As rose wines have become more and more popular, their color has become lighter and lighter, to where now, many have just the barest blush of pink. Fortunately, the best still retain all the crisp and lively flavors that make them such a refreshing choice this time of year. As this tasting proved, they have a way with rose in the south of France. Here are three that beg to be enjoyed well-chilled on a warm summer afternoon:
2018 Cascavel Rose, Monts & Vertiges, $17.99
This Provençal pink is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah grown organically. It's light in color, but rich in strawberry and rhubarb aromas backed by lilac and rose. Tangerine and ripe cherry flavors lead off on the palate, balanced by zesty citrus that comes through on the creamy finish.
2018 Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris, $17.99
Grenache Gris (the pink skinned cousin of Grenache Blanc) dominates this Corbieres rose, blended with a little Carignan and Mourvedre. It opens with wild cherry, melon and quince aromas. The oh-so-smooth and refreshing palate is highlighted by fresh strawberry and peach flavors that turn crisp and minerally on long, long finish.
2018 Mistral Vallee Luberon Rose, $12.99
Administratively, the Cotes du Luberon is a part of France's Rhone Valley, but stylistically, the wines are more akin to those of Provence. A blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah, this wine offers heady aromas of cherry pie and apricot. The mouth has a nice richness with crisp apple playing against creamy strawberry. It finishes long and lively with just a hint of spicy pepper.