2010 French Rose: Part Deux

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 4:36 PM

I must say, one of the things I miss most about living in the Midwest (aside from being able to say things like “bubbler” without having to explain myself) is summer. A proper summer. With proper summer temperatures. That said, we San Franciscans do a brilliant job of pretending our summers are like those everywhere else.

What’s that? It’s supposed to hit 68° today!? Whoo hoo, heat wave! Windy out!? Not gonna stop MY picnic from happening! Oh darn, there goes my basket…

Ballgames, barbeques, beaches, bikinis… We are nothing if not an optimistic bunch and occasionally Mother Nature rewards us for it. That right, it’s officially warm outside. As such, there is no better time to announce the arrival of:

***Even MORE 2010 French Rosé!!***

Domaine de Fondrèche 2010 “l’instant” Côtes du Ventoux Rosé

Fondrèche Rosé is back and pale as ever! Sebastien Vincenti, a protégé of André Brunel, is l’artiste behind Fondrèche and although he’s probably best known for his deeply concentrated and delicious red wines, his Rosé just might be his best-kept secret. This blend of 50% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, and 20% Syrah is made by a combination of techniques known for creating the best Rosé- pressurage directe for the Cinsault and Syrah, while the Grenache is fermented for a short time and then saigneé, or bled off, and blended in tank. The l’instant is a classic French Rosé with faint hints of freshly-picked strawberries and a crisp, dry mineral-driven finish. Oh, did I mention it also comes in MAGNUM format?! It’s a good thing too because we sold out of our Les Cimels Mags several days ago…. Phew, crisis averted!

Vignoble Boudinaud 2010 Pays D’Oc Rosé

If Fondrèche gets the gold medal in the “pale & pretty” category, Boudinaud’s 100% Syrah Rosé takes the top spot in “dark & deceiving”. All I can say about this wine is do NOT be fooled! When we did our staff tasting, every one of us presumed this one would be high in candied fruit and low in acid or mineral, but we could not have been more incorrect. Whoa, does this baby have zing!And why wouldn’t it? It’s Boudinaud for goodness sake! Why would we have ever doubted the quality… shame on us.

L’Ecuyer 2010 Bordeaux Rosé

I don’t do much card playing outside of solitaire on my phone, but I can say that 50-50 is a winning bet when it comes to 2010 Rosé from Bordeaux. Equal parts Cab Franc and Merlot, L’Ecuyer brings a slightly more herbal, earthy profile to the game while still maintaining the bright fruit and clean finish you expect out of a quality Rosé. It’s also got a cool new label resembling a playing card that’s something of a cross between a joker and a club (don’t you like how I tied that all together? Thanks, I try). Hey, I’m not above aesthetics when the product inside lives up to the hype… and this one does. Truly a winner, inside and out.

Domaine des Corbillieres 2010 Touraine Pinot Noir Rosé

I’m not going to say that I’ve saved the best for last, as I really don’t even know that I could choose a favorite out of our 2010 Rosé selections (believe me, I tried to yesterday when a customer asked and ended up with that “deer in headlights” thing happening on my face- not a good look) but I’m also not going to be shy about professing my love for all things made by Dominique Barbou. This 100% Pinot Noir Rosé went through a 12-hour steeping period (that’s a LONG time!) before being transferred to a settling vat for natural fermentation to take place. The result is a pale wine, slightly spicy, with a vague hint of white pepper laced raspberries and killer acidity. It’s just begging to be paired with food. Any food really, but I’m thinking cedar plank-grilled salmon with lemon, fennel, and capers.

Speaking of lemons, one of the things I love most about living in the Bay Area is how everyone has a lemon tree in their yard. I know they’re not in season right now, but they sure are lovely basking in the sun. Cheers to summer! – Emily Crichton

Staff Selection – In the Zone Rose

Monday, September 8, 2008 2:52 PM


A long time ago, one of my wine mentors told me, “Don’t worry about what the critics say about a wine that you like. If they speak poorly about it, it’s better for you. It will stay cheap and in stock.” Since then, it’s been an ongoing challenge to stay ahead of high praise and points (ugh! my pet peeve when it comes to wine). Back in my California wine drinking days, I would weed through dozens of medium priced, lesser known wines, pick out the gems, and groan with disappointment when their labels would appear in a wine magazine months later. Well, guess what? It’s still happening.


I’ve read recently that Rose has overtaken white wine in popularity in France.The resurgence and reintroduction of Rose here in the states is looking more permanent fixture than fad. It’s really caught on in southern California, where Hollywood types that travel to Cannes once a year get turned on to the stuff, then come home and pour it for everybody. It’s definitely caught on chez moi ever since I visited my chef buddy on the Cote d’Azur three years ago. I have a glass when I come home from work. I drink it when I cook. Last night, I had it with a pork roast, and I loved it. I bring them to barbeques. I give them as thank you gifts. I could go on and on, but you probably get it. So, okay, Rose is cool after all, but there are eight of them here… which one to drink?

Back to what I was on about regarding taste. We all have different taste. I have said it many times: The beauty of the world is that we all have different taste. If we didn’t, the good stuff would have been gone years ago. When recommending a Rose, it may be a generality, but a great many of you, like myself, prefer a dry, crisp, complex Rose with just the right amount of fruit. Not overbearing, we like a Rose that is balanced with essences of herbs and minerals. Simple, right? Not really, but let me just say that surroundings, ambiance and company all contribute to the Rose experience.

So, yet again, I have been enjoying what I thought was my never-ending private supply of Rose, only to have The Wine Advocate beam its halogen torch on me with my hand in the cookie jar. Yep, you guessed it. High praise and points for my favorite Rose. I’ve just looked back through my invoices for 2007 Rose, and there are some I’ve taken three of, some two, some only one, but there’s one I’ve taken 14 bottles of so far!!! If that’s not endorsement enough (it should be), check out what David Schildknecht had to say about the 2007 Grande Cassagne in the latest issue of The Wine Advocate: “The Grande Cassagne 2007 Costieres de Nimes Rose offers an aromatic and gustatory wealth of herbs, with subtle notes of raw meat, black pepper, tart cherry, and a savory, saline mineral suggestion in the finish that just won’t quit. This generous rose will give you the flavors to accompany even grilled meat dishes, yet will cool and refresh your palate – and of course, you can enjoy it with lighter fare as well over the coming 6-9 months.” It is against my philosophy to refer to numerical scores, so I apologize that I am not including Mr. Schildknecht’s number for this wine.

Okay, well the cat’s out of the bag on this wine. But like I said, I’m used to it. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time one of my secret wines gets notoriety. Meanwhile, I’ll keep you all posted on what wines I like before they get discovered! – Peter Zavialoff

Editor’s note: While we here at The Wine House respect Peter’s philosophy regarding numerical wine scores, we are also in the business of selling wine. Sometimes numerical scores are helpful in this endeavor. Therefore, let it be known that this wine received an 89 rating from Mr. Schildknecht.


Tasting Notes

Ah that color! Subtle, pink … no, call it off-salmon. Just looking at it is exciting. The nose: red fruit, subtle, yet present. There seems to be a little spice and mineral alive in the aromatics. On the palate, that fruit rises and holds off right where it needs to and allows all of the other nuances to harmonize brilliantly. The finish is more crisp than fruity, and the word that best suits the experience is savory. Enjoy this before, during or after a meal. Have it with a salad at lunchtime. I can think of a litany of occasions for this wine, chances are, so will you. The only problem I can think of? Yep, it’s got a hole in it.

Feel free to email me with any comments or questions regarding undiscovered quality wines, numerical wine scores, Rose, or the Cote d’Azur: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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Stop and Smell the Rose

Monday, August 18, 2008 2:44 PM

I think we have about 10 different roses in stock at the moment. Inevitably, I will be asked which one do I like best. I usually answer with the truth which is I like them all, even though I know very well that this answer is often met with doubt and skepticism. A wine expert is supposed to prefer one rose to another. To like all ten seems wishy-washy and uncommitted. I decided to look over my past invoices (which is more painful than you can imagine!) and discovered that one rose is purchased by moi more frequently than any other, the 2007 Rose from Chateau Guiot. It turns out I have a favorite; I just did not know it!!!

So what do I like about it? The Chateau Guiot rose is the darkest in color, maybe one shade off from being a red wine. The deep raspberry color is vibrant and pleasurable to spy in your glass. A blend of mostly Grenache and Syrah, there is ample fruit, mostly the brambly kind like boysenberry and raspberry, and finishes dry and long. The big full flavors are a two-fold benefit. First of all, you can drink it on its own. There is so much to savor and delight in that food is not necessary. On the other hand, those same big flavors are bold enough to match up with even the spiciest of Summer Grillin’ fare. When nighttime temperatures spike, Mas de Guiot rose perfectly answers my craving for something flavorful and rich minus the heavy tannins and high alcohol.

On my first visit to Mas de Guiot in the Costieres de Nimes, the pastoral feel of the winery charmed me. This impression was actualized as I snooped around, sneaking away from the group and came upon a bird, newly hung, waiting for plucking. I knew then and there that these people were real farmers. That close relationship to the land beautifully translates into their hearty, gutsy wines. Pre-season football may have started, and school is about to start for many (Egad! My little one is starting pre-school…quick get me a chair and a drink!), but according to my calculations, there is at least a month and a half of great summer weather. Sippin’ Guiot rose while lounging on my new outdoor furniture (definitely nicer than what you’ll find inside!) just waiting for the tomatoes to ripen is my ambition for the weeks ahead. Leisure is an art I wish to perfect. Someone has to watch the clouds go by… Anya Balistreri

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