France is famous for its best in class rosé with much of it coming from southern French regions: Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon and the Rhône Valley. All these regions rely on the popular red grapes Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre to form the base of most of their rosés, but lighter varieties like Cinsault can shine in these dainty wines and white grapes, like Vermentino, deliver bracing acidity for optimal enjoyment.
Provence is likely most familiar; the region produces nearly entirely rosé and has made delicate pale pink wines a ubiquitous summer drink. It has certainly championed the category in the export market but has not shied away from boundary pushing. The region’s producers insist that rosé deserves respect and craft wines that can be aged, as well as rich, darkly colored offerings from the Bandol region.
The Rhône Valley has also embraced its fair share of rich and deeply hued rosés. The region sports its very own answer to Bandol in the Tavel region which also produces nearly exclusively rosé, all impressively structured. The Rhône’s many appellations produce rosés in varying hues and bring levity to counterbalance the serious and impressive red wines that define the region.
The Languedoc-Roussillon is possibly the most diverse of France’s wine producing regions as well as the largest. It is no surprise it produces its fair share of rosé in varying styles. A region known for producing great value, the same is true for its rosés and consumers can reliably avoid compromising on quality. The region does produce high-end all stars in the rosé category with iconic bottles coming from top produces like Gérard Bertrand.
Bernard Magrez 2019 L’Excellence des Muraires Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $27, 92 points. The weight of this wine is echoed in the weight of the bottle. That makes for a rich experience, with spice, pepper and concentrated fruits and structure. The imposing wine needs a little time, so drink from 2021. Misa Imports. —Roger Voss
Mirabeau en Provence 2019 Etoile Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $30, 92 points. Bright, tightly textured and crisp, this wine is full of fresh fruit. Red-currant flavors and tangy, spicy acidity come from the 90% Grenache in the blend. The top rosé from this producer, it’s full of richness and concentration. Drink from late 2020. Massanois Imports. —R.V.
Campuget 2019 1753 Syrah-Vermentino Rosé (Costières de Nîmes); $21, 91 points. A flurry of bay leaves and rosemary accent this peppery blend of Syrah (80%) and Vermentino (20%). It’s a penetrating sip boasting bright blackberry and cassis flavors backed by a cooling mineral brace. Full bodied but freshly composed, it’s a refined year-round accompaniment to everything from seafood to meat. Dreyfus, Ashby & Co. Editors’ Choice. —Anna Lee C. Iijima
Château Pesquié 2019 Terrasses Rosé (Ventoux): $16, 91 points. Jubilant whiffs of wild strawberry and white peach perfume this pristine, fruity dry rosé. A blend of Cinsault (50%), Grenache (40%) and Syrah (10%), it balances ripe, sunny red-fruit flavors against kicks of dried thyme, rosemary and mint. It makes for an effortlessly enjoyable but elegant summer sip. European Cellars. Editors’ Choice. —A.I.
Gérard Bertrand 2019 Côte des Roses Rosé (Languedoc); $18, 91 points. A pale coppery-pink color, this rosé made from Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault opens with aromas of freshly pressed sweet pea and peony combined with notes of white cherry and watermelon rind. The palate is light and easy to enjoy, but with a ripe-fruit character that lends a satisfying impression. A touch of herbal spiciness and tangy pithy citrus provides length and interest through the close. USA Wine West. —Lauren Buzzeo
Mas de Cadenet 2019 Rosé (Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire); $22, 91 points. Produced from organic grapes grown beneath the Sante-Victoire mountain, this wine has plenty of ripe fruits as well as a line of freshness offering lemon and red-fruit flavors. The wine is a little young and will be best from late 2020. David Bowler Wine. —R.V.
Res Fortes 2019 Rosé (Côtes du Roussillon); $15, 91 points. There’s pronounced brightness to the nose of this pale coppery-pink rosé. A refreshing sea-breeze aroma partners with the delicate scent of white cherry, melon rind, white currant and rhubarb leaf. The palate is light and ethereal in feel, with bright acidity that refreshes the palate and perfectly complements the tart fruit flavors. Lingering citrusy impressions of orange blossom and lemon balm leave you ready for more. Life Line Imports. Best Buy. —L.B.
Jean-Luc Colombo 2019 Cape Bleue Rosé (Mediterranée); $16, 90 points. Whiffs of cherry blossom and watermelon introduce this dusty-pink blend of 67% Syrah and 33% Mourvèdre. Invigorating and nimble, it offers flavors of sour cherry, raspberry and blood orange accented by a fresh, mineral finish. Taub Family Selections. Editors’ Choice. —A.I.
Les Quatre Tours 2019 Classique Rosé (Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence); $20, 90 points. Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend gives richness and a light texture to this well-structured wine. The addition sits well with the generous red-berry fruits. Drink the wine now. VOS Selections. Editors’ Choice. —R.V.
Moulin de la Roque 2019 Les Hauts du Vallon Rosé (Bandol); $22, 90 points. Attractively structured with a layer of tannins from the Mourvèdre, this wine has bite as well as red-berry acidity. Richness gives the wine weight and makes it an ideal partner at the table. Jeff Welburn Selections. —R.V.