For the past few summers, we’ve been hooked on rosé from the old world, and come each September, have chosen a favorite. Now that The Triangle Plate is up and running, we’re going public with the winners from the last five years.
2006 – Château Routas Rouvière Rosé (Provence)
To be sure, we enjoyed some great rosés in the south of France, including with a particularly memorable lunch of moules et frites on the beach at Le Lavandou. But this is the one that got us hooked. We found it (or it found us) during a late afternoon lunch on the patio at The Wild Fig in Aspen. And we’re not the only ones who’ve been seduced (see accolades).
2007 – Triebaumer Rosé von der Blaufränkisch Reserve (Burgenland)
While the south of France (particularly Provence) is widely recognized as the premier region for dry rosé, I personally think that rosé reaches its peak in the cooler climates of northern Italy (see below) and southern Austria (particularly Neusiedlersee / Burgenland, where you’ll find Weingut Günter & Regina Triebaumer). Dry rosé, by the way, is an excellent food wine, and the extra acidity of these cooler-climate rosés vaults them to the top. Try Günter Triebaumer’s straw-colored rosé with just about anything (and I mean ANYTHING — from mussels, salmon and Asian food (think sweet chili sauce) to BBQ ribs, steak frites and tacos al carbón). And it’s made from Blaufränkish. How cool is that? I think this little gem is my overall favorite.
2008 – Poggerino Rosato “Aurora” Colli dell’Etruria Centrale (Radda in Chianti)
Tuscany is not exactly known for its rosés, but this “Aurora” is a charmer for sure. Some warm-climate rosés are too ripe, too intense and frankly too alcoholic. This one is round and shapely, with a steady stream of fruit. A perennial favorite.
2009 – Josef Weger Lagrein Kretzer / Rosato (Südtirol / Alto Adige)
This Lagrien (a varietal from Südtirol / Alto Adige that is rarely grown anywhere else) is a beautiful ruby red, and you think it’s going to overpower you, but that cool-climate acidity comes through again. This Kretzer / Rosato can be hard to find, so maybe next year we just go stay at the winery’s Ferienwohnungen and pick up a few cases. We wish.
2010 – Pittnauer rosé (Burgenland)
To be honest, this summer was a slight letdown in the rosé department. The Josef Weger Lagrein was good, but a little heavier and not as bright as last year, and the Triebaumer was not to be found. The Poggerino Rosato “Aurora” was as alluring as ever, but I like to pick something new, and the only new offering that stood out was the Pittnauer rosé, also from the Neusiedlersee / Burgenland region of Austria. Dry rosé is now officially popular, and my local wine shop stocked a healthy dose of American rosés this year (which just never do it for me), along with a number of new but rather unremarkable ones from southern France (which I hope is not a trend). Thankfully, my favorite rosé region came through again. Keep them coming, I say!
If you’re still a rosé skeptic, fine. No one is suggesting that rosés are particularly complex or age-worthy wines. But in my view, one of the hallmarks of great wine is its sense of place, and good rosé delivers that in spades. When the summer heat returns next year and you’re in the mood to spend a day under an umbrella facing the Med, find (if you can) any of the above. They will not disappoint.