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As New York struggles to control the coronavirus and care for the sick, and as the state and city develop guidelines for our lives going forward while cases diminish, we respectfully offer our yearly articles announcing the arrival of the first rosés of 2020 (vingtvingt). We hope these symbols of spring and summer will bring a bit of pleasure into our sequested lives, while we anticipate a return to a more social lifestyle and the eventual safe enjoyment of a glass of wine with friends and family. And of course we offer our thanks to the heroic work of our ambulance, ER, hospital and clinic staffs, and to those delivering our food and operating essential businesses through these perilous times...
Please Note: Wine arrivals will be delayed until Tuesday, May 12 due to staffing issues, please allow 3 - 5 additional days for processing and local delivery.
2018 and 2019 in most regions of France brought warm temperatures and dry conditions producing wines with excellent ripeness and depth which happily also possess a good level of freshness as well. Rosés from both vintages show a lovely roundness and richness of fruit while retaining enough crisp acidity to make them lively and refreshing. We offer the first arrivals from 2019 and some of our favorite 2018s which are drinking beautifully. All wines on offer today are produced with organic or Biodynamic farming and are fermented with wild yeasts - major quality factors in making a subtle, food-friendly, Real Rosé!
Note: The superb Chinon Rosé from Matthieu and Bernard Baudry will be arriving in a few weeks. Those wishing an allocation should email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to make sure that everyone gets some. $23.99 (discountable!)
The Olga Raffault Chinon rosé has gotten better and better over the past few years, perhaps it's their move to organic farming and the fine work of Sylvie Raffault and her husband Eric de la Vigerie. 100% Cabernet Franc, 10-hour maceration and slow wild-yeast fermentation. The 2019 is a carbon copy of the lovely 2018 - round and ripe and simply delicious, quite crisp and refreshing showing lovely bright pink color, hints of raspberry and strawberry fruit, ripe but dry and balanced on the palate with a bit of peach and red berries in the finish with bright saline acidity. "Particulièrement gouleyant" it says on the label and we couldn't agree more! (PS - Those who enjoy the Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé will love the Olga Raffault as well)
Benoit Blet of Domaine des Terres Blanches, near Chinon, has created another subtle and delicious rosé in 2019, from organic Gamay grown on a unique terroir of sandstone. It's a "direct-press" rosé, fermented slowly with wild yeasts, showing delicate, complex aromas of raspberry and strawberry, with orange peel, stone and spice. The palate is bone dry with earth and stone flavors underlying lovely raspberry and cranberry fruit, with hints of peach and rose as it opens. The finish is silky and refreshing and quite long with berry fruits and mineral flavors. Lovers of the Baudry rosé will appreciate this delicate and delicious wine. "Accompagne les crudités, les viandes blanches et les charcuteries, ou tout simplement pour le plaisir de partager un verre entre amis" says Benoit - Serve with crudités, white meats and charcuterie or very simply for the pleasure of sharing a glass with friends." David Lillie
The wines of Denis Jamain at the Domaine de Reuilly are getting better and better - his 2019 Rosé of Pinot Gris is from vines in organic and biodynamic farming, fermented with wild yeasts. Tasted with Denis in Angers last February, the wine showed beautifully - the color is a lovely pale onion skin, the aromas are floral and pretty with gooseberry, peach, dried apricot and citrus peel, really lovely. Light berry, peach, green tea and stone flavors on the palate are dense and creamy but framed in firm acidity. With good ripeness, but subtle and balanced, this unique rosé will accompany a wide variety of foods, from oysters with vinaigrette, fish, grilled pork and chicken and Asian foods, and it's lovely to sip by itself! David Lillie
The Creve Coeur "Coucou" is a beautiful direct-press rosé made with old vines of 60% Grenache and 40% Cinsault. The 2019 shows a very pale onion skin color with floral aromas of raspberry, peach, citrus and stone. The palate is very light, silky and elegant with subtle raspberry fruit with hints of melon and earth, finishing with nice length of mineral flavors and refreshing acidity. This is a very lovely wine at a great price! David Lillie
Domaine de Sulauze was purchased by an ambitious wife and husband team who converted all of the farming first to organic and then to biodynamics, and endeavor to use as little sulfur as possible while maintaining clean, classic wines. The name of the Domaine comes from the flaky limestone soil, aka Lauze, of their vineyards which give the vines excellent drainage. This year's rosé is a blend of 60% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Vermentino, 15% Cinsault, and 5% Mourvèdre. Upon opening this wine is lean and racy with notes of crunchy green strawberry, watermelon, and ranier cherries, and after coming up in temperature develops riper notes of orange oil, juicy strawberry, and a bit of salty minerality. A lively, refreshing rosé from the Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence and a perennial favorite! Michelle DeWyngaert
We've always loved Eric's rather full-bodied rosé, made from Grenache, Carignan and Syrah, but this year he decided to make a lighter, fresher wine from Grenache Gris and Carignan and it's really delicious! it shows a pretty, pale pink color with subtle aromas of rose and raspberry. The palate is fresh, light and round with lovely red and yellow fruit flavors, quite crisp and long. This is a complex, refreshing and delicious rosé and a sensational value! David Lillie
(Tasted in December 2019, this beautiful wine still shows firm acidity and is opening and softening slowly - peak drinking summer of 2020 and beyond.) The 2018 Bourgueils of Stéphane Guion, tasted in early February 2019, are just extraordinary, with an extra layer of vibrant fruit, beginning with this gorgeous rosé. 50 years of organic farming and great traditional winemaking give this refreshing wine its perfect balance with beautiful fruit and great earthy expression of the limestone/clay terroir. The wine shows lush strawberry/raspberry aromas with citrus, rose and earth. Raspberry, blood orange, melon and earthy flavors on the ripe but dry palate which is framed in firm acidity and saline minerals. This is a real rosé of terroir, and for lovers of Cabernet Franc it's one of the greatest values around - drinking beautifully now and through 2020, with burgers, roast chicken, grilled pork and charcuterie. David Lillie
Sébastien Cornille at the Domaine de la Roche Bleue in Jasnières has made a sensational rosé from Pineau D'Aunis in 2018, with perhaps some Cabernet Franc and Gamay. The wine shows a lovely pale pink/orange color with subtle aromas of raspberry and wild strawberry, quite floral, citrusy and fresh. The palate is refreshing with saline acidity underlying elegant berry fruit with blood orange and minerals - it's perfectly balanced, silky and supple, with thirst-quenching length - sip happily as an aperitif or serve with salads and any light summer foods. Yum! David Lillie
Rose à Lies is a beautiful Petillant Naturel Rosé from Lise and Bertrand Jousset in Montlouis-sur-Loire. Made from 40 year-old organic Gamay and Grolleau vines grown on sand and silex soils over limestone. Fermented in used barriques, the wine is bottled at 15 grams of sugar and finishes at less than 5 grams. The wine has toasty aromas of red currant and raspberry with creamy red fruits on the palate balanced with bracing acidity. The finish is clean, refreshing and long - a perfect Pet Nat for any special or everyday occasion!
The Charvin Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé comes from a 1.5 hectare parcel planted to mostly Grenache and Cinsault. The grapes are grown organically and fermented with indigenous yeasts. The vines are planted on sandy soils with clay and galets roulés (the famous round rocks covering the soil of Chateauneuf-du-Pape) and are an average age of 40 years. The 2019 exhibits notes of strawberries and cream, raspberry and ripe peach. The fruit is balanced and bright with lovely purity, a lingering mineral quality and steely texture. A perfect pairing for summer salads and days by the pool, yet I also wouldn't hesitate having this with some heartier fare: a tuna burger comes to mind.
The grapes for the Chateau de Manissy "Belle Etoile" originate from organically certified vineyards owned by wine-maker Florian André's mother. Covering an area of 1.5ha, this site is bathed by the sun and swept by the mistral on a flat plain that is rich in limestone with a clay subsoil. Entirely hand-harvested grapes, 50% Cinsault and 50% Grenache, that have a cold maceration before being pressed. Low temperature fermentation with indigenous yeasts, aged in stainless steel tank. The high percentage of Cinsault brings freshness and delicacy to the wine, with hints of raspberry and stone fruits that linger on the balanced, refreshing palate. Great by itself or served with salads, goat cheeses and light summer meals.
This is a beautiful Gigondas Rosé from our organic friends at Clos du Joncuas. Pretty bright pink/orange color, aromas of raspberry, tart cherry, blood orange, peach skin and rose. Full palate with silky raspberry, peach, citrus and mineral flavors and firm acidity, beatifully balanced and refreshing. Long finish with tart cherry, peach, earth, and citrusy acids. A bit riper and more expressive than the 2017, and still young – it should open up nicely over the next two years. It's elegant and delicious now and very food-friendly – serve with grilled fish and white meats, salade nicoise, vegetarian dishes and Provençal foods. A great rosé to enjoy all year-round!
A fresh, delightful Côtes de Provence Rosé with a blend of 46% Cinsault, 27% Grenache, 11% Mourvedre, 9% Rolle, 7% Syrah. What makes La Bernarde unique is the high altitude of their vineyards at ~1150ft which makes for much cooler temperatures leading to a later harvest than most in the region. The grapes are direct-pressed and then fermented and aged in stainless steel to maintain those vibrant fruit aromas.
We love rosés from Cassis - a great location and terroir for wine despite the chic little town and hordes of tourists. The 2019 Domaine du Bagnol has just arrived, here's an assessment from importer Neal Rosenthal: "The dynamic Sébastien Genovesi describes 2019 as a beautiful harvest, one for which a sorting table was virtually unnecessary, and his family’s domaine produced 15% more wine than in the similarly warm and dry 2018. Domaine du Bagnol’s rigorous vineyard practices (organic-certified since 2014) and careful, precise cellar work have resulted in wines of increased harmony and complexity with each passing year, and this vintage of their Cassis Rosé represents a new pinnacle for a justly beloved cuvée. Comprising 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 20% Mourvèdre, the rose-petal-colored 2019 was pressed directly and rapidly (in under two hours) to extract as little color as possible, and the bottled wine contains only 20 milligrams per liter of total sulfur—a factor which contributes to its gorgeous purity of texture and precise, intense evocation of limestone soil. "
A reserved Bandol rosé, primarily Mourvèdre with Cinsault and Grenache. The Mourvedre is pressed and run off directly, the Cinsault and Grenache undergo 24 hours of skin contact. Certified organic grapes from the Bronzo family vineyard in Le Castellet. The 2019 has a coppery, salmon-colored robe. The nose, a bit more forward than usual, offers an array of stone fruit and savoy herb notes, with garrigue and ripe peach aromas vying for attention with time in the decanter. The palate offers peach skin, orange oil, and earthy flavors leading to a long, persistent, sapid finish. This is newly arrived and should take a month or two to unwind. Better with a decant or a day open.
Outre-rouge is the new name for the Chante-Coucou rosé cuvée (Chante-Coucou is one of Elian's flagship cuvées, historically available in 3 colors). Elian does not like insipid rosés but loves those of L’Anglore (Eric Pfifferling is a close friend) or Olivier Jullien. So he made his rosé with these references in mind… As a result, this cuvée was often denied the AOC because it had too much color and gas. Never mind, in 2011, the cuvée became a red claret, and got even more inspired by the crisp and slightly frizzy Italian reds like the Grignolino Elian enjoys so much. The name, found by a blogger friend, is a tribute to Pierre Soulages - the painter called his exploration of the black color “outrenoir” - in the same way Elian looked for and created his red. Thanks to a common friend, he asked Soulages to use the neologism “Outre Rouge” : the artist gladly agreed, and got the first case of the newly named cuvée. Predominantly made from younger, early or vigorous vines of Abouriou, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah, the musts are worked 3 ways (direct press, semi-carbonic and saignée). They are then aged 18 months in large casks, blended and bottled with a little lees to allow a light frizzante in bottle. 2017 is an open, delicious and delicate vintage: the notes of wild strawberries and licorice typical of the Abouriou dominate (its local nickname is “early Gamay” even if it has nothing to do with the Gamay grape). The other grape varieties discreetly bring acidity and crunchy tannins. It is a serious wine and a wine of pure pleasure, which is a rare combination! Perfect slightly chilled, serve it with spring salads, rock fish and fresh goat cheese. Drink it over the next 3 years. 85% Abouriou, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Syrah. Pascaline Lepeltier.