le Grand Saint cross 2021 Provence Rosé Tasting Note

Brendan Barrett tastes two rosés with varied responses. But the big question he is asking is whether rosé might actually grow up into something much more revered?


Maybe people talk about rosé the way we used to talk about Bourgogne. “It is just a Bourgogne. They are all the same, a bit rough, but worth drinking a good one.” Now there is great Bourgogne.

bridget riley three colours blue original prints for sale london uk Original Signed Prints by Bridget Riley
London Dealers In Fine Art


When people try to make a good rosé, it can be amazing. A good example is Le Grand Cros - Bang on.  Pleasant fruity nose, but not sweet. Light red berries in the mouth. Good acidity, and a bit of length. This was a proper wine and I did drink the whole bottle after the tasting. This is what drinking rose should be like. It is not about tasting, it is about drinking, probably in the sun, probably too much and probably until you are the same colour as the wine. 

saint honore brendan tasting noteChâteau Les Mesclances Saint Honorat

For less elegance and artisanal quality, I tasted Saint Honorat -  A good, non-offensive rose. The fruit was there on the nose, but barely. There was good acidity and oily mouthfeel, but not much flavour. It didn’t offend me, so by sticking by the rule that rose is to be drunk, not tasted, it worked.  With a big glass, a piece of ice, and the sun on my face, I could happily sit in a hot tub on a cool autumn evening and enjoy a bottle. 

Could rosé take us back to Bourgogne?

Like the [name of domaine redacted to protect the guilty] Bourgogne rosé from 2005. When the crops are ripe and big and there are limits to what you can take off a given parcel, do you send it off to the distillery?

antique bracket clock London uk dealer
Antique Bracket Clocks - Walwyn Antique Clocks - London UK Dealers in Fine Clocks

Better to find a nice big tank of premier cru red that has a thousand litres too much in it, drain off the juice after a day, put it in a barrel and treat it like chardonnay. It concentrates the fruit in the Premier Cru red, and you get a rose out of it.  Now, a few other things were tipped in, but it was the best rose I have ever drunk…..and I drank a lot of it.  In 2006 and 2007 at harvest it was the benchmark that a lot of other wines didn’t meet…., especially the morning tea wine.

Domaine du Grand Cros, L’Esprit de Provence 2021 - £18.95, from Swig

Château Les Mesclances Saint Honorat - £15.00 from Les Vins de Sylvain


Follow us on social media:

Secret Sommelier on TwitterSecret Sommelier on Instagramfacebook 001linkedin 001youtube 001

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive plugin by www.channeldigital.co.uk