Lynn and I love French wines and we are always on the lookout for new ones to try. Here are some we've had, including some of the first 2018 Rosés.
2018 Paul Jaboulet Ainé "Parallele 45" Côtes du Rhone Rosé ($15.99 - wine.com) - Composed of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah, this offers a light pink-peach color and enticing aromas of strawberry, pink peach, red currant, pink roses, lavender and spiced white incense. The flavors are pleasingly mouth filling, with bright young fruits that are accented by fraise and pêche liqueurs, and followed by a crisp, nicely juiced finish. Excellent value. 18.5/20 points.
2018 Fleurs de Prairie Vin de Provence Rosé ($16.99 - wine.com) - Brilliant copper-peach colored, this emits enticing aromas of fraises der bois, pink peach, cantaloupe, orange peel, spring flowers, lavender and whiffs of white incense. The flavors are bright and fresh, with notes of peach stone, fraise liqueur, melon rind and recurring orange peel, followed by a lightly spiced moderate acid finish. 18.5/20 points.
2018 Domaine La Colombette "Notorious Pink" Rosé de France ($18.99 - wine.com) - This is a pale peach-pink colored Rosé, but shows good depth. It possesses appealing aromas of fraises, peach, cantaloupe, orange peel and lightly spiced incense. The flavors are deftly extracted, with notes of fraise and pêche liqueurs and melon rind, followed by a lightly spiced dry finish. 18+/20 points.
2018 Fleur de Mer Côtes de Provence Rosé ($19.99 - wine.com) - The 2017 vintage was our go-to Provence Rosé last year and this 2018 will be too. It features a light peach-pink color and enticing aromas of fraises de bois, pink peaches, red currants, tangerine, red rose petals, lavender and spiced incense. The flavors are deliciously fresh and lively, with judicious extraction, peach stone and Provençal minerals. The allure continues on the back with fraise and cassis liqueurs and a twist of tangerine peel on the nicely juiced finish. 18.5+/20 points.
2018 Domaine de Fontsainte "Gris de Gris" Corbières Rosé ($21 - The Thief, Walla Walla) - Composed of 70% Grenache and 10% each of Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault, this displays a light copper-pink color and attractive aromas of raspberry, cherry, red currant, orange peel, cherry blossoms and orange peel. The flavors are fresh an buoyant, with notes of framboise and cerise liqueurs and recurring orange peel on the crisp finish. 18+/20 points.
2018 Château de Pampelonne Côtes de Provence Rosé ($21.99 - wine.com) - From near Saint-Tropez, this is composed of 40% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 20% Syrah and 10% Tibouren. It shows a light peach color and aromas of raspberry, pink peach, cantaloupe, tangerine and spring flowers. On the palate, the flavors are light, yet well defined, with notes of grape skin, melon rind and tangerine peel. The back picks up framboise and pêche liqueurs and touches of hazelnut and lanolin on the way to a resonant finish. 18.5/20 points.
2018 Isabelle Garrault "Les Grands Monts" Sancerre Rosé ($25.99 - wine.com) - Sancerre Rosé is made from Pinot Noir. This version shows a brilliant copper-pink color and a lovely nose of fraises de bois, cherries and red currants with scents of red roses, cherry blossoms, spring flowers and a hint of cracked red pepper. The flavors are fresh and vibrant, accented by grape skin, tangerine peel and upper Loire River minerals. The back picks up kirsch and fraise liqueurs on the way to a resonant, lingering finish. It shows uncommon elegance for a Rosé. 19/20 points.
2017 Domaine Les Capréoles Regnié ($25 - The Thief) - This Cru Beaujolais sports a deep ruby-purple color and attractive aromas of fraises de bois, cherries and black currants with scents of black roses, brambles, violets and incense. The flavors, as well, are appealing, with vivid red fruits that are imbued with red licorice, cocoa powder and medium roast coffee. The back picks up kirsch and cassis liqueurs and toffee, followed by a moderate tannin and acid finish. Expresses the joy of the Gamay grape. 18.5/20 points.
2017 Domaine de la Vôute des Crozes Côte de Brouilly ($29 - The Thief) - This Cru Beaujolais exhibits a deep ruby-crimson color ad a perfumed nose of wild raspberries, cherries, black currants, wild roses, violets and sweet incense. The flavors are generous and expressive, brimming with red and black fruits that are intermixed with licorice, cocoa, and schist minerals. On the back, the wine turns suave textured with framboise and cassis liqueurs and nougat, followed by a moderate tannin finish that is lifted by vivid fruit acids. 18.5+/20 points.
2016 Domaine des Chers Saint-Amour ($27 - The Thief) - Saint-Amour - a lovely name for this Cru Beaujolais, and a lovely wine. Crimson colored, it possesses a perfumed nose of strawberries, cherries, red currants, red roses, violets and incense. The flavors are medium bodied but mouth encompassing, intermixed with red licorice, cocoa powder and granitic minerals. The back picks up fraise and cassis liqueurs on the way to a resonant finish. The wine's charm gives it a plus. 18.5+/20 points.
2015 René Bouvier "Crais de Chêne" Fixin ($57.99 - wine.com) - This is quintessential old vine Fixin (located north of Gevrey-Chambertin). It shows a deep brick red color and an unmistakable Pinot Noir nose of raspberries, cherries, black currants, crushed roses, sweet tobacco, forest carpet, matchstick, violets and incense. The flavors are medium full bodied, replete with licorice, cocoa, French roast and earth. The back picks up framboise, creme de cassis and kirsch liqueurs, followed by a lengthy chewy yet satiny tannin finish. 19/20 points.