Rimauresq Rosé 2003 Côtes de Provence

There are times – and  an increasing number of them as I pointed out last year in The rehabilitation of rosé  - when only a rosé will do. I am thrilled to see more and more effort go in to producing rosés with real interest. We have Cabernet rosés from Chile and Syrah rosé s from California, along with a host of perhaps less predictable offerings from Spain and Italy. But to me the quintessential rosé comes from the south of France where each summer’s supply and demand are in something like perfect harmony. In seriously high temperatures, especially eating out of doors and ideally on a vine-shaded terrace, what is needed is a wine with the satisfaction of a red wine and the cooling qualities of a white. Voilà, un rosé!

Provence is supposed to be the home of rosé and still produces far too much pink wine with no, or worse, flavour but good Provençal rosé  has a quality and flavour all of its own. It is serious stuff – serious enough to drink with all sorts of delicious Mediterranean summer foods. It is dry – none of this horribly sweetened  cheap Anjou. It is not especially high in acidity but it is savoury and scented and has a particular perfume reminiscent of the southern French garrigue which I can only, perhaps wrongly, attribute to the Tibouren grape which I have encountered only in Provence.

This Rimauresq Rosé 2003 is made from Tibouren and that other excellent rosé grape Cinsault. It has all these qualities in spades and I thoroughly recommend it as a summer staple for drinking both with and without food. The property near Pignans is quite a way inland north east of Toulon (marked in the 5th edn of The World Atlas of Wine since you ask) and was taken over by the Scottish Wemyss (pronounced ‘Weems’) family in the late 1980s. Investment in replanting vineyards and upgrading the cellar seems to have paid off (though I found the red a bit too tannic for my taste).

The family also own the Fonty’s Pool operation in Pemberton, Western Australia in conjunction with Cape Mentelle.

This classily labelled rosé  is apparently available at about £8.95 a bottle from Playford Ros of Thirsk; The Circus Café of Edinburgh; Lay & Wheeler of Colchester; and Philglas & Swiggott, Bentalls, House of Fraser, Friarwood and Mayfair Cellars in London.

Those who have difficulty tracking this down might care to look out for Terra Sana Organic Rosé 2003 Vin de Pays d’Oc from the energetic, peripatetic Lurton brothers Jacques and François. This is made in thoroughly modern reductive style so that at opened bottle will stay fresh in your refrigerator for weeks on end but has lots of good, bumptious Languedoc fruit and no excess of sweetness or acidity. It comes from, Domaine de la Rèze, a wine farm near Azille north west of Narbonne which has just been certified organic. Cinsault is (just) the dominant grape here, bolstered by Grenache and filled out with Carignan. It is supposed to be available at about  £5.45 from www.youngswinedirect.co.uk but I could find no sign of it there this morning. Keep looking.