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Annual Early Spring Rosé Round-Up!

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Some winters never seem to end, but we’re optimistic that where rosé wine goes, spring weather follows, and rosé is here! We’re happy to report that as the days lengthen and grow (for the most part) mild and sunny, we’re drinking some of our favorite rosés: crisp Menetou-Salon from Phillipe Gilbert in the Loire Valley, Sulauze and Les Fouques from the Côte d’Azur, full, complex, and earthy rosé from Mas Jullien and Mas Cal Demoura in the Languedoc, the list goes on … In celebration of, and in preparation for tee-shirt/patio/fire escape weather, we suggest you begin stocking up now. Santé! -Sophie

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Les Fouques 2013 Côtes de Provence l'Aubigue Rosé

2013 was an excellent vintage in the South of France and this younger brother of the Les Fouques Cuvée La Londe is a beautiful rosé at a bargain price! Lovely light salmon color. Subtle and complex aromas (thanks to biodynamic farming and wild yeast fermentation) with yellow and red fruits, citrus, and floral notes. The palate is full, but balanced and refreshing—a great apéritif and pairs with any light summer foods. DL

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  • $13.99

Les Fouques 2013 Côtes de Provence La Londe Rosé

Domaine les Fouques has been has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for 20 years, and also raise 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 Provencal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. The 2013 La Londe is a beautifully complex rosé showing aromas of citrus, melon and peach with floral and spicy hints. Elegant and balanced on the palate, this is simply delicious and will gain in weight and complexity over the next few years. This is one of the greatest rosés of Provence and a superb value! DL

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  • $16.99

Sulauze 2013 Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence Pomponette Rosé

This is a super rosé from the following blend: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Rolle. It's pale, salmon-colored in the glass, delicate, with citrus and berry notes, racy acidity, and the kind of silken texture one associates with the most delicious southern French rosés — for the third season in a row, it's ethereal, fresh, and a favorite amongst our staff and customers. The wine is made by a husband and wife winemaking team who purchased the Domaine in 2004 and began systematically converting it to organic viticulture. We love stories like this! Once again, it's a wine I'll be drinking all summer long. MSB

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  • $15.99

Clos Cibonne- Le Pradet 2012 Cotes de Provence Cuvee 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. Aged for a year in giant, ancient barrels under a thin layer of surface yeast called "fleurette," the wine offers notes of sweet orange flower water and spice. It's a powerful and complex wine that shows the faintest hint of oxidation that can be reminiscent of Lopez de Heredia's pink offerings, and will be rewarded by a serious meal and some time in the decanter. Make sure to drink the wine cool rather than cold, as an icy temperature obscures its subtler aromas and flavors. MSB

 

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  • $31.99

Mas Jullien 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé

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. Paler in the glass than in some vintages, this wine offers notes of strawberry smashed in earth, complex aromas of orange rind and fennel seed. The palate is creamy and silken textured without the alcoholic heat often found in rosés from the Languedoc. The fruit is deep and ripe, with a spiciness that will marry well with any grilled meats. Fabulous with seared tuna. A serious wine for elegant summer dining, and the best mas Jullien Rosé we've tasted in several vintages. MSB

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  • $22.99

Cal Demoura 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc Qu'es Aquo Rosé

Rich and ripe on the nose and palate with strawberry fruit and a hint of Languedoc funk, this wine is more robust than the lighter styles from Provence. Further nosing reveals an intriguing note of yellow fruit: peach and apricot skin. It's a full-flavored rosé that remains fresh, balanced, and food-friendly on the palate. Lovely by itself, this will complement grilled meats, tuna, salade niçoise, and just about anything else. MSB

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  • $19.99

Grange Tiphaine 2013 Vin de France Sparkling Rosa, Rose, Rosam

2013 was no picnic in the Loire Valley, but the lovely folks at Grange Tiphaine have succeeded in giving us another all-too-gulpable Rosa, Rosé, Rosam, based on Gamay, Grolleau, Cabernet Franc, and Côt. Drier and zestier than the 2012 version of this wine with strawberry and spice on the nose and lively tart cranberry on the palate, this wine received unanimous approval from our sales people. We think you'll want a bottle or two of this excellent sulfur-free rosé Pet-Nat in your fridge at all times during the spring and summer months. MSB

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Gilbert, Philippe 2013 Menetou-Salon Rose

This wine, from very close to Sancerre in the eastern Loire Valley, is made from biodynamically farmed Pinot Noir planted on Kimmeridgian and marl soils. The thoughtful and talented Philippe Gilbert took over the family Domaine in '98 and has since then increased quality dramatically. Delicate and pale in the glass, the nose here is extremely stony with lime-blossom, citrusy with the flinty, limestone quality one looks for in a good Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé. Crisper and higher acid than the 2012, the wine is beautifully balanced -- more rocks than fruit -- with delicate notes of wild strawberry and ruby red grapefruit. This is a rosé for any serious pink wine lover. MSB

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  • $23.99

Hauvette 2012 Les Baux de Provence Petra Rosé

Dominique Hauvette makes one of the finest rosés in France at her biodynamic estate in Les Baux. Lovely aromas of red currant, peach skin, citrus, and brown spice; berry fruits, melon and herbal notes on the palate with terrific length. The 2012 is drinking beautifully now and will be perfect this summer with grilled tuna or chicken. Highly recommended. DL

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Crochet, Lucien 2013 Sancerre Pinot Noir Rosé

A pale and delicate rosé of Pinot Noir with hints of cherry and raspberry, light and very elegant on the palate. This is one of the most sought-after rosés of France and quantities are quite limitied this year, so don't delay.... DL

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  • $27.99

Grange Vieille 2011 Vin de France La Rosée

And now for something completely different! The tiny organic estate Clos de Grange-Vieille in the Medoc makes this old-fashioned, dark-colored rosé from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It's quite full-bodied for a rosé, with deep cassis and red-currant fruit framed with good acidity and a dry finish. Try this with burgers or grilled chicken served quite cool. Great value! DL

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Pinon, François NV (2010) Touraine Brut Rosé

Made from Grolleau and Côt (Malbec) this superb sparkling wine has beautiful deep pink color, lovely high-toned red-currant/strawberry aromas, and a palate of citrusy ripe berry fruits with earth and spice—really delicious! François Pinon is one of the great winemakers of the Loire Valley, doing fabulous organic farming in the vineyards and precise work in the cellar, and his wines are very reasonably priced! Thank you, François! DL

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Arnot-Roberts 2013 Touriga Nacional Rose

Our favorite vintage yet of Anot-Roberts' perenially delicious Touriga Nacional-based rosé! Pretty aromas of watermelon pith, apple blossoms, and strawberries, with a sheer but complex palate of raspberries, rosewater, peppercorns, and spice. The grapes come from Luchsinger Vineyard (home to Arnot-Roberts' coveted Trousseau), which was planted in 1999 at 1400 feet elevation in California's Clear Lake AVA. AR

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Bedrock 2013 California Ode to Lulu Rose

Last year’s American rosés were absolutely delicious.  Many of our favorite California producers made light, floral, translucent wines with great freshness and not a touch of sweetness.  The 2013s have a bit more richness and a rounder profile, but the best producers were able to maintain great acidity.  Bedrock's “Ode to Lulu” is a perfect example of a bigger-boned wine with fantastic freshness.  The base is old vine Mouvedre, but there is also some Grenache from vines planted in the 1880s, and Cinsault sourced from sandy soils in Contra Costa County.  The result is a wine with deep mineral tones, scents of citrus oil, and crisp raspberry-skin fruit – all of this flavor at a mere 12.6% alcohol and bone-dry.  If you haven’t tried some of California’s new crop of rosés this is a great place to start!  JR

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Preto 2011 Tierra de Leon Prieto Picudo Rosado

The wonderful Gregory Perez (Mengoba) makes this perfumed, spicy, and unusual rose from the indigenous Prieto Picudo grape. It undergoes some carbonic maceration, which results in a dark fuschia hue and floral flourish. Flavors of savory black currant, red plum, rose water, and citrus zest combine with cumin, cayenne, and fresh green peppercorns for a full-bodied and complex all-weather rose. AR

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Ameztoi 2013 Getariako Txakolina Rubentis Rose

Ameztoi's Txakolinas are popular and pleasurable warm-weather staples! The Rubentis combines old-vines Hondarribi Zuri and Hondarribi Beltza for a tart, tingly, and thirst-quenching rose that is an exhilarting aperitif or pairing for fresh fish and salads. Red currant, rhubarb, lime zest, and strawberry fruit are heightened by abundant minerality, a touch of spritz, and that transportative salty streak that makes us misty for San Sebastian. Ariana Rolich

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Raventós I Blanc 2011 Conca del Riu Anoia L'Hereu de Nit Reserva Rose

Raventós' de Nit rosé was the first wine to fall under the new Conca del Riu Anoia designation, created in an effort to prioritize biodynamic farming, estate fruit, lengthier élevage, and indigenous varieties. The 2011 vintage is bright and chiseled, with pert aromas of pink lemonade and tart cranberry preceding a spry palate of strawberry seeds, lemon zest, clementines, and raspberry. An incredibly versatile sparkling wine for apéritifs, snacks, richer seafood, and spicy fare. -Ariana Rolich

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  • $22.99

Matthiasson 2013 Napa Valley Rosé Wine

Matthiasson's 2013 rosé is a characteristically mouth-watering blend of 36% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre, and 10% Counoise from vineyards in the Dunnigan Hills (Yolo County) and Napa Valley AVAs. The home-grown peaches that were strewn about Jill and Steve Matthiasson's picnic table when I stopped by for a visit (and a glass of rosé!) last summer seem to infuse the pure, juicy palate of white peach, alpine strawberry, cool grapefruit zest, orange blossom, and crisp, salty mineral water. A thirst-quenching and versatile accompaniment to everything at the market and on the grill! AR

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  • $24.99