I am so glad to find The Rosés of Southern Rhône Valley in southern France, where lively Rosés take center stage along with the region’s renowned juicy red blends. As I submerged into the area, I was always happy to discover the smaller regions with hidden value gems. Since I learned about Côtes du Rhône not long ago, I have fallen in love with the mellow yet fruit-forward reds. But before finding it, I was intimidated by Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Their opulent reds and historical house reds made me feel like it was out of my reach. Hence my content finding The Rosés of Southern Rhône that are approachable and trustworthy gems in a historical wine valley.
The Southern Rhône is a part of the greater Rhône Valley Vineyards — the second largest French AOP wine region. The Rosés of Southern Rhône are a testament to the region’s terroir. A dry, sunny climate and fabled winds make the area suitable for sustainably and organically growing quality grapes. Additionally, the region’s clay, rocky, limestone, and sandy soils aid the production of rosés that are fruit-forward, refreshing, and ideal for this time of year.
Rosés are produced across the Southern Rhône, from the star red grape varieties of the region, like Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. Occasionally, winemakers in the region will blend these red grapes with a white variety, like Clairette. The wide range of grape varieties in the Southern Rhône allows its producers to create a diversity of Rosés varying in style and color.
The Rosés of Southern Rhône can be light and refreshing to pair with summer dishes such as fresh fruit salads and mature goat cheeses. Still, they can also have more body and complexity to complement many foods, from barbecue to fusion to Mediterranean, Asian and even Mexican dishes. Some of the standout AOCs of the region include Tavel, Costières de Nîmes and Luberon, among others.
I recently tried some of The Rosés of the Southern Rhône Valley.
Alain Jaume, Bellisime, AOC Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2021
- The region: AOC Côtes du Rhône is the largest AOC and accounts for two-thirds of Rhône production. Typically, you will get to know the region by their full-bodied reds, but the rich and tasty whites and refreshing Rosés are well worth discovering, such as this AOC Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2021
- Tasting Notes: Aromas of strawberries and apricots with a hint of Provencal spices such as thyme and sage. The palate is full, well-balanced, and fruity, with a long, fresh finish. Certainly, chill it out and enjoy it throughout the summer.
- More info on the Rhône Valley and Maps here
Château Mourgues du Grès, Galets Rosés, AOC Costières de Nîmes Rosé 2021
- The region: AOC Costières de Nîmes is one of the coolest areas in the Southern Rhone that produces Rosés that are fruit and have pronounced aromatics. The AOC itself is relatively new, but Greeks and Romans were growing vines here centuries ago. Hence there’s a historical significance to this area.
- Tasting Notes: The color of this Rosé is more like a light red bold salmon. Sustained grenadine color. Aromas of strawberry, raspberry, lemon, and mint. On the palate, mineral notes with pronounced strawberries and light with a peppery touch. Great aromatic persistence and lingering on the palate. It will work if paired with quiches, lightly sweet bread, croissants and fruits based desserts.
- Learn more of AOC Costières de Nîmes
Château la Canorgue, AOC Luberon Rosé 2021
- The region: AOC Luberon is the southernmost Rhône Valley region with maritime and Mediterranean influence similar to Provence by its closeness.
- Tasting Notes: This Rosé will go like water! A classic Rhône blend with 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache with aromas of cherry and lemon and some white flower notes. On the palate, Château la Canorgue, AOC Luberon Rosé 2021 is very similar to a Provencal Rosé showing notes of strawberry, apricot, and a hint of lavender leaves. Long finish and great minerality.
I would love you to experience these smaller regions that might seem challenging to find, but they might also be hiding in your liquor store in plain sight. Follow The Rhône Valley Vineyards on Instagram to learn more and stay tuned with this exciting region.