Hard to believe, but there was a time when Burgundians had to make an actual effort to sell their wines. Unlike today, when clients come begging for drops, vignerons of a century ago often had to go door to door and pitch their goods on the cheap. One such vigneron in Marsannay, just after the First World War, had the novel idea to make rosé. No one was doing it, no one wanted to buy his rouge when they could go to Gevrey-Chambertin down the street, and he figured Pinot Noir had the potential for aromatic and delicate rosé, so off he went and the village soon followed his lead. Before long, it was the beverage of choice for movers and shakers, and all wanted to be seen en terrasse in Dijon sipping Marsannay rosé. Given that this happened long before social media, it took a while for the trend to spread, but spread it did and continues to do so. Now exported around the world, Marsannay rosé is recognized not as a novelty but as a serious wine built for the table. Ice cubes need not apply. Think of it as a pale, delicious Burgundy. Remember, all the great Burgundies of yore were once pale, as revealed in texts from the eighteenth century that sing the praises of Romanée-Conti’s clear, pink hue. It’s not the color, it’s the content that counts!
For years, Yves Leccia made rosé almost as an afterthought: just a small cuvée he’d sell to a few local clients in season and that was that. Kermit would come by each year to taste the rouge and the blanc, and Yves wouldn’t even think to pour him the pink stuff. Then a few years ago, something clicked. Yves put some serious focus on his rosé, and each year it reaches a whole ’nother level. Last year with the 2016 I thought, “WOW!” at first sniff. Now, pouring a glass of the freshly bottled 2017, all I can think to myself is “HOLY S!*T”!!!” It really is that good. This serious, vinous, bled-off-the-tank rosé is to be swirled and sniffed to prolong the pleasure.