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Rosé season has finally arrived, with many of our favorites showing up early this year, most notably the superb Chinon from Bernard and Matthieu Baudry. 2018 is a great vintage in the Loire with most wines showing a bit of extra ripeness while retaining the freshness and good acidity typical of Loire rosés. And put a few away for next year as the Baudry rosé drinks beautifully for two or three years, as do the Provençal wines from our biodynamic friends at Les Fouques. Smart shoppers will stock up on their lovely 2017 Cuvée La Londe while they last...
Lovers of Pinot Noir will enjoy the racy "Rosé Authentique" from Thomas-Labaille in Sancerre as well as the excellent value Burgundy from Domaine Collotte in Marsannay, a village renowned for rosé. And two perennial favorites from Provence have popped up early, the light and lovely "Pomponnette" from Domaine Sulauze and the Mas de Gourgonnier from les Baux. If you're grilling some tuna, or even pork or lamb, be sure to try the Château de Manissy Tavel - this organic estate produces great value Rhône wines including the delicious, full-bodied rosé "Cuvée des Lys."
Looks like a rainy weekend in NY, a bit too soon for a trip to the beach, but it's never too soon to drink good rosé, which pairs so well with many of our favorite foods. And the warm weather will be here soon enough...
This is a consistently lovely Provençal rosé from a long-time organic estate near Les Baux. (www.gourgonnier.com) Perhaps a bit more color and density than in 2017, the 2018 has lovely peach, red fruit and blood orange aromas, the palate is full and supple with citrusy red fruits that carry through on the long finish. Really a refreshing and balanced wine with surprising depth, this will be quite versatile at the table all summer, and lovely to sip by itself.
Keeping up with demand for Espelt rosé is a full-time job! Certified organic from a family winery in Emporda, Catalonia, this bone-dry, buoyant, and refreshing rosé of 100% Garnacha continues to wow us with its value and deliciousness. Notes of crushed stone and wild flowers on the nose lead to a tangy palate of citrus zest, blood orange, crushed berries, and sea spray. A delicious accompaniment for squid and tuna.
A perennial favorite is back! This is a classic Provençal rosé made from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Rolle, and Mourvedre. Very pale pink color with aromas of peach, orange blossom, strawberry, and hints of cucumber. The wine is dry and mineral-driven on the palate with delicate peach skin and sweet spice. It’s fresh, delicious, and a fantastic value! (Note: Not much remains of our allocation for this year, don't delay!)
The Baudry 2018 Chinon Rosé is an early arrival this year as the wine finished its fermentation much more quickly than last year, ending up at 2 grams RS/liter and 13.6% alcohol - a bit riper and more viscous than the 2017. This year's blend was 50% from clay/silex soils and 50% from gravel soils, as in "les Grézeaux." As always this is one of the most elegant and delicious of all French rosés, a reflection of the superb organic vineyard work and the great terroir possesed by the Baudrys as well as their great talent in vinifications with minimal or zero added SO2. The 2018 Rosé is riper and fuller-bodied than the 2017, with gorgeous raspberry, strawberry and peach fruit backed by stone and mineral flavors and juicy acidity. Delicious now, this will drink beautifully over the next few years.
This large organic estate in Chinon produces a light and lovely rosé from Cabernet Franc vines grown on gravel and sandy soils in the "Rive Gauche" and "La Vienne" parcels. The 2018 shows a pale pink/salmon color and bright, slightly spicy and floral raspberry/strawberry aromas. The palate is very crisp and dry, but a bit riper and fuller than the lean 2017, with raspberry, melon and citrus peel flavors. Showing nice ripeness this year but it's very light and refreshing and goes down easy - perfect for a hot summer day, and it's a great value!
The Thomas-Labaille Rosé "Authentique" is from Pinot Noir grown on the limestone hills of Chavignol. Lovely very pale pink color, pretty aromas of red raspberry, tart strawberry, citrus and melon with a bit of extra depth and ripeness due to the warm sunny conditions in the 2018 growing season. The palate is very crisp and fresh with candied red fruits, citrus and stony acids that continue in the juicy and very mineral finish. This is one of the raciest rosés you can find, very elegant and refreshing - serve quite cool on a hot day with anything grilled, or just sip and enjoy....
This delicious Pinot Noir rosé is made from 30 to 60 year-old vines on classic clay/limestone soils in Marsannay. With a floral and deeply red-fruited nose, the 2018 Domaine Collotte Marsannay rosé is exuberant, verging on effusive. Wild cherry and rose petals give way to a cool citrus peel aromas. Somewhat rich, the racy, medium weight palate shows hints of cherry, herbs, and a hint of mineral funk. It's long and savory with a pleasing hint of cherry pit on the lively finish. This should be wonderful on warm summer evenings with a variety of lighter dishes.
This is a forward and fruity yet dry rosé from our friend Jean-Marie Rimbert in Saint-Chinian. The cépage is primarily Cinsault with some Syrah. Organically farmed and fermented with native yeast, the wine offers red berry notes on the nose and juicy, cranberry and cherry notes on the palate. There's also a pleasant hint of Languedoc funk and earth. A great wine for a barbecue, and a fantastic value!
Tavel, the warm, Grenache-based rosé famously espoused by AJ Liebling, is perhaps more suited for the table than a light quaff on the patio. A darker pink than your typical salmon-hued wines of Southern France with a palate to match, Tavel, if you'll forgive the idea, is a more "serious" rosé. The organically farmed Manissy 'Cuvée des Lys' is dark-fruited with ripe plum and garrigue on the nose, with the spicy warmth of sun-kissed Grenache on the medium-bodied palate followed by a hint of pleasing tannic bitterness on the finish. Served cool, this savory richness makes it a rosé especially suited for grilled meats, big flavors like tapenade, and sheep's milk cheeses on a late summer night.
(Was $16.99) Domaine les Fouques has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for over 20 years, and also raises sheep, ducks, chickens and guinea-hens on their old-fashioned mixed-use farm. La Londe is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle. Unlike the majority of Provençal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. The 2017 is a beautiful wine, lighter and brighter than the 2016 in style. The wine shows a lovely pale pink/salmon color with elegant aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, peach and rose with hints of spice. The palate shows creamy raspberry, peach and red currant fruit with citrus peel and mineral flavors. The finish is long and refreshing with berry fruits, citrus and firm acidity, just lovely. This wine will gain complexity over the next six months and will drink beautifully through 2019. Highly recommended and a great value! David Lillie
This wine comes from the Luchsinger Vineyard in the Clear Lake AVA in Lake County. Though considerably less well-known, Lake County is the fourth of the counties that make up the North Coast wine country. It is located to the east of Mendocino and Sonoma and directly north of Napa. The main feature of this area is Clear Lake, the largest natural lake wholly located within California, and the oldest freshwater lake in the nation. The lake, at 1,300 feet, is at quite a high altitude, making for cold nights. A blend of 80% Touriga Nacional and 20% Tinta Cão, a less famous grape from the Douro. Whole-cluster, foot-trod, and kept on the skins for 24 hours, this is a beautiful, bright, classic rosé with finely-grained tannins and a nice spicy bite disguising a nice earthy chassis beneath. Andrew Farquhar