"Pale salmon-flesh color; delicate aroma—just a hint of grapefruit, citrus and organge blossom. Lovely core of focused fruit, nice acidity, layered and complex yet elegant and lively at the same time. Just a hint of tropical fruit, then a lovely minerality through to the finish from the limestone soils where the grapes are grown. Very food friendy, and great all on its own!"
The heavy hitters of this year’s crop of superb dry French rosé are all in now, and this newest arrival from Domaine de Terrebrune is the standout “best rosé of the vintage” once again!
After working with this property for almost three decades, this may be one of my all-time favorite Terrebrune rosés ever. I have visited the winery multiple times, and broken bread with owner and winemaker Reynaud Delille both here in the US and at the winery. I have tasted multiple vintages, including reds AND rosé going back decades - they are amazing wines and incredibly ageworthy! If there were “Grand Crus” for rosé, the best vineyards in the Bandol region would certainly be among the top contenders, and Terrebrune would be in the top three.
While the region produces some thrilling red and white wines, the spotlight is decidedly on its brilliant rosés, and the reputation is not undeserved. There is a unique character and an almost legendary quality to the wines, fueled by the elusiveness of Domain Tempier and the year in year out top performances of Terrebrune and Pibarnon. There is something to the wines from here - the French would say a “je ne sais quoi’ - a quality that cannot be described or named easily.
They have that elusive ability to be both powerful and intense, layered and complex, yet fresh and focused at the same time. There is a texture, mouth-feel and unique character that no doubt springs from the vineyard’s location near the sparkling blue/green Mediterranean, the blend of local grape varieties, 50% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, the influence of the sunny Provençal climate, and the incredible reddish/dark brown clay limestone soils that is inimitable. Add to that owner and winemaker Reynaud Delille's commitment to organic farming and non-intrusive wine making that lets the true essence of the vines, the grapes, and this very special place shine through, and you begin to see the reason why this wine is so great every year.
On another note, Terrebrune rosé, as good as it is young, is often even better after a year or two, a feat not many upstart rosés can claim - if any! Most are past their drink date by the time the first whiff of fall is in the air, relegated to the close out bin shortly after Labor Day. The fact that it is superb all on its own or with just about anything (other than steaks on the grill and the like) and you can see why this is a must have wine!
The combination of all these elements is what transforms this wine into a pure expression of summer itself, and celebrating summer’s arrival with a chilled bottle (or a dozen for the cellar) is a tradition worth starting! If you’ve had it before, you know exactly what we are talking about - if you haven’t, you owe it to yourself to get to know this iconic wine - all for under $40