Is there such a thing as an iconic Anjou? Well, yes, there is. But you won’t have heard many wine boffins bang on about it. Once the nation’s favourite, Rose d’Anjou is a retro wine. Back in the 1970s and 80s this was the Loire’s iconic pink wine.
It’s popularity was immense at the time with bottles selling like hot cakes here in the UK – a little similar to the fad for Prosecco we see today. However, as with most booms, there came a bust. There was a backlash against Rose d’Anjou as wine drinkers from that era moved on and turned their noses up at it. Wine snobbery has lot to answer for. A whole generation have missed out thanks to a swing in fashion . . . but that’s changing rapidly.
The backlash didn’t happen in Europe. France, Spain and Italy have long loved these Roses. What’s more they are trendy – the French film star Gerard Depardieu makes an attractive Rose d’Anjou at his Chateau de Tigne. Today’s vintages of Rose d’Anjou are modern, well made, delectable wines.
There seems to be a bit of a resurgence going on for Rose d’Anjou in the UK and it’s down to younger wine drinkers clocking on to the fact that this wine that can actually be rather good. It’s a grass roots resurgence as, to be honest, there’s not much written about Rose d’Anjou. Major wine critics are still sniffy about it but are starting to unbend. Let’s change it up a bit! Sales are certainly up!
- Anjou is an ancient province centred on the city of Angers in the Loire. It was once part of the Angevin Empire belonging to the Plantagenet Kings of England. When Henri II became King of England in the 12th century, The wines of Anjou were served in the Royal court throughout his reign alongside those of Bordeaux’s famous claret. Anjou is also the home of the famous orange flavoured liqueur Cointreau.
Our ‘Wine of the Week’ is a beautifully delicate, fruity Rose d’Anjou from Raymond Morin, priced at £8.10. Raymond Morin is a multi award winning winemaker with exceptional holdings across the Loire; including Domaine la Jalouise in Chinon and Domaine La Chevalerie in St Nicolas de Bourgueil. His Rose d’Anjou comes from his estate Domaine du Landreau in Anjou. It’s a truly Angevin wine made with Anjou’s signature grape, Grolleau.
Grolleau is rare. It’s been used for centuries to make Rose d’Anjou but it’s disappearing fast thanks to producers replacing it with Gamay and Cabernet Franc. Grolleau takes its name from the French word ‘crow’ . . . its grapes are such a deep black colour they resemble the crow’s feathers.
- Grolleau produces light bodied wines with a lively vibrancy thanks to its high acidity. This freshness coupled with its delicate flavours of strawberry, morello cherry, raspberry, white peach and herbs makes Grolleau perfect for Rose production.
Grolleau performs best on shallow soils which tend to produce higher quality wines. Raymond Morin’s Grolleau grows on thin layers of dark slate which gives his wine its distinctive character. Finely tuned, fresh and elegant; it has gentle flavours of crushed strawberry, raspberry and rosehip with a touch of apple, sweet spice and mint. Characteristicly lively and crisp, it has a subtle hint of sweetness on the finish.
Being light bodied and 11.5% this Rose d’Anjou is a perfect aperitif sipped chilled. It’s also a great appetizer and pairs brilliantly with a whole range of foods. Our customers love it with BBQs. It’s a good match with scampi, crab cakes and crispy calamari; spicy chicken enchilladas, pizza and pâté as well as mild curries and fragrant Chinese cuisine.