A Surprising Rosé Duo from the Pays d’Oc
These two rosés surprised me.
I expected the Arrogant Frog to be the less expensive and less complex wine. This was without knowing that the Côté Mas wine is to be marketing in 1 liter bottles – my sample arrived in a 750 ml. Yes, I succumbed to label bias. Happily, it was only briefly.
The two wines taste strikingly different, and I found the critter label version to be drier and more classically southern French. The Aurore, with its watercolor-esque painting on the label, surprised me with its fruit-driven character. The two cost just about the same, but technically the Arrogant Frog is a wee bit more expensive at $0.016 per ml versus the $0.013 per ml for the Aurore. Both offer tremendous value and sip-ability. Stock up both in hope of spring arriving early as well as for the summer beyond!
Arrogant Frog 2018 Pays d’Oc Rosé 12.5% $11.99 / 750 ml
Refined and elegant, this wine has a strawberry fruit nose sprinkled with cracked white pepper. Initially it’s lean and a bit aloof in flavor, perhaps like an Arrogant Frog? However, as the wine warms up and opens up, it turns out to be subtle, rather than austere, in fragrance. The vivid watermelon-focused palate shows solid concentration, and the plentiful minerality rings through on the moderate finish. The lithe body is nicely accompanied by gently lifting acidity and subtle alcohol. I admit I raised my eyebrows to the critter marketing, but I really enjoyed this 100% Syrah in the end, especially the lightly dry and tugging texture.
Côté Mas 2018 Pays d’Oc Rosé Aurore 12.5% $12.99 / 1 L
Generous in fruit aromas and in glossy palate texture, this wine shows off boisterous flavors. Papaya and nectarine lead the way, kissed with marshmallow and cotton candy tones. Medium in body with a caressing texture and suavely integrated acidity, this combo of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah is sure to please just about any crowd, both in flavor and in price. While fully dry on the finish, there’s no sense of bitterness whatsoever. This in mind, rest assured that this is is a rosé that will perform well even when accidentally overly chilled in your picnic cooler or barbecue ice bin. Santé!