The LaRue Cotes de Provence Rosé 2017 is a $7.19 ALDI import exclusive, a blend of unspecified Red grapes grown in the Cotes de Provence AOP, the largest growing region in Provence, in the south of France. This bottle looks very much like ALDI’s Exquisite Collection Provence Rosé ($7.99) from about a year ago that got so much hype and sold out in a couple of hours, but isn’t exactly the same. They didn’t give production info on that Rose’ and they don’t offer any on this Rosé but the Exquisite Collection was 13% alcohol and the LaRue is 12%, so they are different in that regard. 90% of the wine production in Cotes de Provence is Rosé and they have records of Rosé production in the region dating back to the 14th century. So the LaRue is an AOP wine, which is the top French wine designation (in California an AVA is simply a boundary, the grapes grown inside this area can be called Napa or Sonoma or whatever, in France an AOP includes boundaries but also regulates vineyard practices and wine production standards), from a region that knows how to create Rosé wine. The cork is stamped with information that the producer merely aged the wine in their cellars and grapes and maybe the wine production occurred elsewhere. In the past that might of implied the wine was somehow of lesser quality, but in this age of holding companies and LLC corporations things are not always as they seem. Just the same, a little over 7 bucks for a legit Provence Rosé is remarkable, especially if you enjoy the wine.
The color is on the apricot side of pink, there is an orange tint. The nose is candy spice, orange blossom honey, lemon/lime, faint cherry, and stone fruit. This is a dry Rosé, with solid acidity (if you are used to California Rosé, the acidity will be more pronounced with a French wine) and an interesting flavor profile. It tastes of peach mixed with lemon, strawberry, there is a streak of minerality that comes thru all the fruit and citrus, and plum. The mid-palate basically mirrors the body of the wine but does add pear and apricot. along with soft exotic spice. I wouldn’t say this is a delicious Rosé, but it sure has some interesting flavors in the mix. The finish is reasonably full and long.
The LaRue Cotes de Provence Rosé 2017 is a wine that is well worth trying, spend $7, put a good chill on the bottle and you can’t go wrong. It isn’t the greatest Provence Rosé that I have ever had, but it is not boring. The acidity has me smacking my lips, which to me, is a very good sign in a Rosé or white wine and the flavors are growing on me. I guess this is one of those wine you have to warm up to and at $7.19 it is worth the effort.