Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rosés for $15 and Under - Stay Away from Chateau Miraval and Drink Great Wine

Yesterday a friend of mine let us all know on Facebook that she bought the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Rosé wine Chateau Miraval. She went on to say she was pretty convinced that the wine shop clerk snickered. I out and out laughed that someone would spend about $20 (average price nationwide is $23 without taxes according to on the Jolie/Pitt creation*. It isn't that Chateau Miraval is a bad wine, it just isn't worth $20. I posted that there were far tastier Rosés at cheaper prices and people asked for my recommendations.

So here are my Rosé choices and are at or under $15 locally - nationwide pricing may differ.  Click on the name of the wine to see a picture of the bottle and label.

Domaine Le Pive Gris is from the Caramague region in the south of France, right where the Rhone river meets the sea. On the nose, it is light and fresh with notes of strawberry, black currants and raspberry. The palate is where this baby shines - bone dry, a touch of earth and spice. Finishes long and clean. The perfect summer picnic wine, it also pairs well with seafood. After all, it is the sea which lends it its unique character. Wine is produced organically

Artadi Artazuri Rosado This 100% Grenacha wine has a beautiful rose petal color and a fresh nose of currants, raspberries, strawberries with just a hint of almond.  The mineral palate mimics the nose and the finish is clean and refreshing. The vines are grown without chemical pesticides or herbicides and the utilize green harvesting methods. Perfect food-friendly wine from Spain.

Le Cirque This is my favorite Rosé at the moment. It is from the Languedoc-Roussilon area of France and is a gorgeous wine. A combination of Grenache, Mourvedre and Grenache Gris this is a very intensely colored Rosé - but don't let that color fool you in thinking that it is sweet. It is BONE DRY and perfect for a steamy day. Super fresh and aromatic nose with a palate of spicy strawberry, watermelon and a touch of sage. Finishes very cleanly. If you buy one Rosé this should be the one.

Chateau du Donjon is a bottle of wine you shouldn't drink alone as you can easily drain it solo. This Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache-based wine has a beautiful clear rose pink color. The nose is full of red-berry aromas with a touch of red grapefruit. Another dry palate, but not bone dry as there is the barest touch of sweetness. Flavors of raspberry, strawberry, melon, and herbs give this a wine a silky, easy drinking texture.This wine goes down very easy - sometimes too easy.

Wolffer Estate Table Wine Rosé is one of my favorites as well and it is from Long Island - who would have thunk? This Rosé is actually a blend of both wine and red grapes and includes Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab Franc. The color is a sublime almost salmon color and is somewhat coppery. If you were to blindfold yourself and take a whiff, you'd think you were smelling a Sauvingon Blanc as it is very citrusy.  The palate starts off in the citrus family with flavors of grapefruit and lemon at first, then whammo! You are hit by strawberry and raspberry. Clean finish and thirst quenching when I am mowing the backyard on my tractor.

The next two are actually under $10 and I think represent excellent value. While they certainly are not the finest Rosés, they are a perfect picnic wine or what I like to call a Tuesday night wine.

Domaine de Gournier Rosé is a very intensely colored Rosé with explosive red berry fruits on both the nose and palate. This wine has a bit more 'meat on it' than a typical Provencal Rosé with flavors of both spice and earth added to the palate. Fresh and dry, this is a great wine for a lot of grilled foods.

Villa D'Adige Rosato (sorry no picture available) is an Italian Rosé from the Veneto area. It is another intensely colored Rosé and has aromas and a palate of ripe red berries. Well-balanced and dry, this is a great first course wine on a blistering hot day.

*Note on Chateau Miraval: got to hand it to their marketing person, they came up with a great gimmick for an ok bottle of wine. The wine bottle is very pretty and very uniquely shaped. Retail customers are drawn to this pretty bottle not only because of the shape of it, but because where stores need to place the bottles. The uniquely shaped bottle does not fit in traditional wine racks and therefore the Chateau Miraval bottles have to be displayed near the registers or on valuable end-cap floor space. Genius.

While Wine Spectator gave this wine a 90 rating, I simply don't see it being a 90 rated wine. I suspect many people actually agree with me as the price has steadily dropped after the initial pre-offering prices in the US of $28 a bottle. My pal who inspired this post purchased this wine in one of the more expensive local wine shops in my town and it was just about $20.


  1. Thank you for the round up - so helpful! I will book mark this. I may or may not be the gal referenced in this post. Ahem!

  2. Remember Michelle, I was laughing WITH you.

    I will probably do one on Sauvignon Blanc in August -- a varietal we both enjoy!