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We're happy to announce that our favorite Provençal rosés have finally arrived - the soulful Biodynamic wines of Domaine les Fouques - and they're fantastic values as well! Located in a lovely hidden valley a few miles north of the Mediterranean, the Vallons des Borrels, the estate's vines are on hillsides below wild-boar infested forests - a diverse and wild environment. The vineyard shares the farm with pens of biodynamic birds - ducks, geese and guinea hens that fertilize the vines with a little help from a flock of sheep. Yves is now joined by his daugter Christelle and son-in-law Jacques Rapée, who brings his nearby parcels, also in biodynamic farming, as well as his great energy and enthusiasm, to the estate. Les Fouques is truly a special place, and the wines, far from the normal commercial productions of Provence, are a complex and beautiful reflection of their origins.
We're including a few new arrivals and favorites, notably: the lovely Charvin Côtes-du-Rhône - Laurent Charvin produces one of the very best Châteauneuf-du-Papes and his CDR Rosé is really delightful, quite light, very elegant and pretty; the delicious Sulauze Pomponnette is almost gone - only 6 more cases for the vintage so don't delay; we really love this year's Chinon Rosé from Olga Raffault, very much in the style of Bernard Baudry, really "gouleyant," and the delicious Jurtschitsch 2018 "Belle Naturelle" is flying off the shelf! Just arrived this week are the Christophe Hoch Kremstal Rosé, the Jochen Beurer Wurttemberg Rosé and the Koehler-Ruprecht Pfalz Pinot Noir Rosé - lots of great "real" rosés to choose from - why not try them all!
Tuesday evening beginning at 6pm, David Lillie will be at Racines pouring seven (maybe eight) fascinating rosés: 2010 Clos Cibonne; 2011 Mas Julien; 2018 Bernard Baudry; 2018 Les Fouques "La Londe;" 2018 Jurtschitsch "Belle Naturelle;" 2018 Albamar "Albino and the 2018 Bonavita "Terre Siciliane." Seven half-pours $40, to reserve call 212-227-3400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
"L'Aubigue" is a generously round and fruit-driven rosé made from Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Vermentino grown on soils of clay and schist near Hyères in Provence. Yves Gros and his family have been practicing Biodynamic agriculture at the domaine since 1991, and this meticulous care for their soils shows in the exquisite mineral depth of this cuvée. The 2018 is a beautiful salmon color and offers complex aromas of peach skins, wild flowers, brown spice, and grapefruit pith. The palate is supple with a dense mineral core. Flavors of peach, strawberry, and nectarine coalesce over cool herbal notes akin to licorice. The finish is suave and awash with citrus and stone, hinting at a nascent complexity that should reveal itself after a few years of cellaring. Another fantastic vintage that we will happily sip alongside salads, mild cheeses, and ceviche this summer! Amanda Bowman
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. The La Londe "Cuvee L'Estelle" 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 2018 is a subtle and beautiful wine showing a very pale pink color and aromas of peach skin, orange peel, rose, earth and raspberry. The palate is elegant and silky with stone and saline mineral flavors beneath peach, wild strawberry, brown spice and citrus peel. The finish is refeshing and long with nice density. This is a lovely rosé of terroir that will drink beautifully over the next three years. Serve with grilled fish, pork and chicken, salade Niçoise, or just sip by itself. David Lillie
From Michéle and Yves Gros at Domaine Les Fouques, this is the new Pétillant Rosé! Pale hued, perfumed and floral on the nose, with peaches and stone fruit on the palate. Méthode Traditionelle, Extra Brut, with great acidity and a refreshing chalky finish. Eben Lillie
Primarily Grenache, with Syrah, Cinsault and Cabernet, this biodynamic red from Provence shows deep plum and blackberry fruit aromas with earth, citrus and Provençal herbs. The palate is ripe and supple with dense black fruits, prune and brown spice lifted by bright acidity. Serve with grilled meats and stews, a daube niçoise perhaps, and full-flavored cheeses. Great value!
The Cuvée Aubigue Blanc from Les Fouques is made from 80% Rolle (Vermentino) with 10% Clairette and 10% Ugni Blanc. It's a delicious, full-flavored Provençal white with complex aromas of apple and pear liqueur and hints of dried flowers, almond and herbs. The palate is round and ripe with white fruits, candied citrus and dense mineral and stone flavors with good acidity. A great aperitf or accompaniment to full-flavored fish dishes and asian foods. Certified biodynamic (Demeter), wild-yeast fermentation.
The Olga Raffault Chinon rosé has gotten better and better over the past few years, perhaps it's their move towards 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 2018 is 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!
A 1.5 ha parcel of about 50% Grenache, 50% Cinsault, sometimes with some Bourboulenc and Mourvèdre that averages just 35hL/ha annually. Organically farmed and entirely harvested by hand with sorting done in the vineyard. The 2018 rosé shows a pale pink color and lovely aromas of raspberry, wild strawberry, rose and peach skin. The palate is silky and mineral with subtle raspberry and cherry fruit with stone and citrus flavors, quite long and elegant and finishing with refreshing acidity. This should open up nicely over the next few months and will be a great companion to seafood, chicken and grilled meats this summer. Lovely wine!
"100% Mourvèdre, from the highest altitude and oldest vines of the estate; 50+ year old vines; indigenous yeasts; Fermented and aged in 50% 3000 L Stockinger oak barrels and 50% terracotta amphorae; Aged for 1 year before release; This is a rare, small production “Grand Rosé” from the highest altitude vineyards in all of Bandol. A complex and serious rosé that will age gracefully for decades." The wine shows a very pale pink/onion-skin color with intriguing aromas of peach, red currant, earth, citrus and stone. The palate is dense and very mineral with hints of stone fruits, red currant, brown spice and citrus, quite complex and elegant. This will benefit from long decanting or a few years in the cellar.
50% Cot and 50% Grolleau, organically farmed in Vouvray by Julien and François Pinon. This is an elegant and very delicious Pet Nat that will accompany just about anything and is delightful as an aperitif by itself. The aromas are quite pretty with ripe raspberry, strawberry and red currant with hints of rose and blood orange. The palate is fresh and creamy with raspberry and tart strawberry with a nice mineral kick and sappy fruit in the refreshing finish. Grab this before it's gone... David Lillie
One of the most eagerly awaited rosato's of the summer, this is a wine to stock up on before it's gone! Winemaker Giovanni Scarfone farms his 2.5 hectares of vines organically with fava beans planted between the rows, green manure, and only low doses of copper and sulphur used when necessary. The rose is a blend of mostly Nerello Mascalese, with small percentages of Nerello Capuccio, and the little-known indigenous grape Nocera. The 2018 is slightly juicier than the previous few vintages, exhibiting beautiful notes of raspberry, red currant, cranberry, and cherry pit. The initial fruit-forward attack is balanced by lively acidity and wet stone minerality on the palate. In addition, clocking in at only 11.5% abv, it's zippy and refreshing while still being a serious wine. Enjoy with anything from a salad to a pizza, to grilled salmon. Oskar Kostecki
Organically grown Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and Cabernet Sauvignon grown on gföhler gneiss, spontaneously fermented with élevage sur lie in used 600L oak barrels. This may be my rosé of the summer (so far). Absolutely delicious and balanced, and interesting without being too strange to down a whole bottle. The palate is rife with flavors of tart tiny lingonberries, cranberry, blood orange, raspberries, and red grapefruit, deftly rounded out by lactic leesiness. An energetic and refreshing rosé to pair with salty snacks, fresh salads, fried chicken, but strong on its own. Cari Bernard
Multi-vintage, Biodynamic Zweigelt rosé, aged under flor, from the Kremstal. I'm just going to let that sink in there. We love Christoph for his boundless energy, focus and care in his vineyards, and his dedication to always learning through his projects in the cellar. Although his main focus is his sparkling wines, he's begun to make more still rosé for us to enjoy. This is now the second release we've been able to get our hands on. The nose shows high-toned sour cherries, raspberry seeds, and green strawberries. Bottled without addition of sulfur, unfined and unfiltered, there is a great subtle texture and savory leesiness that balances the tart fruit on the palate (think pink grapefruit, pickled watermelon rind, barely-ripe raspberry, and wild strawberries). A rosé for the more adventurous set. Cari Bernard
After being part of the local co-op for years, the Beurer family decided to make the change to crafting wines for their own label in 1997, and began to shift to organic farming starting in 2003, eventually becoming Demeter (biodynamic) certified in 2012. The majority of the vineyards are planted to Riesling, but red grapes take well to the climate in Württemberg. This year the rosé is a saignée of Trollinger, Zweigelt, Spätburgunder, and Portugieser, and it's fantastic. It's just the faintest bit off-dry, but that really only amplifies the juicy red berries and and is properly balanced by bright acidity. Incredibly refreshing, this would be a fun companion to soft-scrambled eggs, Wiener schnitzel and fries, fried anything really, and of course outdoor BBQs. Cari Bernard
Pinot Noir from limestone soils in the Pfalz, this rosé is delightful every year! Wild strawberries and orange melon on the nose, the palate is both light and creamy, with softer acidity than 2017 framing freshly cut red berries, melon, and red florals on the finish. A solid choice for parties, and for the dinner table. Cari Bernard
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!)