The third Concours Mondial de Bruxelles rosé wine session has just launched at Domaine de Manse, on the outskirts of Montpellier. Fifty-five judges will be given the opportunity to discover the region’s incredible variety of wines through an impressive line-up of events including tastings, conferences, tours and meetings with industry members.
Over three days, more than 50 judges, including journalists, winemakers, buyers and educators from four continents representing 20 nationalities, will be assessing nearly 1,200 rosé wines. Judging this style in the heart of Pays d’Oc is no accident – the IGP Pays d’Oc endorsement accounts for 28% of total rosé wine production in France and is the category leader. The numbers are staggering – since the IGP Pays d’Oc trust mark was established in 1987, rosé has been an integral part of its surge in capacity with volumes rising by 32% in 10 years, and an astounding 342% in 20 years.
Pays d’Oc, the leading quality French rosé
In France’s foremost geographical indication, between 1.6 and 1.7 million hectolitres of rosé have been produced on average over the past few years, with a potential in the range of 215 million bottles. The development of rosé has been fuelled primarily by the switch-over of grape varieties traditionally fermented as red to pink wines. This has allowed the endorsement to keep in step with changing consumer patterns and booming sales of rosé wine in France and a number of export markets. Jacques Gravegeal, chairman of the IGP Pays d’Oc producers’ organisation expounds further: “The endorsement’s main strength is the variety of wines and clearly understandable range of grape varieties it offers consumers. The array of vineyard sites, weather patterns, companies, philosophies, skills and aromatic expression of the different grape varieties paves the way for endless combinations. Eight grape varieties – Grenache Noir, Cinsault, Syrah, Merlot, Grenache Gris, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon account for the lion’s share of our selection of rosés”. Varietal wines are at the core of the endorsement’s identity and its specifications provide for use of 58 different grapes, 18 of them for rosé wines. A total 92% share of IGP Pays d’Oc production is marketed as single varietals, meaning that they come from just one grape variety.
Facts & figures about the rosé session
This year’s rosé session is understandably dominated by the host region, with nearly 15% of entries from Languedoc-Roussillon, the majority of them labelled IGP Pays d’Oc. The neighbouring region of Provence is also very well represented with nearly 10% of entries. Internationally, the Italian regions of Puglia and Abruzzo rank highest for the number of entries, along with Portugal’s Alentejo and Spain’s Castilla y Léon. As is customary, this session of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles offers the promise of tastings spanning multiple international wine regions and styles.
About the competition
The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is an international competition with over 10,000 wines entered by producers to be tasted and judged by a panel of experts. Our experienced judges taste the wines in the competition with one guiding principle, and that is to single out wines of irreproachable quality, with no bias stemming from the label or an appellation’s prestige. The Concours is one of the most significant international events of its kind.