• Featherweight Corsican: Marquiliani Rosé
    Featherweight Corsican: Marquiliani Rosé
    "Drinking her rosé is like drinking a cloud. There's absolute weightlessness to it. Nothing is left on the palate but perfume." Kermit Lynch, Importer
    Marquiliani's rosé of Sciaccarellu from the east coast of Corsica is my personal favorite. I buy a wide range of rosés annually and even have favorite pairings for each, but the one that's captured my heart is Marquiliani's pale copper-hued, diamond-cut gems.

    The native Sciaccarellu grape is grown here on decomposed granite terraces a couple of miles from the Mediterranean and just below the towering 8,000-foot Mount Renosu, ensuring cool breezes to balance out the island's hot summer temperatures.

    The Vin de Corse is 95% Sciacacarellu and 5% Syrah and shows the more incisive and linear style of the domaine's rosé.

    The smaller production Le Rosé de Pauline is 50% Syrah, 40% Sciaccarellu, and 10% Vermentino. Pauline is a touch broader on the palate but counterintuitively paler in color than the Vin de Corse. Even with Syrah's more prominent role here, this is still rosé at its most featherweight and saline-driven.

    Along with her father, Daniel, Anne Almaric tends the minuscule two hectares of vines that her family took over in the 1950s. There was a 20-year span where this 200-year-old domaine had remained abandoned. Daniel was a pioneer, the first to plant Sciaccarellu on the island's eastern side. Anne's background in agricultural chemistry lent a keen eye toward viticulture, and the vines prospered under her watch. Some of the greatest rosés in the world come from domaines that produce red, white, and pink wines, but here every grape grown is only destined for rosé. 

    Marquiliani speaks from a very extreme edge of the general rosé landscape. It's wickedly precise, with an undeniable laser-like focus through its finish. It's mouth-watering and mineral-infused, with a texture that is so fine that if you think too hard, it may just vanish completely. The fruit spectrum is very much in the citrus realm, with grapefruit, faint passionfruit, and jasmine notes always hallmarks. 
    Importer Kermit Lynch's quote above may be his most recognized one, and it captures what we love most about these pinks. Corsicans don't let much of this leave the island, so when given the opportunity each year, I bring in as much as possible.

    Shop Marquiliani

  • Pink Granite Rosé: 2023 Thivin Beaujolais
    Pink Granite Rosé: 2023 Thivin Beaujolais
    While Beaujolais red wines have always been a cornerstone, the region's more limited-production rosés never quite made the cut. That all changed when Kermit Lynch asked Château Thivin (our favorite producer in Côte de Brouilly) for a small amount of their rosé for California. From a single hectare of vines planted on pink granite atop the steep slopes of an ancient volcano—this is not your standard rosé.
    Pink granite and sand surround the ancient Mont Brouilly volcano, and here, on some of the steepest slopes in the region, Gamay is endowed with purple-toned fruits and wild lavender notes. I was hesitant before tasting, imagining those very bouncy and fruit-forward Gamay traits wouldn’t translate to the crisp and mineral personality I look for, but Thivin's rosé has a great sense of salinity and freshness. This rosé of Gamay is sourced from one hectare of 50-year-old vines. Grapes are pressed immediately, giving just a slightly pink hue. The wine is fermented with native yeasts, goes through full malolactic, and spends its life in stainless steel prior to bottling. As a result, it's a snappy and lively rosé that finishes with salty punctuation.
    This two-hectare was purchased at auction by Zaccharie Geoffrey in 1877. His grandson, Claude, was pivotal in creating the Côte de Brouilly appellation during the great depression. Now, his grandnephew, also Claude, his wife Evelyn, and their son Claude-Edouard are behind the production of this benchmark. Kermit Lynch visited the domaine during his first trip on the wine route with Richard Olney in 1976.

    Shop Chateau Thivin

  • Provence Icon: Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé
    Provence Icon: Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé
    In 1941, Lulu and Lucien Peyraud put Bandol on the AOC map by petitioning for official recognition. Today, Domaine Tempier is perhaps more synonymous with its appellation than any domaine in France. While there's a push each year to get the new vintage of their rosé on the market to quench the ever-increasing thirst of summer's appetite, the best of Tempier's rosé is always yet to come through bottle development. 
    Domaine Tempier's 2022 Bandol Rosé just arrived, plus a restock of the 2021 vintage is on the way! The rosé blend is 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, and 20% Cinsault, planted on limestone and clay soils above the Mediterranean Coast. The secret to this highly coveted pink is its ability to transform over time while holding onto that critical freshness. Visiting the domaine in July 2016 proved these back-vintage rosés and reds deserve their place among France's most cherished estates.

    Shop Domaine Tempier

  • 1793-Outlier: Provence’s Clos Cibonne Rosé
    1793-Outlier: Provence's Clos Cibonne Rosé

    That was the year the Roux family purchased the estate from Jean-Baptiste de Cibon and planted the rare goblet-trained Tibouren red variety. Tibouren is as obscure as the style of rosé that has been made here for centuries. And, the single red wine example from Cibonne is a departure stylistically from most Provence reds, as its lighter-bodied style and elegant personality strut their stuff when bottles are served chilled––a perfect summertime red.

    The Cibonne rosés (five of them) are the main attraction here, and rightfully so, as they can all age and develop positively for a decade or more. Cuvée Tradition is aged in 100-year-old foudres sous-voile (under a thin veil of flor) giving faint hints of briny clementines and almonds. The fruit is not emphasized in this rosé like most, instead, notes of cardamon and anise take a prominent role next to the white peach and strawberry foundation.

    If there's one thing that impresses all who drink Cibonne's rosés for the first time, it is surely the un-ending finish that lingers with spice and salty fruit thanks to the proximity of Cibonne's vines from the Mediterranean, just 800 meters away. If you've ever wanted a jolt of excitement for Provence reds or rosés, this is the historic domaine you need to try.


    Shop Clos Cibonne