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.

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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?

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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


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