Hoping you all had a great Labor Day weekend … as my colleague, Anya pointed out last week, Labor Day is often seen as a symbolic end to summer, yet officially, the season lasts another 2-3 weeks. And here in the Bay Area, it lasts well into October and beyond. I usually manage to keep pretty cool throughout these times, as hot weather is not exactly my fancy. Well, not this year. It all started with a trip to Sacramento in mid-August. When I returned via Vallejo and saw that it was ONLY 80 degrees Fahrenheit, I rejoiced. I think that’s the first time I’ve rejoiced to see 80F. During the first week of BirthdayFest (Aug 24-31), I found myself in Los Angeles, and forget about staying cool there. It’s been nothing but hot here ever since, and I must say I’m dealing with it fairly well. How exactly? Well one remedy is Rosé. In particular, the 2012 Domaine de la Petite Cassagne Costières de Nîmes Rosé!



The concept of drinking a nice crisp Rosé on a hot day is neither new nor original. It does appear to be natural and logical, though. I sure caught the bug when it was first introduced to me. Served chilled, it’s crisp, complex, aromatic, low in alcohol, versatile, and refreshing. Oh yeah, then there’s the price to factor in. It’s a win-win-win, if you ask me.


I have really enjoyed Diane Puymorin’s Domaine de la Petite Cassagne Costières de Nîmes Rosé in recent vintages. The color is pale peach, the wines are clean and complex, and there seems to be a degree of salinity that joins forces with a dusty mineral backbone. I was such a fan of last year’s version, that I eventually depleted 2 cases over the course of the summer and fall. The 2012 landed here back in May, and before I could blink, it was all gone. Hmmm, I barely remember tasting it. Good news! A new container recently arrived from France, and on it was a pallet of 2012 Petite Cassagne Rosé. Ah yes. It has me based on color alone. Well, color and the memory of vintages past. Upon the very first whiff, I got subtle clean fruit, white melons, then a hint of something citrusy, maybe tangerine. Repeated aromatic observations coaxed out more melon-like fruit and definitely the citrus, but there were red berries and a dusty mineral underpinning. The palate is clean and complex. There are a wide variety of taste sensations on the palate, including that hint of salinity which gives your mouth a pleasant pinch. The finish clean, the bottle empty. Oh well, it’s only 12.5% alcohol … and with the case discount, it’s less than 10 bucks a bottle! 



So yeah, Rosé to beat the heat. That’s a natural thing. Why? It works, it really works. Speaking of things that work, BirthdayFest got off to a rolling start this year. So much good company, good food, good music, and good wine. Very Grateful.


Going forward, Labor Day is behind us and PeakWeek of the Fest is winding down. One week to go, and as far as I can see, it’s going to remain hot for a while. I’m not jinxing the weather (oh, but I’m trying), so with this heat, I choose the 2012 Domaine de la Petite Cassagne Costières de Nîmes Rosé to take to battle! Enjoy the end of summer! – Peter Zavialoff


Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or advice on how to beat the heat or about Rosé: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net