While Provence in the south of France may have created the impression that it’s the world’s rosé capital, many other areas of France and beyond are producing excellent “pink wine.” One of them is the Rhône Valley, where top producer E. Guigal consistently makes rosés of distinction.
Guigal’s 2019 Côtes du Rhône Rosé is a delicious blend of 70 percent Grenache, 20 percent Cinsault, and 10 percent Syrah. While Guigal also makes a rosé from the Tavel appellation in the Rhône (perhaps the most famous rosé appellation), the Côtes du Rhône is a phenomenal value at around $15 — and widely available, too.
This is serious rosé. It’s a departure from all those “fun” rosés that are marketed as easy-drinking lifestyle wines, many of them all but indistinguishable from one another. By contrast, Guigal’s Côtes du Rhône Rosé almost demands a food context — full-flavored fish, jerk chicken, even grilled leg of lamb are among the possibilities.
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Light copper in color, this is a relatively full-bodied rosé with aromas and tastes that suggest spicy strawberry, raspberry, and orange zest, as well as flowers, white pepper, and minerals, followed by a slightly creamy overlay on the long finish. The wine is fairly consistent from year to year in terms of flavor, but the 2019 lists alcohol at 14.5 percent, which accounts for the somewhat fuller but still balanced style of this vintage.
I’ve often wondered why rosé is still thought of as a wine almost exclusively for summer drinking, and I get that light, fruity examples lend themselves to that. But what if you were to serve a more substantial rosé, such as Guigal’s 2019 Côtes du Rhône Rosé, this fall, perhaps as an option with your Thanksgiving feast? I bet your guests would be surprised and delighted, and your idea would catch on.