domaine Montfin, which you can pick up from Weygandt Wines here in Washington, D.C.
I also enjoyed a bottle of Domaine Sainte-Eugenie, purchased at my local wine store, Eye Street Cellar. Both wines were definitely brighter in hues than a typical pale provençal rosé but offer the right acidity and floral overtones to prevent them from being too fruity. In anticipation of Languedoc Day on May 27, I was sent two additional bottles of Languedoc AOP rosés, a 2015 Domaine Tour Boisée Minervois and a 2015 Chateaux de Lascaux Garrigue rosé which made for a pretty fun line-up of wines to try with my girlfriends on a rare warm evening last week.
Let’s start with the Tour Boisée, from the Minervois region, just north of Corbières. Wines there are similar, meaning you’ll find full bodied reds, slightly fruity rosés but also some dry whites. The pale rosé is 40% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 20% Mourvèdre and 20% Syrah and a perfect complement to a warm summer evening and barbecue! Finally, the Garrigue rosé, which is the pricier of all the wines mentioned in this post (don’t worry, you should still be able to find it for under $15!). It’s from the Côteaux du Languedoc region, a much smaller AOP than Corbières (now known simply as Languedoc AOP) but where the wines are rather varied ranging from dry whites like the super affordable Picpoul de Pinet to more robust reds. The vineyards of Château de Lascaux have been in the family for 13 generations, are farmed organically and are some of the most well known from the region. The rosé is another delightful, light sipper very much in line with what you would expect from a southern French rosé.
As I mentioned, Friday May 27th is Languedoc Day. Last year I picked up bottles in each “colour,” red, white and something in between. The region also produces some simple bubblies like Blanquette and Crémant de Limoux. This year, because I’m craving all the rosé (and the weather that goes with it!), I went all pink for this post! Whether you want to branch out from Provençal rosés for a bit and/or are looking for similar light and dry wine, look a little bit south to the Languedoc AOP. I think you’ll be happy you did!
Happy National Wine Day by the way!!
*Benson Marketing Group sent me a bottle of 2015 Domaine Tour Boisée Minervois and the 2015 Chateaux de Lascaux Garrigue rosé. All opinions expressed are my own nonetheless.*