In the Pink

POSTED ON 01/05/2014

I would like to start with a confession. I never took rosé seriously for a long time, in fact I hardly ever drank it at all. Unless of course it was Dom Pérignon Rosé Champagne. I used to think that rosé was the kind of wine that was only drunk by young women on girls’-nights-out or middle-aged matrons on ladies-who-lunch expeditions. I wasn’t alone in thinking this way. Many winemakers too made their rosé wine as an afterthought. In order to make their red wine more concentrated, they would bleed off some of the juice from the fermenting tank, and, hey presto!, they would label it rosé and sell it to unsuspecting consumers.

It was an impression reinforced by where most rosé comes from. The biggest producer of rosé is Provence and we associate Provence with fun beach holidays by an azure Mediterranean sea. If not from Provence, two other big rosé-producing regions are Navarra in Spain and Puglia in Italy, and neither, with few exceptions, are regions distinguished by wines for much more than everyday drinking. In the New World, most of the rosé drunk in the UK market comes from California. Harvested early and made largely from the zinfandel grape and called blush wine, it is generally sweetened up to help it slip down unthinkingly.

About 10 years ago something happened to change our perception of rosé and make us take it a little more seriously. The defining moment for me was during the torrid hot summer of 2003. I remember arriving one evening in Bordeaux after a long car journey from London and finding half the population of the city sitting out in the sweltering heart and knocking back bottles of Bordeaux rosé. It was the same everywhere in Europe. The heat of that summer created a huge demand for something thirstquenchingly refreshing and dry and the answer was often rosé.

All of a sudden, people discovered that they were enjoying drinking rosé as a style in its own right. It could be drunk on its own as a refreshingly crisp apéritif. It could be taken on picnics and drunk lightly chilled with classic outdoors fare such as salad niçoise, coronation chicken and game pie. Or it could be drunk as a food wine over lunch or dinner as long as it had a sufficient balance of weight and fruit. No longer was rosé the preserve of girls’ nights out and ladies who lunch, but grown men who would neither cry in public nor be seen dead drinking a glass of rosé were all of a sudden lapping it up too.

At a recent blind tasting in London of rosés from around the world (more of which later), I found myself chatting with Julia Harding, Master of Wine, co-author with Jancis Robinson MW and José Vouillamoz of the authoritative work, Wine Grapes. I asked her if she could identify the grapes from which the various wines were made. She replied that it hadn’t occurred to her to think about the wines in terms of grape varieties. That summed up for me that even those people who take their grape varieties seriously as indicators of a wine’s style think less about grapes when it comes to pink wines, and more about fruit, flavour, freshness and texture.

The London tasting in question was organised by Richard Bampfield, Master of Wine, and Jean-Christophe Mau, owner of Château Brown in Bordeaux. It was aimed at demonstrating that it is perfectly possible to take rosé seriously as a wine to be enjoyed, but not so seriously that it has to be the subject of endless debate, scoring and analysis. Bearing that in mind, Messrs. Bampfield and Mau wisely stayed away from the cheaper end of the mass market and selected 31 premium rosés from around the world, each wine costing £10 or more, in some cases considerably more, and decanted them into clear bottles with no labels. At the end, the tasters were then given the sheet with each wine’s name, region and price.

The results confirmed for me first of all the pre-eminence of Provence as a rosé producer, not just in quantity, but also in quality. Most of the rosés from this Mediterranean region were not merely a delicate pale pink, but their flavours tended to be delicate yet full-flavoured and refreshing with delicious red berry fruitiness. My highest scoring Provence rosés, all from the 2013 vintage, were Domaine Ott, Clos Mireille; Les Clans, Domaines Sacha Lichine; Chêne Bleu, Ventoux; M de Minuty and Miraval Rosé, the latter the rosé from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Outside Provence, there were good rosés too from the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, Navarra in Spain, Piedmont in Italy, as well as New Zealand, Australia and England. The English rosé, made from pinot noir, was my biggest surprise, a satisfyingly fruity yet crisply dry wine called 2013 Albury Silent Pools Rosé from Albury Vineyard. Some rosés were oaked, and when done well, for instance in Spain and Italy, benefited from the oak treatment. Some were deep in colour, almost light red in fact, and they tended to be less attractive. The best rosés were young, refreshing, deliciously fruity and appetisingly dry, all worthy of being taken seriously, but not too seriously, as wines in their own right.

Chinese Version

伦敦之声 回味
文 /AnthonyRose 译/张然
首先我得认个错。长久以来我一直对 桃红葡萄酒不太当回事,事实上, 我很少喝桃红,除非是唐培里侬桃 红香槟。我过去一直认为桃红是一种年轻女 孩在派对上饮用的酒,或是中年的太太们户 外午餐的消遣。这并不是我一个人的想法。许 多酿酒师也把桃红当作附产品。为了让红葡 萄酒更为集中,在发酵初期会让一部分酒汁 流出,这些流出的果汁被贴上桃红的标签,售 卖给不知情的消费者。
许多桃红就是这么来的,所以我对桃 红的印象也就根深蒂固。普罗旺斯是最大的 桃红生产地,我们总会把它和蔚蓝的地中海 的海滩度假联系在一起。其他两个大的桃 红生产地区是西班牙的Navarra和意大利的 Puglia,其他桃红产区大多都只酿造一些日常 餐酒。至于新世界的桃红,英国人消费的大 部分来自美国加州,早收,主要的品种是金粉 黛,被称为玫瑰酒,通常非常愉悦宜饮。
大约在10年前,有些东西开始慢慢改变 着我们对桃红酒的观念,让我们对桃红的态 度稍为认真了一点。对我来说,决定性的一 刻便是在2003年骄阳似火的那个夏天。我从 伦敦一路长途跋涉开车到达波尔多,那个晚 上,我发现这个城市中半数的人都坐在闷热 的市中心,猛饮波尔多桃红。在那一年的欧 洲,这种场景比比皆是。在炎热的夏季就需 要那种解渴又清凉的干型饮品,最佳的伴侣 总是桃红。
的环境下品饮桃红,桃红可以作为脆爽的开胃 酒单独饮用,或带去户外野餐,稍微冰一下搭 配尼斯沙拉、鸡肉和野味肉派。也可以在午餐 或晚餐时搭配食物,只要它的酒体和果味足 够平衡。桃红不再是女孩在派对或是女士午 餐饮用的饮品,成熟的男士也会喝。
在伦敦,最近有一次桃红葡萄酒盲品会, 酒品来自世界各地。我和葡萄酒大师 Julia Harding 聊了起来,她与另一个葡萄酒大师 简西丝·罗宾逊和 José Vouillamoz合作出版了 权威著作《酿酒葡萄》(Wine Grapes)。我问 她是否可以辨别这些桃红是来自哪些葡萄品 种。她回答说,她品这些酒时并不怎么去考究 其品种。这让我有这样的看法:即使是那些坚 定地认为葡萄酒品种赋予葡萄酒风格的人, 也不太会去考虑桃红是用什么酿成的。在品 尝桃红的时候,人们更多关注的是它的果味、 新鲜度和质感。
伦敦的这次品鉴会,是由葡萄酒大 师Richard Bampfield 和波尔多布朗酒庄 (Château Brown)的庄主Jean-Christophe Mau 组织的,旨在说明桃红是完全值得认真 对待的葡萄酒,不过也没有必要对它认真到 无休无止地辩论、打分和分析。Bampfield 先 生和Mau庄主明智地远离了低端的大众市场, 选取了31款来自世界各地的优质桃红,每款售 价 1 0 英 镑 或 更 多 ,瓶 身 上 没 有 酒 标 。最 终 每 位 品鉴人会得到一张纸,纸上详细给出了这些 葡萄酒的名称、地区和价格。
桃红生产商的卓越,无论从产量和质量都 非常优秀。来自这片地中海产区的大部分 桃红不仅仅拥有精致的淡粉红色,在口味上 非常雅致,香气饱满,有清爽诱人的红莓香 气。我打的最高得分普罗旺斯桃红都来自 2013年份:Domaine Ott, Clos Mireille; Les Clans, Domaines Sacha Lichine; Chêne Bleu, Ventoux; M de Minuty and Miraval Rosé, 最 后这款是好莱坞明星布莱德·皮特和安吉丽 娜· 朱 莉 夫 妇 的 作 品 。
除了普罗旺斯外,还有来自卢瓦尔河谷、 波尔多、罗讷河谷以及西班牙Navarra、意大 利皮埃蒙特,以及新西兰、澳大利亚和英国的 很好的桃红。英国的黑皮诺桃红给我最大的 惊喜,它是来自Albury葡萄园的2013 Albury Silent Pools Rosé,拥有令人满足的果香且非 常干爽。一些桃红经过橡木桶,做得很精致。 比如西班牙和意大利的桃红都得益于橡木桶 的处理。一些拥有较深的颜色,几近红色了, 通常缺乏吸引力。最好的桃红是年轻的,清新 的,具有果香的美味,较干,令人胃口大开,这 些酒都值得认真对待,但不要太认真, 这也是桃 红独有的魅力
Anthony Rose
常住伦敦。英国葡萄酒记者和作家,在www.independent. co.uk开设周专栏。也为Decanter、 The World of Fine Wine 等杂志供稿。很多知名葡萄酒大赛的评委和主席。The Wine Gang 的创办人之一。博客,微 博Anthony _ Rose。
葡萄酒评论 May 2014 127

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