Once stereotype as a wine associated with bad taste, rosé wine is moving upmarket. Here’s a closer look into the movement.
One out of every ten bottles consumed in the world is a rosé, according to the latest World Rosé Observatory published in 2021. Once stereotyped as a wine associated with bad taste, rosé has moved upmarket to become a third type of wine in its own right, and one that is not only suitable for aperitif time. Serious efforts on the elaboration of various rosé wines as well as on the image of rosé continue to be made, in order to meet consumer expectations and elevate the product.
The Stars Who Bought a Chateau
Over the last few days, the world of wine has been buzzing about rock star legend Jon Bon Jovi’s arrival in France. The “It’s My Life” singer wasn’t in town for a concert but for one of his other passions in life: wine. The event marked the official retail launch of his wine. And his wine is none other than a rosé that the singer has concocted with top winemaker Gérard Bertrand (who also is familiar with the world of music, as he’s been organising an international jazz festival at one of his domains — Château l’Hospitalet — since 2004). In association with the singer’s son, Jesse Bon Jovi, the men developed this blend of grenache, cinsault and mourvèdre that Americans have had a chance to drink since 2018. Wine Spectator, the US magazine of reference in the matter, is full of praise for this rosé, giving it a score of 90 out of 100. The name on the label is Hampton Water, in reference to this region northeast of Long Island in the state of New York, which is the refuge of stars and big money.
Francis Ford Coppola, Jay Z, Carole Bouquet… Stars who buy a chateau, or even participate in the elaboration of wines of high quality (Bouquet’s Sicilian wine produced on the island of Pantelleria is a perfect example), are nothing new in the sector. But these days, celebrities are interested in just one colour of wine, and not just any colour: the one with the most negative associations in the past. Despite the many innovations in the matter and the elevation of the range, rosé is having serious difficulties shedding its image as a low-end wine without depth or complexity. However, there is a common thread between all the celebrity collaborations with rosé-producing estates: they are quality references. For instance Australian singer Kylie Minogue has just renewed her collaboration with Château Sainte-Roseline, a classified cru in Provence, whose cuvée La Chapelle Sainte-Roseline combats stereotypes about rosé with the finesse of its blend and its depth on the palate. The leading example is of course Brad Pitt at Château Miraval, whose purchase alongside his ex-wife Angelina Jolie generated many headlines. Voted best rosé wine in the world by the Wine Spectator, the creation made from grenache, syrah, cinsault and rolle is a gourmet rosé that can be easily paired with a gourmet meal, going beyond the aperitif.
And in fact it’s the niche of Provençal rosé that is drawing celebrities. In 2017, George Lucas acquired Chateau Margüi, located in Chateauvert, which can also boast of elevating store shelves with a gourmet rosé, Bastide de Margüi. French stars are also going all in on rosé. In March, Patrick Bruel launched the first vintage of his Augusta rosé, produced on his estate in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
And when stars aren’t making their own rosé, they’re choosing well-known references to post alongside their faces on social media, glass in hand. From Beyoncé to Kendall Jenner, American stars are giving their summers a refreshing, classy boost by uncorking the successful rosé of Château d’Esclans, Whispering Angel. A cuvée created in 2006 by Sacha Lichine, the originator of a concept that Americans love: premium rosé. While some people still associate rosé with cheap, sugary concoctions, the businessman has carved out a whole range of premium rosé wines, the most expensive bottle of which (Garrus), costs a hundred euros. At its launch, the cuvée was labeled as the most expensive rosé in the world. Other Provençal blends have since stolen the title.
For the 2022 season, bubbles will be the stars. A brand new taste experience is being proposed by Chandon, a brand of the LVMH group. It has created a blend of eight grape varieties, a formula that is rare in the world of rosé, which usually are composed of three, maybe four, emblematic grape varieties, such as Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah or Mourvèdre. Named Le Chant des Cigales, the cuvée was developed under the direction of former Dom Pérignon cellar master Richard Geoffroy. So we know this is serious! The creation shakes up the codes of sparkling — should we add an ice cube to the glass or not? Something that signals heresy for purists, and which may not help when it comes to stopping the naysayers criticising this type of wine.
And this is not the only serious attempt at a sparkling rosé. At Château Sainte-Roseline too, the focus this year is on the effervescence of a blend built around Grenache, with the addition of Cinsault, Caladoc, Mourvèdre and Rolle. The cuvée, named Allégorie, will be launched on May 25. The beginning of a new trend?
This story is published via AFP Relaxnews.