The SOMM Journal

February/March 2015

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Page 75 of 92

Rosé { }  75 Ask Francophiles what they think of the Loire and they'll likely mention the fairy tale castles dotting the long river valley. Ask a wine geek, and they're apt to wax poetic about fabled wines such as La Coulée de Serrant from Nicolas Joly, or definitive examples of Sancerre Sauvignon Blancs such as those from Lucien Crochet. But now rosés are helping rewrite the Loire Valley's story, stealthily stealing a scene long dominated by Provence and fueled in recent years by a global interest in rosés from other regions such as the Rhône Valley, Spain and South Africa. The Loire Valley is the second-largest producer of AOC rosé wines in France—about one-quarter of all wines produced in the Loire. Helping the narrative is a campaign focused on easy-drinking pinks that fall under the Rosé de Loire and Rosé d'Anjou appellations, which the InterLoire wine bureau calls the "Rosé Brothers." Of the six million cases produced annu- ally in the Loire, more than two million are from these two AOCs. Though they share the same grape varieties, each appellation produces a different style wine. Rosé d'Anjou, an AOC since 1936 and the larger of the two, produces wines with seven to 20 grams of residual sugar. Rosé de Loire, an AOC since 1974, keeps its RS levels around 3 grams or less. Wines from Anjou express the usual strawberry and raspberry fruits, but deliver more complexity with notes of rosés, mint and even white pepper. They typically have good structure and acidity that makes them age-worthy. Rosé de Loire wines have similar flavor characteristics, but ratcheted down a notch. Light salmon in color, crisper and fresh with red currants giving it a tang, the Loire rosés are best drunk young. AOCs: Anjou covers 5,930 acres south of the Loire River. Rosé de Loire covers 1,445 acres in Anjou, Saumur and Touraine Grapes: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grolleau, Gamay, Cot (Malbec), Pineau d'Aunis Volume: 1.7 million cases produced annually in Anjou and 622 cases in Rosé de Loire Loire Rosé at a Glance WINE BUYERS FROM MIAMI AND LOS ANGELES DISCOVER THE DEPTH OF PINK WINES FROM THE LOIRE VALLEY Coast to Coast, Everything's Coming Up

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