From: Palette, Provence, France
Varietals: 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsaut, 20% "secondary" varieties including Syrah, Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, and Muscatel
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This is no cheap rosé; it's true. But consider, for a minute, that this is no simple quaffer of a pink wine. It hails from Palette, one of the smallest appellations in all of France. It is, in a sense, a sort of Provençal monopole, since Château Palette owns nearly all the acreage in this tiny 23-hectare zone. Their vines are old, too. In some cases, more than 100 years old. The red grapes are the usual suspects for this part of France: Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah with small amounts of Cinsault, Carignane, and other local varieties. But at Simone, they translate into a rosé unlike any other. We're talking power here, and a certain something serious.
This rosé is fermented in small foudres and is then racked into barriques and left on the lees until the following spring. Rich with raspberries and herbs, this mouth-filling rosé holds onto its natural acidity, as it does not undergo malolactic fermentation thanks to the very cool cellars of this historic chateau. This wine costs as much as many reds. Fortunately, it has the concentration and complexity to go along with the price.
Pairing: Serve it with serious food and be prepared to broaden your appreciation of what rosé can be.