Perhaps the oldest, if not the most famous rosé wine style comes from Bordeaux. Clairet, a term originally associated with the weak-colored, red wine, comprising of a combination of red and white grapes, made famous in the Middle Ages, following the wedding of Eleanor d ‘Aquitaine and Henry, a future English king. Bordeaux red wine is very different these days whereas the clairet style continues to be produced, albeit in ever-smaller quantities.
Today the deeper color is due to the longer maceration time on skins for varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (up to 36 hours), resulting in slightly tannic wines with a potential to age of up to 3 years. Even renowned, classified growth estates have been known to produce small amounts of this style but often the result is served to baffle guests over chateaux dinners or quench a picker’s thirst during a harvester’s lunch.