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A delicate, fragrant rosé full of red-berry character. The secret behind its refreshing charm is that the grapes (mostly cabernet sauvignon with 5% cabernet franc) are picked just before they get too ripe and lose their freshness.
Product Code: BR321
View all products by Vignobles Despagne
Vignobles Despagne is responsible for six Bordeaux properties, spanning 300 hectares, and is known for taking more care of its vines than some classed growths.The family shines like a beacon in Entre-Deux-Mers. In 1990, it acquired Château Bel-Air Perponcher here, and has developed as high a reputation for its whites as its reds at this property. The vines, which are immaculately tended, comprise sauvignon blanc, semillon and muscadelle for the whites and merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc for the reds and the company’s rosé. Vines have been cultivated organically since 2008.The ‘grand vin’ here is 80% merlot, with 10% each of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, and is aged in new oak barrels. Drink it between four to eight years after the vintage. A lighter, unoaked wine (the Réserve) is also made, as well as a semillon-dominant white which is cool fermented to achieve a refreshing, aromatic character. The property’s rosé is made using cabernet sauvignon (plus around 30% merlot and a little cabernet franc), the grapes for which are picked at optimum ripeness to retain their freshness. This property is run by Basaline Despagne, and her brother Thibault runs Château Mont-Perat, a fantastic example of a Premier Cotes de Bordeaux from the right bank of the Garonne. Acquired in 1998, the four splendidly positioned hills of vines here are managed by Jean-Pierre Cousinié. A quarter of the estate is given to the white wine, which is typically a blend of 80% sauvignon and 20% semillon, although in some vintages a small amount of muscadelle is also included. This is fermented in French oak, around half of which is new, before being matured in oak for a further eight months. The red is normally 70% merlot with the remainder made up of 20% cabernet sauvignon and 10% cabernet franc. This is aged in oak, 50% of which is new, for seven to ten months, and will keep well for four to 12 years. Mont-Perat was featured in a Japanese Manga publication called Drops of God, in which drinking it was compared to attending a Queen concert, and the wine has subsequently developed an enormous Asian following.The talented Joël Elissalde is the oenologist here, and has been since 1987, and his hard work over the years means that Mont-Perat could often pass for a much more expensive wine. He also works with Thibault on Girolate, a superb 100% merlot wine that is a consistent hit with the critics.There are 10 hectares of Girolate vines, planted on south-facing limestone slopes, much like those in Saint-Emilion. Each parcel of vines is fermented separately in oak barrels which are rotated twice a day to soften the wine’s tannins. The Despagne family also owns and runs Château Tour de Mirambeau, Château Rauzan Despagne and Château Lion Beaulieu. Both the Despagne family and its team are constantly striving for improvement, and Vignobles Despagnes has earned much well-deserved respect over the years, as well as a popular place in the tastes of Society members.
If the word Bordeaux is mentioned most people take it to refer to red wine. Though a good deal of white wine is made in Bordeaux, and some of the finest white Bordeaux are only entitled to that generic appellation contrôlée nomenclature, it is reds that are most associated with the region.The Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur regional appellation contrôlées are spread throughout the Bordeaux region. A bright colour, a clean, deep, appealing red-fruit nose (with hints of vanilla and spice if the wines have been aged in oak) and the classic balance of alcohol, tannin and acidity are the hallmarks. These modest designations verify that the wine comes from a particular region and conforms to certain criteria, such as alcohol content, but cannot be relied upon as a guarantee of quality. Many good wines are made in little-known appellations, just as mediocre bottles can have grand origins, so the key is to follow a property or grower you like and trust.The climate of Bordeaux is deeply influenced by its proximity to water, whether it is the sea, the estuary or the rivers, all have a major impact on the grapes grown and the wine made with them. The maritime climate is mild and gently warmed by the Gulf Stream which has a ready conduit deep inland via the Gironde estuary. The estuary acts as a moderator of the extremes of winter and summer. Summers are generally hot and autumns fairly long and mild. Winter and spring too are relatively mild but also often wet, and overall, give or take the odd and very rare major weather event, the climate is generally stable and consistent. Dampness is indeed on of the major difficulties of wine production and it is no coincidence that the anti-fungal spray ‘Bordeaux Mixture’ was developed here in the 19th century. In terms of weather events the two that are often encountered, sometimes with devastating effects, are hail and frost. Bear in mind that Bordeaux lies on a latitude of 45 degrees and should you travel across the Atlantic on that latitude you would make landfall in Nova Scotia. Without the Gulf Stream and proximity to bodies of water Bordeaux would be a much more marginal climate for making wine.Red wines are the biggest part of the wine production of Bordeaux. Some 55,000 hectares of vines are employed in the making of Bordeaux AC and Bordeaux Supérieur AC. The most planted red grape is merlot, followed by cabernet sauvignon. Most of these generic Bordeaux are made outside of more specific communes, and indeed may be made from grapes grown anywhere in the Bordeaux region, and it would be strange indeed, in commercial terms, if a grower could label his wine as something more prestigious but chose the Bordeaux AC for his bottles. The Entre-Deux-Mers region, between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, is home to much of the production of generic Bordeaux on its clay, or sand and clay soils with occasional outcrops of limestone and gravels.However, there are regulations and strictures that must be adhered to. To qualify for Bordeaux AC status the wine must naturally achieve 10% abv, and for Supérieur status the requirement is 10.5%. In actual fact the majority of wines are between 11% and 12.5 % abv, and as the climate warms up and vine canopy management and vineyard techniques continue to improve this may rise. Most reds from these appellations are designed to be drunk young.At this level some of the fruit is machine harvested, though much is still picked by hand because of the narrow row width of most Bordeaux vineyards, and the winemaking is fairly standard, with temperature control now the norm and chaptalisation less common than it used to be. Barrels are not often used for these wines due to their expense, though large wooden vats or hand me down barrels previously used by a wealthier producer might be utilised. Such second-hand barrels require great care to be taken to maintain them.Co-operatives still make most of these generic bottlings, but there are many smaller estates, many of them conscientious and making excellent wines that represent terrific value, that are finding the going tough in the prevailing economic climate and in the face of stiff competition at their price point from wines made in places where conditions and costs are more propitious for making fruity affordable wines. Négociants operate within Bordeaux and a good deal of the wine or grapes that make generic Bordeaux pass through the hands of companies like Maison Sichel and Dourthe.
"Colour: Very pale new copper or onion skin.
Aroma: Lots of red berries, strawberry, redcurrant, grapefruit, honeydew melon, orange and rose petals.
Taste: Dry, light, crisp, brisk acidity. Good intensity of flavour, sour cherry and strawberry to the fore ending with a bitter herbal note.
Overall: A nice light Rosé, not remarkable just simple and straightforward. Depth of flavour stands out as the highlight. Personally I would like a little more body but still quite pleased. A lunchtime wine, good value, worth trying."
I would recommend this wine
"Not as deep a pink as the images suggest; perhaps too 'fresh' for some tastes; didn't really work as an aperitif; might be better with food."
There are no press reviews for this product.
"Lovely Rosé, not too sweat, perfect for a summer lunch."
Mr Thomas Baker (11-Aug-2018)
Shropshire Star (13th Apr 2019)
savoury, with notes of quince and orange, this spicy blend would air
beautifully with poached salmon for your Good Friday supper. - Sharon Waters"
Cambridgewineblogger.com (12th Feb 2019)
and redcurrant fruit, some toastiness and weighty, substantial underpinnings.
Harmonious, balanced and adept. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Great for summer sipping, match with picnic food, prawns or salmon. - Tom Lewis"
Daily Mail (23rd Jun 2018)
"Light and fresh, I’d
happily drink this with a summer Sunday lunch. - Matthew Jukes"
"This wine must be someone's idea of a ruse to flush out the gullible. Low alcohol, low flavour, low everything"
Mr David McDowell (31-May-2017)
"A very pleasant wine with a pale salmon pink appearance, clean but subdued fruit on the nose but with good balance and length."
Mr David Chittleborough (20-Jan-2017)
"An unusually pleasant rose: not too sweet, not too dry; just right. Suitable for drinking by itself or with many types of food."
Neil Butter Esq (10-Aug-2016)
100 AWEsome Wines (4th May 2017)
"A delicious blend of
cabernet sauvignon, merlot and
cabernet franc makes this a very refreshing and easy drinking wine. The
strawberry and redcurrant fruit flavours
make it so versatile with food. Tapas, assorted cold meats, Mediterranean
roasted vegetables would be great with this subtle rosé. - Vivienne Franks"
"I'm not usually a fan of Rose, finding it too sweet and tasteless. This wine is well worth the money and the 12% alcohol level is a pleasant change from the modern tendency to make wind as strong as possible. It has a fruity flavour not too dry and is easy to drink. Perfect for Summer evenings (if we ever get any)."
Dr Dyfrig M Davies (26-Apr-2016)
"Rose wines can occasionally be sweetish, insipid and bland, but not this one. Lots of dry material is evident and despite the strawberry characteristics this is a wine that packs a punch. So much so that I glanced at the label to see what the alcohol content is and was astonished to find it's only 12%; it has a mouthfeel that suggests much more. One doesn't tend to think that rose wines are 'classy', but this one certainly is. My 'must order this again' list is getting a bit out of hand."
Mr Nigel Skelsey (01-Jun-2015)
JancisRobinson.com (1st Dec 2015)
fruit on the nose, then a crunchy, crisp palate with a very dry finish. Simple,
refreshing. - Richard Hemming"
Sunday Express (29th Mar 2015)
and with a pink/orange colour, this Bordeaux rosé has an appealing grassy,
herbal twist to the bright blackcurrant and cherry fruit. There’s even a hint
of mint, too, in this distinctive and classy wine. - Jamie Goode"
"Seriously, this is excellent. Well chilled it's a very decent aperitif and even better with pasta or a pizza - or Salmon. At last a Rose that has sophistication and balance. Definitely a re-order to keep a few on hand."
Mr Tim Potts (28-Jan-2015)
"Delicious. This is the first Rose that I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed drinking. Poor taste of various pinks in ages past led me to avoid them in general. Bought this one for my wife but was vastly impressed myself and will buy more."
Mr Peter Wooldridge (06-Nov-2014)
The Partner (18th Jul 2014)
"A well-rounded summer
rosé. Cabernet based, but with a little more merlot in this vintage giving it a
rounder texture and flavour. Lots of red fruit flavours and enough acidity to
keep it feeling fresh. - Colin Hampden-White"
The Cambridge Wine Blogger (7th Jul 2014)
ripe stone and red berry fruit, refreshing and persistent with a mineral
finish. Well-made and a perfect picnic wine. - Tom Lewis"
"Absolutely delicious. My fingers are now crossed that the 2013 is anywhere near as good. Arrived today with bottles of the White and the Red Perponder's. Had to try them all because I was so impressed with the Rose."
Mr Peter Wooldridge (23-Jul-2014)
"With pizza, chips and peas?!…… bloody great!! Thank you WS."
Mr David O'Brien (14-Jan-2014)
"Great wine from Bordeaux, good alternative to a Provence rose. Attractive nose, the wine is full with a round finish. Highly enjoyable with BBQ Tuna!"
Mr Malcolm J Davies (14-Aug-2013)
Cambridgewineblogger.com (27th Jan 2014)
Pale salmon-pink, ripe stone fruit, watermelon,
aromatic spiciness; rounded acidity, watermelon, peach and nectarine fruit
and a good depth of flavour, with a touch of thick-skinned toasty-yeastiness
and a persistent, savoury and mineral finish.
- Tom Lewis"
Mature Times (4th Feb 2013)
"The slightly sweet puréed strawberry flavour balances the stodgy rice, batter and bean ingredients common in Oriental dishes, while its redcurrant edge just stops this wine-food combination from becoming too rich. - Lucy Rawlins"
"Simply terrific. I have been searching for the perfect rose for years and nearly gave up. But this just might be the Golden Fleece. For me it is everything I have been seeking. Hint of raspberry, off dry, not too delicate. At the price, I am loading up for summer."
Mr Richard Morton (07-Apr-2012)
"Wow...Kevin Barry's review of the '09 said 'fruity and round'. Fruity? It's like putting four or five different Opal Fruits in your mouth at once....a Gewurztraminer of the rosé world! Those of you who remember the boiled sweets called 'Apple Tarts' would do well to bear in mind the surprising fruity-zingyness of those sweets before tasting your first sip! Except that this wine is more raspberry and strawberry than apple. I find it hard to believe that this wine is French, it bears more of a semblance to the 'in your face' New World stuff to me."
Mr Robert A Faulkner (10-Jun-2011)
"Really nice. Fruity and round, well balanced without too much acid."
Mr Kevin Barry (25-Nov-2010)
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