Recently, a young friend approached me with tearful request: Could I please find a decent rosé she could serve with pride at her upcoming nuptials? Flattered, I said yes, of course, and then asked her per bottle budget. Her eyes dropped. “Around $10,” she murmured.
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My colleague Gabe Sasso had already covered the coveted (and infinitely easier) $15-$30 price point for rosés earlier this year. At that price, one can easily find well-made, reasonably complex wines — but $10? Touched by her predicament, I promised to try. And, although I do not consider myself to be a wine snob, I was surprised and delighted by several offerings among the following offerings, all easily available.
Member’s Mark Côtes de Provence Rosé 2017 ($8.50). A surprise winner from Sam’s Club, clocking in at a very modest price, this light salmon-pink, Provencal-style blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah is delicate but never boring. With fresh strawberries and floral notes in the nose and on the palate, it boasts a soft and lightly creamy mouthfeel balanced by a zippy, acidic finish hinting of mineral and pink peppercorns. Great value.
Louis Jadot Rosé 2017 ($10). It’s not that Louis Jadot rosé is a bad wine — it’s not. It’s just that I expected something more interesting, more complex from the legendary house. This simple, light pink offering has a slightly floral, fruity nose, and tastes pleasantly of unripe strawberries, with a bit of cranberry and citrus in the finish. Perfectly pleasant, but disappointingly bland given its provenance. Meh.
Châteauvieux Rosé d’Anjou 2017 ($10). Within budget at $10, this soft rosé from the Loire valley is rosy in the glass, with some floral and fruit in the nose and juicy with fruit on the palate. Typically a bit sweeter than Provencal-style wines, this selection from Anjou still has enough acidity to be refreshing, and is lovely on its own as well as with barbecue.
90+ Rosé, Lot 33 2017 ($10, but often found for less). If you’re on a really tight budget, this wine, which retails on sale for well under its $10 SRP, should be a contender. Hailing from the Languedoc region, it is a blend of four varietals: syrah, grenache, mourvedre and cinsault. Medium-light in body, with faint rose and berry in the nose, it segues to bright strawberry with some red cherry on the palate and finishes with a bit of pepper and herb. A remarkable value, especially on sale.
Château de Libran, Coteaux d’Aix-en Provence 2017 ($11). With ripe strawberry aroma and flavor and a delightfully energetic, citrusy finish, this appealing wine from the heart of Aix-en-Provence is a tad over budget but a great value. Another grenache, syrah and cinsault blend, it boasts a lightly creamy mouthfeel before yielding to its fresh finish.
Laurent Miquel “Père et Fils” Cinsault Syrah 2017 ($10). A disappointing entry from the Pays d’Oc, this prettily colored, beautifully aromatic wine, despite its initial promise of ripe fruit, is undone by an unpleasantly bitter finish, and reminiscent of artichokes.
Yalumba Sangiovese Rosé 2017 ($11.99). This soft, flavorful entry from South Australia is a light rose-pink with floral and berry aromatics. This is a simple, pleasing, light-bodied wine, with some candy floss and watermelon notes mingling with the berry fruit in the dry finish. An appealing alternative to Provencal-style offerings, it is a very good value, although a bit over the requested budget.
Les Vignobles Gueissard “Les Papilles” 2017 ($13). Another great bargain although also above the requested price point, this mourvedre, grenache, syrah and cinsault blend is among the more complex wines in this price category. Not surprisingly, the grapes for this wine hail from legendary Bandol, in the heart of Provence. Little sister to the more expensive and elegant Bandol cuvee, Les Papilles is fresh, juicy with strawberry and raspberry flavors, and has a racy, lemon-y grapefruit finish. A small compromise on flowers might render this affordable! There are so many places to find a unique wine for your wedding (or any special occasion). Here are just a few of the states we bet you didn’t know made wine.