There’s always a touch of pepper (that’s the Grenache), spice (Mourvèdre), the slightest hint of structure (Syrah) and plenty of fruit (Cinsault and all the other grapes).
In the easterly Côtes de Provence appellation, rosés take on the classic style, fruity and ready to be enjoyed within a year of bottling. Two subappellations, Sainte-Victoire and La Londe, yield more structured, ageworthy wines.
The Bandol appellation on the Mediterranean coast, also well known for its reds, makes rosés with a good dose of Mourvèdre, which brings added richness and spice.
In the west of the region, Aix-en-Provence is a beautiful city surrounded by vines, and the namesake for the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). The style here is more structured, with up to 30% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Cabernet comes up again in the small appellation of Les Baux de Provence, where biodynamic or organic vineyards produce full-bodied rosés.
Find rosé your way. Pick a few or try all eight.
Château Vignelaure 2018 Rosé (Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence); $22, 93 points. Always a star among the rosés, this vintage does not disappoint. It is perhaps fatter than usual but the ripe fruit is well balanced by the mineral texture and acidity. With its sense of structure, this wine is ready for food. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd.
Château de Brégançon 2018 Isaure Rosé (Côtes de Provence La Londe); $30, 92 points. This is the superior cuvée from this family estate close to the sea. Some of the vineyards are within the cru of La Londe, which has given a wine with intense acidity, a crisp texture and attractive richness. Drink from late 2019. Rising Wine Domains. Editors’ Choice.
Château Paradis Terre des Anges (Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence); $18, 92 points. With partial wood fermentation of the Mourvèdre in the blend, this wine has extra richness while preserving all the crisp red-fruit flavors. Full in the mouth and richly endowed with fruitiness, the wine will be ready to drink from late 2019. Planet Wine.
Château Sainte Roseline 2018 Cuvée Chapelle de Sainte Roseline Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $50, 92 points. Because the selected plots for this wine are close to the sea, it is possible to include the coast-loving Mourvèdre in the blend. That gives a dense wine with considerable concentration as well as plenty of bright red fruits. It can be drunk now. Fruit of the Vines, Inc.
Château la Gordonne 2018 La Chapelle Gordonne Tête de Cuvée Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $24, 91 points. This wine is fresh in nature while also rich in a ripe strawberry flavor. It’s a well-balanced blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault that is fruity and rounded in feel, yet lifted by bright acidity. Drink from late 2019. Vranken Pommery America.
Gassier 2018 Le Pas du Moine Rosé (Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire); $30, 91 points. Produced from organically grown grapes, this crisply textured wine is grown in the cru vineyards of Mont Saint-Victoire. Its lively acidity is enhanced by the inclusion of some white grapes (Rolle and Ugni Blanc) in the blend. Drink now. Wilson Daniels Ltd.
Mas de la Dame 2018 La Gourmande Rosé (Les Baux de Provence); $20, 91 points. This organic estate is located in the circle of the Alpilles mountains of Baux de Provence. It offers ripe red fruit balanced by refreshing, crisp acidity. It could age a little, but it is perfectly ready to drink in summer 2019. Taub Family Selections.
Domaine Houchart (Côtes de Provence); $14, 90 points. Always an attractive wine, this release remains as reliable in this vintage. The classic blend is full, ripe with a touch of caramel as well as raspberry flavors. Lightly textured and full of fruit, the wine is ready to drink. David Milligan Selections. Best Buy.