Gary Kahle wrote:OK, I have tasted enough 2011’s now to list several favorites and as usual, I lean toward the Provencal style and grapes.
Commanderie de la Bargemone, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, 35% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 30% Cab Sauv, 15% Cinsault. This has been a staple at our house since first tasting it with Dan Kravitz (the importer) fifteen years ago and is my ‘benchmark’. Very light peach color is misleading causing many to expect no flavors which is not the case. Very refreshing. Should be available in all markets.
We tried a few more roses on Friday night, including this one touted by Gary. It's one of my favorites too, and I have to admit that on first opening it I was a bit disappointed, found it a bit too dry and even a little hollow on the palate. Possibly because we had opened this first:2011 Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris
Another annual pink purchase, if I run into it, and one of my absolute favorites from last summer. Shows a fresh rose flavored sweetness up front and finishes a little dryer than one expects based on that, which is good. Well-balanced and fresh, but I'm not sure I like it as much as last year's.
We didn't finish either bottle so last night, decided to taste them again in the front courtyard where we refuged from the cold winds on the ocean side of the house. This time, I served the 2011 Commanderie de la Bargemone
first. Seemed entirely different from the night before in all the right ways: richer nose of white nectarine and basil with good tangy fruit on the mid-palate. Again, that surprising bigness from a wine that looks so little and with the dryness I appreciate without it being austere; at last, it's the wine I hope for when I buy the Commanderie.
We followed that with the remaining Fontsainte
. Not happy with the first taste that left me floundering about for the right floral reference (scented Kleenex? Grandma?) when Bob said, "it tastes like a sachet, those things you stick in your underwear drawer." Dead on! There was no fruit, just flowers, and the finish had more RS on it than we could enjoy after the Commanderie.