Anyone with even a cursory familiarity with the world of wine will be aware that for the past three or four years, the wine of summer has been rosé. After decades in the viniferous doghouse—too many memories of dorm room Mateus, perhaps?—this light and unchallenging vino has now become überchic.
This ascent has had several consequences, not all of them desirable. First, an awful lot of indifferent rosé is around at the moment. "If it's pink, sell it," seems to be the attitude of too many winemakers. Not that indifferent rosé wasn't on the shelves before; it's just that now it's costing $20 and up a bottle.
And this leads to the second problem: This newfound popularity has led to a steep increase in prices.
But now the good news. There is also more good rosé around than ever before.
The wine seems to be made everywhere these days, with much of the suspect stuff coming from regions with little or no experience of these blush-hued beauties. This perhaps explains why my favorite area for the wine is southern France, a region with a long tradition of the wine. This usually means Provence, but recently I encountered a delightful version from further west, in the appellation of Costières de Nîmes. It's the 2009 Château de Campuget ($11), this week's Wine of the Week.
Somewhere between pink and light scarlet in color, it shows bright, citrus-y flavors on the front palate, matched by a fine slate-y authenticity on the finish, giving it real depth. This is a combination I look for in a rosé, as it is what separates the good from the merely drinkable. So to find it in a moderately priced version is a rare opportunity not to be missed. If your stock of summer sippers is growing low, reach for your keyboard and try to locate a case of this inexpensive delight.
To find this wine near you, try Wine-Searcher.com
When to Drink: Now
Breathing/Decanting: Not necessary
Food Pairing: Mediterranean food, BBQ, meatier fish such as swordfish and tuna, vegetable pasta, lighter Asian food
Grapes: 70 percent syrah, 30 percent grenache
Appellation: Costières de Nîmes
Web Site: www.campuget.com