This year it appears I am drinking more rosé than ever, and later into the year as well.
With this in mind I’d like to present you two delightful rosés currently available in the LCBO and both from Mirabeau, the brainchild of Stephen Cronk, a lovely fellow I happened to interview just the other week.
Trust me on this, these two wines are perfect autumnal sippers…
2021 Mirabeau “X” Provence, France (Alcohol 12.4%, Residual Sugar 2 g/l) LCBO $21.95 (750ml bottle)
This new release, named “X” after the rather lovely Provencal city of Aix-en-Provence, is a blend of 60% Syrah with 20% Grenache and 20% Cinsault.
There’s a very particular chiffon-like delicacy here that is often lacking in many of the rosés that we see on our shelves in Ontario.
The bouquet is perhaps more ethereal than most, with almost-ripe red summer berry fruits (raspberry in particular), fragrant orchard blossom, and just a whiff of lemon zest.
The palate is both whip-smart and assertive, the acid balance sitting perfectly with the crunchy raspberry/cranberry fruit core, leading to a nice subtly grippy tannic and just-saline finish.
This is a splendidly refined and polished example of Provencal rosé that is not to be missed, even throughout these chillier days.
Now, where’s that Bouillabaisse recipe?
(Four out of a possible five apples)
2020 Mirabeau “Pure” Provence, France (Alcohol 12.6%, Residual Sugar 6 g/l) LCBO $23.95 [Discounted from $28.95!] (750ml bottle)
Now here’s where things get seriously interesting… a rosé for the truly discerning palate.
Outside of Bandol and Tavel (both really just light reds masquerading as rosés), we don’t often think of rosés as being suitable for any kind of ageing, and the truth is that in a perfect world most rosés should really come with a BEST BEFORE date stamped upon them.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, and this “Pure” bottling from Mirabeau is undoubtedly one of them… and it just happens to be heavily discounted at the LCBO right now. At $23.95 it’s a steal.
Grenache is the star here, with some Syrah and Cinsault in supporting roles.
Now, Mirabeau may not yet have quite the same chichi brand recognition as, say, Whispering Angel and the like, but I’d argue that it’s a better crafted wine than many that fall into that Premium Rosé category.
A year on from its original release there’s still a hell of a lot of freshness and vitality here. While lesser rosés would grow flabby and insipid like a lumpen, milquetoast middle-aged man, this still utterly delights.
The tart red berry fruit profile has softened slightly, but this is now augmented by a seductive herbal note and a nuanced spice/smoke that really took this wine to the next level. There’s also a warm damson character emerging.
As I sat on my deck on a crisp fall day and watched the last of the leaves descend against a backdrop of bright blue sky, a glass of this was simply divine, and the defined mineral finish, exquisite.
It’s my birthday this weekend, and I’ll be celebrating with my family, a seafood platter, and a good few bottles of this lovely wine as I contemplate another year.
(Four and a half out of a possible five apples)