Rose is one of the glories of French winemaking, even though it's overshadowed by red Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. The best French roses, which usually come from in and around Provence, are subtle, complex wines that have about as much in common with the American concept of pink wine as the Wine Curmudgeon has in common with $100 wine. Any rose that has Tavel on the label is well worth sampling, even at some of the prices you'll find.
So what does that have to do with the Becker Vineyard 2009 Provençal Dry Rose (about $10, purchased)? It's a mostly successful attempt by one of Texas' leading wineries to make a Provencal-style rose without being in Provence. The grapes, in fact, come from Mason, about 40 miles north of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country.
This is no easy feat, but no less than Russ Kane, perhaps the most knowledgeable Texas wine writer, sings its praises. Russ, in fact (shameless plug alert!), will appear at our Texas wine talks at this year's State Fair.
What does Provencal-style mean? Very dry, low in alcohol, and with less fruit than New World roses. Don't expect to find the big dollop of strawberry or watermelon that the latter have. Instead, these wines have much less intense red fruit. Drink this with any fall harvest kind of meal or while you are football tailgating. And don't worry about drinking rose if it isn't summer; this is the kind of wine that you can enjoy all year round. Availability is limited outside of Texas, but you can order it from the winery.