These regions more or less followed suit with Provence in 2022, experiencing high temperatures and borderline drought conditions, yet producing rosés of greater freshness and lift than in recent years. Sylvain Morey of Bastide du Claux in the Luberon reported an ultra-hot season which yielded grapes with very little juice and a dearth of malic acidity, but his 2022 rosé offers excellent poise, with a drier overall feel than in recent similarly warm years. In the southern Rhône, Gilles Gasq of La Manarine and the Soard family of Domaine Fenouillet likewise produced well-balanced rosés of modest alcohol despite the growing season’s excessive temperatures and lack of rainfall.
Bastide du Claux
2022 Luberon Rosé “Poudrière”
Chassagne-Montrachet-born Sylvain Morey continues to improve and evolve at Bastide du Claux, his outpost in the Luberon which he purchased in the early 2000s. The domaine is now certified organic (practicing since 2015), and Sylvain’s commitment to harvesting by hand, fermenting without additions, and tailoring blending and élevage to the characteristics of each harvest results in wines of striking depth and purity. The Luberon Rosé “Poudrière” blends 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 20% Syrah, with the Syrah and part of the Grenache pressed directly, and the Cinsault and the other part of the Grenache bled off. With flavors of black cherries and peach skins, it presents mouthwatering textural tension and an underlying sense of minerality, as well as an unforced vinosity that shames many of its confected Provençal cousins from more market-friendly area codes.
Domaine La Manarine
2022 Côtes du Rhône Rosé
Gilles Gasq has had an impressive run lately, having begun producing a dynamite Châteauneuf-du-Pape in addition to his always-reliable offerings from the Côtes du Rhône and the Plan de Dieu. His Côtes du Rhône Rosé, comprising 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, and 10% Syrah, is produced solely via direct-press and aged in stainless steel on its fine lees for several months before bottling. It offers bright, friendly strawberry fruit, gentle but well-measured acidity, and an underlying freshness not often found in the rosés of the southern Rhône. The domaine has been certified organic for over a decade at this point, and the already-expert Gilles continues to hone his approach to great effect.
2022 Ventoux Rosé
Brothers Vincent and Patrick Soard broke with the local co-operative in order to bottle their own crop back in the early 1990s, and we have been with them every step of the way since, remaining perpetually amazed at their ability to render these warm southern Rhône terroirs with grace and balance. Their Ventoux Rosé, comprising 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 15% Mourvèdre, and 5% Carignan, and produced solely via direct pressing, is breezy but appropriately Rhône-y, balancing spicy red fruits with terrific acidity. The domaine has been certified organic since the 2012 vintage, a fact which shows in their rosé’s vibrancy and vividness of fruit.
Domaine Gour de Chaulé
2022 Gigondas Rosé “.26” [NEW!]
Our source of great Gigondas for nearly 40 years, Gour de Chaulé is undergoing an exciting period, with Stephanie Fumoso’s passionate young son Paul having recently joined the domaine full-time. For some years, Stephanie produced her “Amour de Rose” (Rose is the name of Stephanie’s daughter) via earlier-harvested direct-pressed fruit, thereby giving it a brisk and breezy Provençal character. This new cuvée, by contrast, is Paul’s brainchild, named “.26” in honor of Rose’s birthday of June 26th, and purposefully produced in a more pointedly natural and vinous style. Comprising 40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, and 20% Mourvèdre, it was derived entirely from the saignées of three separate pickings—one saignée lasting six hours, one lasting 24 hours, and the third lasting 48 hours. Fermentation occurred spontaneously, and aging took place 50% in stainless steel and 50% in used 228-liter barrels, with malolactic not occurring (although it was not blocked). Pouring a lovely deep ruby, it offers succulent, ultra-pure fruit and heady Grenache spice, remaining nimble and balanced despite its comparatively vinous character.