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Expert's Opinion : Wine Alley deciphers the SAQ catalogue of rosés wines

Par Vitisphere Le 25 mai 2009
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Expert's Opinion : Wine Alley deciphers the SAQ catalogue of rosés wines

The Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ) launched the rosé season in April. Rosé wines represent over 20% of wine consumed in Quebec. However, their popularity remains seasonal, with unpretentious wines to be drunk cold, at 10 ° C or less, on the terrace or around the barbecue. These are far from the gastronomy rosés that are so trendy in Europe. With SAQ's 2009 catalog of rosés, we discover the slogan "débouchez et décantez sur la terrasse", which, roughly translated into English is "uncork and decant on the terrasse". The slogan combines the simplicity of the terrace and the sophistication of the decanter. So, is SAQ on its way to convincing its customers that the rosé is a wine in its own right? Browsing through the catalog it would seem so.

A vast choice of references :
Eleven of the nineteen rosés of the SAQ are French, four of which are from the French AOC Côtes de Provence. One might fear a single selection, instead one welcomes the presence in force of other rosés from the South of France (Saint Chinian, VdP des Cévennes, Côtes du Brulhois in the South West). Furthermore, we are delighted for Quebecers, who also have the possibility to discover trendy pinks from elsewhere in Europe (the Bobal-based Spanish rosé, the Italian pink Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and the Tuscan rosé of Carpinetto). What is surprising, however, is the notable absence of rosé de Loire. The Loire wine-region is the third in France in terms of AOC, however, it exports relatively little. Nevertheless, perhaps this area's rosés could be included.

A wide range of prices:
From $ 9.95 to 20, there's something for every wallet and French rosés are not the most expensive, Californians often pawn on the price, which isn't bad, in times of crisis.

The rosés, decidedly a matter of style:
The New World rosés are made with colour and a sweet nature (eg rosés made of Cabernet Sauvignon by Santa Rita in Chile or White Zinfandel by Gallo, both delivered a raspberry colour, including residual sugar). Critic Nick Hamilton's advice to "amateurs of the discreet, French-style rosés, don't go there!"

Marks, trademarks and more brands
Listel, Cellier des Dauphins (Rock'n'Rhone), Ernest & Julio Gallo, Santa Rita, Yellow Tail ... major brands are there, demonstrating their superiority over small producers to talk to organisations on the scale of the SAQ. Proof also, that the SAQ research these acknowledged references, as is expected by its customers. However, there are also wines from smaller estates in the catalog. A proof also, that everything is possible, particularly the posibility of developing with a partner like the SAQ (one remembers the words of Ghislain K. Laflamme, its former president : "The strategy of the SAQ (Société des alcools du Québec) is to provide a good example for those who wish to develop their rosé sales in Quebec. It is in contact with the customer, being present at fairs, exhibitions, events ... for them to discover and enjoy its offerings. It also develops partnerships with the producers it represents asking them to come on site to meet consumers. ").

The catalog of the SAQ (available on

Hoya de Cadenas Bobal Utiel-Requena Rosé 2008
$ 12.85

Bouquet Billette de Provence Côtes de Provence Rosé
$ 11.85

Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Rita Maipo Valley Rosé 2008
$ 12.45

Carpineto i.g.t. Toscana Rosé 2008
$ 15.85

Carrelot Lovers of rosé Côtes du Brulhois 2008
$ 12.95

Château Bellevue La Forêt rosé Côtes du Frontonnais 2007
$ 14.45

Castle Nages Wine tasting rosé 2008
$ 14.45

Col de l'Orb Saint-Chinian Rosé 2008
$ 13.50

Domaine de Gournier vin de pays de Cévennes rosé 2008
$ 11.60

Jackson-Triggs Proprietors' Selection Rosé Ontario
$ 9.95

Grain Listel Gris Gris wine country Sables du Golfe du Lio
$ 10.80

Majolica Rose Cerasuolo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008
$ 15.00

Petal Rose Côtes de Provence Rosé 2008
$ 17.40

Rock N 'Rhone Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2007
$ 13.80

Roseline Prestige Côtes de Provence Rosé 2008
$ 15.70

Vieux Château d'Astros Rosé Côtes de Provence 2008
$ 16.00

Vin Gris de Cigare California Rosé 2008
$ 20.00

White Zinfandel Ernest & Julio Gallo Sierra Valley Rosé 2008
$ 18.95

Yellow Tail South Eastern Australia 2008 Rosé
$ 12.65

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