Domaines Ott Étoile Is a Standout, Age-Worthy Rosé.
Rosé wine is everywhere. At least it appears that way. These days, wine shops dedicate multiple shelves or entire sections to display soft blush, peach-tinted, and deep pink wines. What’s all this rosé fuss about?
For one, the average bottle of rosé is super friendly on the wallet. Wine drinkers can easily find a drinkable rosé wine for under $20, with quite a few bottles pricing for less than $15. Plus, rosé is a great pairing for many foods, from cheese plates to grilled seafood to the herbaceous flavors of Mexican cuisine.
But not all rosés are created equal.
One rosé producer that stands out among the rest is Domaines Ott. I had not tasted an age-worthy rosé until I attended a luncheon hosted by this acclaimed Provence producer. Since I had read about the winemaker’s crème de la crème bottling, I knew Domaines Ott Étoile wouldn’t be just another bottle of rosé. And it wasn’t. But in truth, I liked all of Domaines Ott’s wines. So if Étoile––which prices in the $170 range––isn’t in the budget, I recommend trying one of the estate’s other offerings.
Domaines Ott and Le Bernardin, a Perfect Pairing
As it turns out, Domaines Ott’s outstanding wines are favorites of French chef Eric Ripert, so lunch at Le Bernardin, Mr. Ripert’s seafood-centric restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, was the perfect accompaniment to the wines, and for the season, on a warm summer afternoon.
The three-course meal involved sampling the collection from Domaines Ott––four rosés, one white and one red. But of all the wines, the Étoile was extra-special, if not the star of the afternoon. Luxurious. Ultra-Premium. Unforgettable.
What sets this rosé apart from many other rosés is its ability to age, and the patented bottle, a long, lean, sculpture-like vessel, which is a work of art in itself.
While rosé seems to be the summer wine of choice for many, the blush-colored juice has become a year-round sip for all occasions. These days, wine lovers are drinking rosé long after the warm temperatures rise. Spring, summer, winter, and fall. Rosé before dinner. Rosé with brunch. Rosé anytime, all the time.
Rosé is a lovely, versatile drink, but I do believe it’s become clichéd and under-appreciated. Yes, it’s a pretty color. Yes, it pairs with many foods. But two reminders: just because rosé is pink, doesn’t mean it’s for ladies only. (Plenty of guys drink rosé.) And a pretty color does not mean a wine is worth buying.
With rosé’s ongoing popularity, it’s now leaning on the faddy side, as the wine is the base for cocktails and frozen concoctions. Does Frosé ring a bell? Or, some rosé drinkers look at the wine as a light, simple swill to quaff all day long. But the truth is, a great bottle of rosé can be so much more.
Standout Provence Rosés
Rosés from Provence, France–-the oldest wine-producing region in the country––are some of the most widely known and often a number one choice for rosé enthusiasts. And there’s plenty of Provence rosé to go around. In fact, about 90% of the region’s wine production is dedicated to rosé, and about 4% of the world’s rosé hails from Provence.
Though I’ve yet to drink a “bad” Provence rosé, certainly some are mundane and others are extraordinary. Domaines Ott rosés are some of those exceptional wines. There’s a clarity and elegance to these wines that separate them from the bunch.
With delicious courses of lobster and Dover sole, I tasted 2021 Domaines Ott, Château de Selle, Rosé, Côtes de Provence; 2021 Domaines Ott, Clos Mireille, Rosé, Côtes de Provence; and 2021 Domaines Ott, Château Romassan, Rosé, Bandol. All excellent.
Of the Rosés I Tasted, Domaines Ott Étoile Was the Most Extraordinary
But the most extraordinary of the four rosés was Étoile 2020, the wine’s second vintage (the inaugural vintage was 2019). Combing the best fruit from these three estates––Château de Selle, Clos Mireille, and Château Romassan, creates the exceptional bottling of Étoile, which translates to “star.”
This luscious wine–a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre–– begins with grapefruit and vanilla on the nose, followed by a zing of citrus and exotic fruit. After a sip, wild peach, raspberry, and mimosa emerge on the palate, before the wine rounds out, becoming fuller in the mouth with nuances of mango and passion fruit and a lingering, peppery finish. Delightful.
Changing the Perception of Rosé
Any wine as beautiful as Domaines Ott Étoile has a great vintner behind it. Jean-Francois Ott, the domaine’s fourth generation winemaker, is striving to change the perception of rosé wines, proving this casual, pink drink that’s become wildly popular, can have complexity, depth, and be cellared alongside the finest reds.
Sure, there’s a time and place for that $15 bottle that you find yourself buying in quantity for your next casual get-together. But there’s also a place for a luxury bottle of rosé, one meant to be swirled, sipped, savored, and even saved for that special occasion years down the road.
The 2021 vintage of Étoile has been released. For more info, visit Domaines Ott.
Étoile bottle photos courtesy of Domaines Ott. Wine in glasses photo by me.