Rosé Wines

Rosé has been one of the great growth stories of recent years, and for good reason. 

A number of factors have contributed: drinkers have enjoyed increasing exposure to the pleasures of rosé on holiday in the Club Med countries; rosés have become paler, fresher and drier, helping to shed the old associations of dark, soupy and sweet examples (remember the old Mateus Rosé); and perhaps warmer summers here have helped - is there anything nicer than sitting in a garden on an English summer evening with a bottle of rosé?

We've always taken the view that the French make the best rosés in the world, at any price level, and there is plenty of choice on offer. The finest examples come from Provence - our Bandol from Domaine de la Ribotte is sensational, and Quatre Tours’ Signature example is delicious too; but in summer we may also offer fine examples from Bordeaux (based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Franc and Merlot); the Loire (Sancerre rosé from Pinot Noir and others from Cabernet Franc); and especially the Languedoc, source of brilliant value rosés usually based on the Rhône grapes of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault.

Each year we look at Spanish and Italian rosés too, and may ship some if we like them. However we tend to be more circumspect with New World rosés. First, overall standards are simply not as high as in Europe; and even where success is achieved, there is a problem in timing. Almost all rosé is best enjoyed young - you want to drink the latest vintage. However, it’s hard to get Southern Hemisphere wines here before the English summer is almost over - so they then sit in our warehouse unloved all winter.

A word on winemaking: classic rosé is made only from red grapes - but because the colour in wine comes largely from the skins, rosé is usually made by taking the crushed grape juice off the skins after just a few hours of soaking. Note that deeper colour does NOT imply sweetness, simply a longer period of maceration on the skins. On the whole the rosés we offer are dry wines - do consumers realise those sweet blush Zinfandel rosés from California are positively fattening in their sugar content?

Finally, whilst most rosé is enjoyed on its own as an aperitif, dry styles are fine to accompany a wide range of food, especially grilled fish and prawns; and examples with just a little bit of ripe sweetness make an excellent pairing to spicy food, notably curries. A rosé has more fruit than a white, so can stand up to the strong flavours better than a white, but served cold it’s equally refreshing.

MAGNUM Ferry Lacombe, Naos, Côtes de Provence Rosé, 2020

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MAGNUM Ferry Lacombe, Naos, Côtes de Provence Rosé, 2020

Naos is a Greek temple or shrine. The Pinot family who run this Château in the Vallée de...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionProvence

ColourRosé

ABV12%

Bottle150cl

CodeCFL920

GrapeGrenache

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MAGNUM Chateau Leoube, Cotes de Provence, Rose de Leoube 2020

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MAGNUM Chateau Leoube, Cotes de Provence, Rose de Leoube 2020

We tasted the extensive Léoube range before settling on this, their principal wine. The estate...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionProvence

ColourRosé

ABV13%

Bottle150cl

CodeLEO920

GrapeGrenache, Cinsault & Syrah

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Chateau Leoube, Cotes de Provence, Rose de Leoube 2020

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Chateau Leoube, Cotes de Provence, Rose de Leoube 2020

We tasted the extensive Léoube range before settling on this, their principal wine. The estate...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionProvence

ColourRosé

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeLEO520

GrapeGrenache, Cinsault & Syrah

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Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence, 2019

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Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence, 2019

Sasha Lichine, a Bordelais, bought the estate of Esclans, north-east of St. Tropez, in 2006...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionProvence

ColourRosé

ABV14.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeESC519

GrapeGrenache & Rolle

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Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence, Garrus, 2019

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Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence, Garrus, 2019

When Sasha Lichine bought Esclans is was with the avowed intention of making the world’s...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionProvence

ColourRosé

ABV14.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeGAR519

GrapeGrenache & Rolle

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Thomas-Hatté, Champagne Rosé, Brut, NV

Based on Pinot Meunier. Pale pink. Red fruit and creamy nougat notes. Gentle and elegant: very...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionChampagne

ColourRosé

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeHAT5NV

GrapePinot Meunier, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

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Cottonworth, Sparkling Rosé, Brut, NV

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Matthew Jukes
Cottonworth, Sparkling Rosé, Brut, NV

From very well-sited south facing vineyards in the Test Valley just a few miles west of us in...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginUK

RegionTest Valley

ColourRosé

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeCOT5NV

GrapePinot Noir, Pinot Meunier & Chardonnay

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Domaine de la Ribotte, Bandol Rose, Cuvee Anais, 2020

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Domaine de la Ribotte, Bandol Rose, Cuvee Anais, 2020

Bandol, a small appellation on the coast east of Marseilles and west of Toulon, produces the fi...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBandol

ColourRosé

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeRIB520

GrapeMourvedre/Monastrell

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Le Petit Pont Rose, IGP Pays d'Oc, 2020

We sell far more of the Petit Pont Rosé than we do of the equivalent white and red added...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourRosé

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodePEP520

GrapeGrenache & Cinsault

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Chateau La Grave, Minervois Rose, Expression, 2019

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Chateau La Grave, Minervois Rose, Expression, 2019

From approximate halves of Syrah and Grenache, this unfailingly delivers splendid ripeness and...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourRosé

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeGRV419

GrapeSyrah & Grenache

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Les Quatre Tours, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rose, Signature, 2020

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Victoria Moore
Les Quatre Tours, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rose, Signature, 2020

A long-term favourite here based on Syrah and Grenache with Cinsault. Very pale pink, with...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionProvence

ColourRosé

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeQUA520

GrapeSyrah, Grenache & Cinsault

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Domaine Begude, Pinot Rose, IGP Pays d'Oc, 2020

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Domaine Begude, Pinot Rose, IGP Pays d'Oc, 2020

Sadly a very hot and dry summer has cut production of this organically farmed rosé, so it...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourRosé

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeBEG520

GrapePinot Noir

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