The Rosé of the Summer Has Arrived

Heidi Noble's Chic Fille is a game changing take on pink wine.

June 18, 2019

By Neal McLennan / Photo: JoieFarm

Chic Fille Pinot Noir Rosé 2018 $30

I like almost all rosé, in the same way I like almost all pizza. To be fair, I haven’t tried the white zin spectrum of Californian plonk in ages and I also stay away from that “Bottled in B.C.” crapola, but I did weirdly enjoy this $9 oddball from Chile. And like pizza it takes something special to break from the pack.

This wine is something special.

You’ll probably recognize Heidi Noble’s name from her JoieFarm Winery where she’s done more than any other Canadian vintner to popularize rosé with her wildly successful Re-Think Pink rosé (still a go to). But Chic Fille is her offshoot—an ultra low-production label whose eonological raison d’etre is to push boundaries. Last year she made a rosé with Pinot Meunier (see the lead pic above) and it was a bit of a sledgehammer: bone-dry with waves of savoury and unsweetened rhubarb notes, it was a rosé that had the structure to stand up to a striploin without breaking a sweat.

This year she’s gone with 100% Pinot Noir and while there’s still more savouriness than in most rosés, this time it’s joined by a fresh, juicy blast of fresh picked strawberries (the little ones, not the Costco ones), raspberries and just a touch of Valencia orange pith. It’s a wine that straddles the rosé genre: on the one hand it has the elegance and acid of something pricey from Provence and the other it offers the deep hues and ample fruit of the new world. It’s damn near perfect.

And did I mention it’s “natural” wine? I’m loathe to use that term (Chic Fille doesn’t brand it as such) because it’s become so polarizing. But if the non-interventionist techniques of spontaneous fermentation, lack of fining or filtering and minimal sulphur addition made this wine as excellent as it is, then it needs to be noted. Because when they were employed by Heidi with these grapes, they result in rosé with few peers.

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