Fairly confident this is the best rosé I’ve ever had in my life. You run into one every now-and-then… something transcending the multitudes of REALLY GOOD rosé we all drink. Not sure I’ve ever had a BAD rosé, I mean… I suppose there are lots of them out there but I don’t really shop on those shelves–and neither should you. Stay away from the white Zin, the white Merlot and saignée cab & syrah… I don’t even drink Pinot rosé, but I know it floats a lot of boats. Chiaretto is rather compelling… had some Sangio I wouldn’t throw out of bed, and Tempranillo… of course I would get an asterisk if I dissed Bandol, but rosé FOR ME is Grenache. Period. And I’m not sure I have ever put down a glass of rosé and said, “I don’t like that.” The stuff that finds its way to my glass is pretty much all variations on a theme. But occasionally, a rosé rises up to white-wine levels of complexity and finesse–and this is one of them.
Distinct onion-skin in the bottle and glass, concentrated to *almost* pink at the deep end and basically amber-clear everywhere else. The nose OMG the nose: that gritty green herbaceousness smeared on cellar floors, applesauce and peach and endless fields of printemps blossoms, knee-deep and dripping, an ocean of sweet against the blast of savory sea breeze. There’s literally a *Chablis-ness* to it: petrichor and spice muddled against fruit so clairvoyant and multi-faceted–I honestly don’t think I would peg this for rosé blindfolded.
What can I possibly add to this to quantify the taste? While smelling it I might guess Petit Chablis or barrel-aged Grenache blanc, it TASTES like rosé. Which is a welcome revelation, because it IS rosé! Clean and bright and mouth-filling, the BODY on this thing brings Vouvray or Condrieu visions–and there I go swerving from the *rosé-lane* again. Should rosé try to be thing’s it’s not? Of course not–no wine should–but it also doesn’t have to all be $7 “yeah, I like that” forgettable-ness. Visceral of body, viscous of texture, vision-inducing as it trickles across your palate. Of course: I’m drinking it at slightly below 50°, and maintaining an ice-bucket on this thing would be a CRIME. Thick and rich, pear and apricot and lavender allowing acid to prod it into pores while coating the mouth before sweet-bitter fulfillment completes the finish.
You can actually buy this in the US now–unlike when I first started reviewing it–so if you want to see what PURE LUXURY in a rosé feels like, FIND IT. These people are doing EVERYTHING right.
2018 DOMAINE DE MAPLIERS ‘Abacus’ GR/Cinsault/SY/cab Cotes de Provence 13.5