Mid-Summer Rosé (and Rosato) Heavy-Hitters Featuring Bourgeuil Rosé from Stéphane Guion!

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In typical fashion, toward the middle of the summer, once our initial thirst for pale-colored, delicate Rosé has been quenched, the real Rosé heavy-hitters begin to arrive in the store. As temperatures rise, the color of these wines seems to deepen, the pale pinks of spring giving way to the deep, near-reds of summer. Of course this is a generalization as we continue to offer many excellent light-bodied Rosés. We hesitate to read too much into the release date of these wines, but we suspect late summer Rosés are more likely to ferment naturally and with their own yeast, their makers not in a rush to finish the wine, bottle, and ship to the states. Fortunately, while our mid-Summer Rosés may be, on average, a bit more “serious,” they are no less thirst quenching and enjoyable on a hot day, especially if you have the ability to barbeque as many of these wines are perfectly suited to grilled food.

Let us draw your attention to a few special favorites from the list below. From the south of France: Tibouren from Clos Cibonne in the Côtes de Provence, wines that are aged under a thin veil of surface yeast giving them depth and complexity; Mas Jullien and Mas Cal Demoura from two Languedoc masters; Chateau Pibarnon, a superb Bandol Domaine; a new wine from Chateau Pradeaux! From the north of France: the best release of Francois Pinon Brut Rosé we’ve tasted in years; Bourgeuil Rosé from our very own Stéphane Guion – a wine that is exclusive to Chambers Street Wines and one of the best values in Rosé to be found; Chinon Rosé from the lovely Olga Raffault. From Italy: wild yeast Rosato from Burlotto, Bonavita, Terre Nerre, and Cornelissen. The List goes on…  (Let us also add that we have two Rosé tastings coming up: Rosé from the Neal Rosenthal portfolio on Thursday, 7/26, and an all-out Rosé extravaganza on Saturday, 8/4!) Salut! -Sophie

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Guion 2011 Bourgueil Rosé

We're fortunate to receive a small allocation of rosé from Stephan Guion. The 2011 is a bit softer than the 2010, perhaps with a hint of residual sugar, but with the bracing acidity always present in his wines. Organic since 1965, the Guion vineyards of clay and limestone give superb wines of terroir with lovely raspberry and cherry fruit balanced by acids that bring tastes of chalk and sensations of earth and stone on the palate. The 2011 Rosé is complex and long and although it's delicious now, it will benefit from a year or more of aging. Buy a case, drink 6 bottles this summer and save the rest for next year...

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Raffault, Olga 2012 Chinon Rosé

In a world of innocuous Rosé for mindless quaffing Raffault stands out as wine with true depth. Robust crushed berry fruit is balanced by Cabernet Franc's signature earthy spice. Vivacious, yet balanced a wine that is at home at barbecues, and hot summer nights. JR

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Pinon, François NV Touraine Brut Rose (Malbec/Grolleau)

For years we kept seeing small piles of sparkling rosé lining the walls of Francois' cellar. Finally we asked — is there enough for a small shipment to NY? And so this unpretentiously delicious blend of Malbec and Grolleau finally reached Chambers Street. The 2009 has lovely berry aromas with a well-structured palate and good acidity. Really a lovely sparkling rosé that will drink well this summer and will improve over the next five years or more. Don't hesitate to grab some before it disappears... Thank-you, Francois Pinon!

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Clos Cibonne- Le Pradet 2010 Cotes de Provence Tibouren Rose

This historic Provençal estate dates back to the late 19th century and is considered one of 18 Cru Classés in the Côtes de Provence. In the early 20th Century, proprietor André Roux replanted the estate's Mourvèdre with Tibouren in an attempt to revitalize this unique regional grape variety. The wine is rich and slightly oxidative, having been aged in enormous, 100-year-old foudres. Not your typical, fruity Provençal Rosé, this wine is intense, complex, savory, and possessed of an amazingly silky texture. After a few hours open, my bottle was a super pairing with steamed mussels and shrimp. -msb

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Clos Cibonne- Le Pradet 2010 Cotes de Provence Cuvèe des Vignettes

This special cuvée of Tibouren comes from all the estate's oldest vines and is more intense and full-flavored on the mid-palate and finish than the younger vine bottling. Both young and old vine Tibourens are aged for a year in 100-year-old barrels under a thin veil of yeast called fleurette. The wine offers notes of honeysuckle, wysteria, and fennel seed. It's a powerful and complex wine that shows the faintest hint of oxidation and will be rewarded by a serious meal and some time in the decanter. -msb

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Pibarnon 2011 Bandol Rose

This wine has a wonderful ability to combine elegance, power, class, and distinction. A blend of Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Grenache, the wine shows peach-y and stone fruit notes on the nose, mingling with the savory earth and iodine character of good Bandol Rosé. The palate offers silky textures, a certain voluptuousness, and a lovely balance of acidity to full ripe fruit. I drank this upon first release with very good results. It's bound to improve over the next few months, not to mention the next few years! -msb

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Pradeaux 2012 Cotes de Provence Rose "Chateau"

A blend of Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and a little bit of Barbaroux, the wine certainly does justice to the name of this famous Bandol Domaine. Fresh yet weighty, the wine delivers some of the earthy, savoriness of classic Bandol Rosé, thankfully without the cloying fruitiness of many Côtes de Provence Rosés. We think you'll want more than one bottle of this, so make sure to grab at least two... if not more. -msb

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Les Fouques 2011 Cotes de Provence La Londe

Domaine les Fouques has been has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for 17 years, and also raise sheep on their old-fashioned mixed use farm. La Londe is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah plus the white grapes Rolle, Clairette and Ugni Blanc. Unlike the majority of Provencal Roses, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. We've just received our second shipment of the 2011, which is a beautiful, complex wine showing pretty red fruits with hints of peach. The palate is round and refreshing and very long with hints of anise and licorice. Delicious now, this wine will develop nicely over the next few years. This is certainly one of the top rosés of Provence, and a great value. Imported by Chambers Street.

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Mas Jullien 2011 Coteaux du Languedoc Rose

Rosé, you say? We always have Rosé on our Thanksgiving table and they seem to disappear quickly. Here's a great one from the Mas Jullien, but don't overlook the Guion Bourgueil, Morantin "Marie Rose," Pelaquié Tavel and many more...

Vineyard and cellar work are meticulous  at Mas Jullien and the wines show incredible character. They reflect the wildness of the region and more than display Jullien's talent as a shepherd of the vine. A darker color than most rosés, the fruit is deep and ripe, with red fruit confit and spice flavors that marry well with any grilled meats. Fabulous with seared tuna. A serious wine for elegant summer dining and Thanksgiving too. -msb

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Cal Demoura 2011 Coteaux du Languedoc Qu'es Aquo Rose

Hailing from the Coteaux du Langudeoc this is a lovely wine with very pretty ripe strawberry and cherry fruit as well as great minerality, balance, and structure. This is an aromatic rose that uses all five traditional Languedoc varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan in a blend that emphasizes Syrah and Cinsault varietal character. The finish is unusually long and earthy, which makes this a particularly good match with grilled foods. -msb

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Laguerre 2011 Côtes du Roussillon Eos Rosé

Frankly, I don't often buy rosé wine from the Roussillon because it is often fruity and high in alcohol. As someone who prefers the drier, steelier styles from the Loire, and Burgundy, and the saline, delicate rosés from Provence, Grenache based rosé can feel heavy. On the other hand, when well-made and native yeast fermented, these darker, more red wine-like pink wines can have beautiful authenticity and sense of place. Eric Laguerre's rosé is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Like the white, this rosé is matured in barrel for eight months but shows no hints of barrel on the nose or palate. There's a sense of deep sweetness to the fruit, but the palate remains crisp at a modest 13% alcohol. The aromas and flavors are of sweet cherries and cranberries and, as with the white from Laguerre, this rosé will improve open in your fridge over a day or two. -msb

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Cornelissen, Frank 2012 Etna Rosato Susucaru 5

From Belgian anomaly winemaker, Frank Cornelissen, comes this fascinating coral pink wine. (It's truly an amazing color.) Based on a blend of Malvasia de Lazio, Cataratto, and Nerello Mascalese, this wine has exuberant floral and herbal aromatics reminiscent of amaro, celery seed, and tarragon. We suspect this floral character is informed by the Malvasia in the blend. There's also a core of sweet cherry fruit present on the nose and the palate. Cornelissen does not add any sulfur to his wines, which means that they are very pure expressions of the high elevation Etna soil he farms. Robust in alcohol and body but with plenty of balancing acidity, this wine is almost explosive and a must-try for natural wine lovers. -msb

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Bonavita 2011 Rosato

Last year the Bonavita’s Rosato was a run-away hit, and sold out early in the summer.  Unfortunately, there will also be tiny quantities this year because the wild boars of Faro shared our enthusiasm for Giovanni’s delicious Nerello Mascalese grapes and decreased his production by 20%!  In 2011, Giovanni increased the period of skin maceration from 12 to around 24 hours, and as a result the wine has a much darker purple color and more bright cranberry fruit than your average Provencal Rose.  This adds an extra dimension of complexity and makes the wine a choice match for some richer summer favorites like barbecue or pastas.  JR

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Burlotto 2011 Rosato "Elatis"

Here's an example of professional and technical tasting-note-taking from a visit to Burlotto in May: "Really Nice!".

Actually this wine offers more in addition to being really nice: aromas of raspberry, white pepper and stone (55% Nebbiolo, 10% Barbera, and 35% Pelaverga — the source of the white pepper and herbal notes); it's fresh and bright with bright acidity — like ripe pink grapefruit; light-medium bodied — a rose for fish and picnics. Really nice indeed!

 

 

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